William Cockbain farms a large hill farm in the Lake District as part of a family partnership. He was the National Farmers’ Union’s National Uplands spokesman from 2004 until March 2012 when he stood down after 8 years.
In 2006 he was appointed as Defra’s North West Sustainable Food and Farming Champion, a position held until the end of March 2011. He chairs the new Rural and Farming Networks, for Cumbria, North and East Lancashire, and was made an Associate of the Royal Agricultural Societies for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2008 for services to hill farming. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Societies in 2014.
Will has been appointed to the Natural England board until 30 September 2017.
Non-executive board member
Non-executive board members of Natural England have collective responsibility for the strategic direction and overall performance of the organisation. They make sure that Natural England is properly and effectively managed and provide stewardship for the public funds entrusted to the organisation.