BBOWT aims to follow the highest standards of governance in its operations, following best practice and guidance provided by the Charity Commission. According to that guidance, “responsibility for the recruitment of new trustees rests firmly with the existing trustees. They must oversee the management of an open and efficient process and always act in the best interests of the charity.” *
The legal provisions relating to Trustees are set out in Article 11 of BBOWT’s Articles of Association. Trustees are appointed for a three-year term by resolution of the AGM. They may stand for further terms but re-election is not automatic.
BBOWT’s objective is to have a diverse Board with a broad range of skills, capable of governing the Trust effectively. The Board must be big enough to include all the skills and experience it needs but not so large as to inhibit effective discussion and decision-making. In accordance with Article 11.2, the number of trustees must be no fewer than 8 and no more than 15.
The Board has delegated to the Nominations Committee the responsibility for managing the process of recruiting Trustees. Download the Nominations Committee's Terms of Reference and Recruitment Process, which describes that process in detail; you can also download the Trustee Role Description.
Every year, the Board undertakes an audit of the skills and experience of the Trustees, in order to assess whether these meet the needs of the Trust. Having identified any skills and experience it needs, it then invites applications through Wildlife News, the BBOWT website, social media and trustee recruitment agencies.
The Nominations Committee will invite applicants for interview, including existing trustees wishing to serve another term, assessing them by reference to a number of criteria, including in particular, the skills needed by the Board. Once it has completed its procedure, it will make recommendations to the Board, which will decide whether to support the candidature of any applicants at the Trust’s AGM.
In accordance with Article 11.3, BBOWT members may put themselves forward to the AGM independently, provided they are nominated and seconded by two other members and they submit their nomination in the prescribed manner by the deadline date (on or before 4 weeks after the publication of the Trust’s audited accounts or 6 weeks before the AGM, whichever is earlier). However, in order to help the Trust comply with best governance practice, any member who is interested in becoming a Trustee is advised to apply through the procedure described above. If any member were to seek an independent nomination, he/she would in any case also be invited for interview with the Nominations Committee in order to ensure that all candidates are treated equally and assessed by reference to the same criteria, including the skills needed by the Board and to give that member the opportunity of finding out more about what being a trustee involves.
At the AGM, BBOWT members elect Trustees to fill the vacancies arising.
If the number of people proposed to the AGM for election as Trustees exceeds the number of vacancies, the election may be conducted by ballot (by post or electronic means) prior to the AGM. The result will be announced at the AGM.
General information on being a trustee can be found in the Charity Commission guide, ‘The Essential Trustee: What you need to know, what you need to do’ (CC3)
To find out more about the important work we are doing for wildlife and the environment, you can read the Strategic Plan 2016-2021: Be part of nature's recovery (available to download from the Publications page). Use the same link to access our latest Annual Review, Annual Report and Accounts, Wildlife News and other publications.