Richard Wakeford is Visiting Professor of Environment, Land Use and Rural Strategy at Birmingham City University. He is active as a research partner, conference facilitator and consultant – internationally on policies for land use and rural development; and locally helping rural communities draw up better plans based on local assets.
Richard is an Honorary Life Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and a Trustee of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Research Trust.
Internationally, he serves as an expert for the European Commission, chairing an expert Advisory Group on rural and agricultural research priorities. He was previously
Chair of the OECD Rural Working Party – the international forum reviewing and comparing best practice in rural development policy and delivery. In that role he worked on reviews of rural and environmental policy in many member and non-member nations, and led sessions at international conferences.
Locally, he is Chair of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Conserving and Managing Committee, a Town Councillor in Winchcombe and a Board Member at Gloucestershire Market Towns Forum.
As Head of the Scottish Government’s Environment and Rural Affairs Department for five years from 2005, he was responsible for all policy development and delivery across rural, marine, food and environmental programmes – as well as for leadership of Scotland’s Climate Change Bill, among the most demanding in the world. Richard was previously Chief Executive of the Countryside Agency in England, following many years of Whitehall work on the environmental and land use planning policy and a spell in the Cabinet Office at the time John Major was Prime Minister.
His international interests were stimulated by a year at Princeton University, leading to his book on American Development Control – published 1990; well reviewed on both sides of the Atlantic. He continues to be driven by a belief that that regulation, financial incentives and tax measures don’t generally incentivise the best use of land and natural resources.