DR MIKE Cantlay will remain as Scottish Natural Heritage chair for a further two years.

The reappointment was confirmed by Scotland's cabinet secretary for the environment, climate change and land reform, Roseanna Cunningham.

On resuming his role, Dr Cantlay said: “This is a challenging period for us all, and a crucial time for Scotland’s nature. I’m passionately committed to steering SNH through the pandemic and then to contributing to Scotland’s green recovery. For many of us, this crisis has reinforced how important nature is to each of us personally; we need nature for our own well-being, both mentally and physically.

"But nature can also help us build a healthier, stronger environment and low carbon economy, and a more inclusive society in Scotland," he continued. "We can only foster the resilience we need by making sure our nature thrives: to ease flooding, clean our water, pollinate our crops and flowers and much more.

“I look forward to working in partnership with the Scottish Government and other stakeholders to foster smart, nature-based solutions for a sustainable recovery. In the long term, as we re-brand as NatureScot, the board and I will continue to make sure we are a dynamic, resilient organisation, able to respond effectively to an ever-changing world.”

SNH chief executive, Francesca Osowska, added: “Mike’s vast and varied experience in the public sector has been extremely valuable to us. So it’s wonderful that we will continue to benefit from his leadership during this difficult time, especially as our ‘day job’ of enhancing Scotland’s natural environment and tackling the climate emergency will be such an important part of the green recovery from the pandemic.”