Dame Helen Ghosh is standing down as director-general of the National Trust to become master of Balliol College, Oxford.
Ghosh will remain in the post she took over in 2012 until March next year.
The National Trust said it will begin the process of looking for a new director-general in the autumn.
In her five years at the helm, Ghosh oversaw the conservation charity’s major strategy for tackling the decline in the natural environment and the loss of green space in towns and cities. The trust has also spent around £100 million a year on conserving its houses, collections, coast and countryside.
Around 25 million people paid to visit a Trust property last year, while there were an estimated 200 million visits to the coastlines and countryside the charity looks after for the nation.
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