Our Trustees 2016 - 2017

Like every Wildlife Trust, Kent Wildlife Trust has a Board of Trustees (usually referred to as Council), elected by its members and responsible for the governance of the Charity. They are from a range of backgrounds but come together with a shared commitment to preserving and enhancing Kent’s biodiversity - a passion for the natural environment and the part people must play in sustaining it is what unites us.

In the case of Kent Wildlife Trust, there can be up to 24 Trustees including the honorary officers. All trustees are volunteers. Trustees are required by law to uphold the interests and objectives of the charity when making decisions, and decisions are taken as a group.

A range of perspectives amongst trustees is vital for effective decision-making, they look for solutions and base their decisions on evidence, experience and pragmatism. Kent Wildlife Trust’s trustees come from the membership and are elected at the AGM and they stand for three years. Some trustees move on to chair committees or take up roles as honorary officers. The honorary officers, including the Chair, are elected each year by Council.

The work of the Council is supported by four Committees, Conservation, People Engagement, Audit and Local Groups.

Kent Wildlife Trust’s trustees represent a broad range of professional and environmental skills and the interests and activities of the members and volunteers who support us.

Find out how to become a Trustee.

Our Trustees

Pauline Bateson


Elected 2016

Member People Engagement Committee, Local Groups Committee

Pauline has been a member of the Trust since she came to live in Kent in the 1980s. She then started volunteering at our east Kent reserves and was asked to join the Folkestone, Hythe and Dover Local Group committee. She moved on to become Honorary Secretary and then Chair, before being co-opted to Council as the previous Chair of the Local Groups Committee. She has a good understanding of the contribution made by our members and volunteers on reserves, at visitor centres and to local groups, and strongly represents their interests in Council discussions.

Mike Bax


Elected to Council 2014

A land agent and agricultural valuer, Mike has his own rural property practice, The BTF Partnership. He farms 240 acres in the Weald much of which is a designated Local Wildlife Site and adjacent to a Kent Wildlife Trust reserve.

Brought up in Kent he has a good understanding of country ways, of the people he lives and works among, and of the landscapes in which he has been working for so long. He has held a number of public and voluntary roles as High Sheriff, Chairman of the Crime Rural Advisory Group, founding director of Rural Kent plc and brings a great deal of knowledge and influence to his role. 

John Bennett (LGs) –
(not to be confused with John Bennett the CE)

Coopted 2016

Chair, Local Groups

Member of People Engagement Committee.

Co-opted onto Council as the Chair of its Local Groups Committee representing members who support the Trust through their activities at various locations around Kent. He has spent his career in educational, advisory and management roles in Gloucester and Berkshire and has now retired.
John and his wife are very busy supporting the Sevenoaks Local Group and they are both keen naturalists. They also have a strong interest in sub-aqua diving and the marine environment; John is a BSAC Instructor within a local dive club. 

Dr Bhupinder Singh


Coopted 2017

Bhupinder is a Cardiologist in Canterbury with a profound love and respect for wildlife. His young family are also involved in supporting the Trust and his daughter has twice entered a winning image in the Trust annual photo competition.

He brings to council and understanding of the importance of healthy natural systems to the health of us all.

Andrea Byerley


Elected to Council 2011

Member, Conservation Committee 

Andrea has an MSc in Conservation and Land Management and has spent much of her working life using these skills in Local Government and Natural England, where she was involved particularly in countryside and community activities. She is now an environmental consultant working in stakeholder engagement, green infrastructure, sustainability and environmental management issues. Andrea also provides sessional lecturing support on the Conservation and Woodland Management BSc course at Hadlow College.

Martin Garwood


Elected to Council 2009

Chair of People Engagement Committee

Martin has been a keen bird-watcher since early teens. He has spent his working years in education as teacher, primary school head, local government adviser and OfSTED inspector. He continues to do consultancy work in Kent schools and for the NHS. He owns a small woodland, part of a Local Wildlife Site which he is restoring to enhance its biodiversity. Martin has worked as a volunteer for the RSPB and currently for a local charity, Tonbridge Welcomes Refugees. He is supporting The Wildlife Trust’s project to set up a nation-wide network of nature-based free schools.

Victoria Golding


Elected to Council 1981

Chair of Conservation Committee

A member of the Trust for many years, joining in 1971 and being an active volunteer. Before retirement she worked as a librarian and in the family business. She brings to the board meetings a strong institutional memory and deep commitment to the Trust, to volunteers and the volunteer green team, and to the Local Groups.

Graham Hill

Honorary Secretary

Elected to Council 2011

Member, Audit Committee

Graham was chief executive of several information and financial service businesses, including a public company. He is Vice Chair of the housing association, Town and Country Housing Group, where he chairs the Audit Committee and has been a non-executive Board member since 2012. He brings an understanding of good governance and of strategic and financial management.  

Dr Caroline Jessel


Elected to Council 2016

Member, People Engagement Committee

NHS England Lead for the south region Sustainability and Health network. She has been a GP for 30 years in Kent and has always had a strong interest in the relationship between the environment and health. She is Chair of Kent Nature Partnership, Chair and founder of Dandelion Time, a charity which has an innovative approach to helping children with emotional and behavioural difficulties making therapeutic use of the natural environment. She brings to the Trust an immense amount of experience and understanding of the relationship between health and the natural environment and a very significant level of management experience.

Richard Kinzler


Elected to Council 2012

Member, Conservation Committee

American born, works as an orthopaedic specialist which brings him in contact with hospitals and surgeries around the country. He says that his interest in all aspects of wildlife started when he lived in North America and never really stopped when he moved to Pegwell. His home is adjacent to the Sandwich and Pegwell Bay National Nature Reserve. He took a sabbatical from work there for a year as biodiversity warden. Since 2006 he has been a volunteer on monitoring and recording and leading guided walks. As a local resident he is a valuable link between the local community and our biggest nature reserve.    

Clive Maxwell


Elected to Council 2011

Chair of Audit Committee 

Clive is a senior civil servant with experience of working in a number of government departments. His interests include birdwatching and he is involved in setting up a trust to take on responsibility for running a large local park near where he lives. Clive brings to the Trust an insight into public policy, analytical thinking and senior management experience.

Mike O’Connor


Elected to Council 2002

Member of Audit Committee 

Mike has worked in IT Systems management in the public sector for many years and is currently a consultant providing the government with data security advice.

The Trust has invested a great deal in the development of IT systems capable of supporting sophisticated GIS systems, Accounts software and communications capacity. Mike brings to the Council skilled oversight and understanding of one of the Trust’s business critical resources.

Charlotte Osborn-Forde


Elected to Council 2009

Member, People Engagement Committee 

Chief Executive Officer of Involve Kent, a charity offering health and wellbeing services to enhance the quality of life for people, focusing on older people, carers, mental health and volunteering. She has a passion for volunteering, particularly engaging disadvantaged people and promoting diversity. She has a PG Cert in Management and Leadership for the Voluntary sector.

She brings to Council her knowledge of the challenges of managing a community-based charity and expertise in volunteering best practice.  

Colin Peters


Elected to Council 2015

Member, Audit Committee 

Colin was investment director of CCLA (Churches Charities and Local Authorities) Investment Management, until he retired in 2016. He brings a detailed technical knowledge of investment matters which helps the trustees when considering management of the Trust’s cash reserves and when talking to professional advisers such as the Trust’s investment managers. He has been an active local naturalist in the Sevenoaks area and is particularly active in the Kemsing Wildlife Group adjacent to the Trust’s suite of reserves and land under management in the Kemsing and Otford area.

Tim Simmons


Elected to Council 2016 (returning after a break)

Member, Audit Committee

A conveyancing solicitor with a wide knowledge of the legalities of land sales and purchases. He provides immense resource to the Trust in advising on conveyancing issues when purchasing or leasing land, and providing trustees with general legal advice. 

Nigel Steele

Trustee and Honorary Treasurer

Elected to Council 2013

Before retiring he was director at PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers), a tax specialist including amongst his many clients a number of significant local charities. He brings substantial financial and scrutiny experience and the capacity to advise on significant financial issues. 

Charles Tassell

Trustee and Vice-Chairman

Elected to Council 2015

Member, Conservation Committee 

A farmer in the Ulcombe area running a mixed fruit and arable farm. He came to know the Trust when we were helping him take his land into environmental stewardship. He is very active in the Kent Farming scene - current member of the Kent CLA Committee, chairman of Why Farming Matters in Kent, a director of Kent Rural plc and closely involved with the County Show. He brings he brings to the Council a farming perspective and his very wide set of connections with the farming community in Kent. He represents the Trust at national TWT (The Wildlife Trusts) events.

Dr Ian Tittley


Elected to Council 2008

Member, Conservation Committee

A scientific associate at the, having worked at the Natural History Museum for many years. He became involved in many coastal marine projects in Britain, Kent especially, and abroad. He was part of the Marine Nature Conservation Review and a member of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan Steering Group. He has published an atlas of the Seaweeds of Kent, contributed to Important Plant Areas on algae, published by Plantlife. He has undertaken a range of marine surveys for recording purposes. He was President of the Kent Field Club and a long term member of the Trust, and finally a Trustee of the Kent and Medway Biological Recording Centre.

 He brings a strong and richly informed perspective on marine conservation issues. With the passing of the Marine Act this is an increasingly important area.

Dr Chris West


Elected to Council 2015

Member of Conservation Committee 

Chris has a DPhil in Ecology from Oxford, was a founder director of Bioscan UK Limited, a respected environmental consultancy, and has worked internationally as an environment adviser for DFID (Department for International Development) before becoming director of Shell Foundation, working to stimulate sustainable business enterprise in Africa.

He brings to the Trust experience of working as a trustee for other environmental charities such as the Overseas Development Institute, wide ranging management experience and a significant focus on UK and world environments and high level governmental operations.  

How to become a Trustee of Kent Wildlife Trust

Any member of the Trust can seek nomination for election as a Trustee: you request a form (call or email the Trust), to complete it and to ask two other members to second the nomination.

A meeting with the Chief Executive and possibly other Trustees will ensure that you understand the Trust and the duties that fall to a Trustee.

Being a Trustee is a voluntary and unpaid role and the responsibilities are onerous. There are a few conditions that you have to meet before you can become the Trustee of any charity; under the scrutiny of the Charity Commission, these are being applied increasingly rigorously, so there are checks to be made. Trustees are required to ensure that they have the right skills on the Board.

You would then stand for election as a Trustee by the membership at the Annual General Meeting. In recent years the elections have not been contested so this has been a simple process. Occasionally a prospective Trustee will be invited to join Council (co-opted) before they are elected at the following AGM.

All Trustees have to step down or stand for re-election after a three-year term and both Trustees and Honorary Officers have fixed terms of office. The Chair and Honorary Officers are elected to their office by the Trustees from the Trustee body.

If a member of the Trust has an interest and understanding of our work, and skills or knowledge that Council lacks, they might be invited to seek nomination as a Trustee and then nomination and election happens as above. Of the current Trustee body about one third sought nomination themselves. There are regular open invitations to the membership for individuals to seek nomination as a Trustee and occasionally there is an item in Wild Kent – the Trust’s membership magazine.

These arrangements are defined in the Trust’s Memorandum and Articles of Association, the founding document, and are typical of all the Wildlife Trusts. Many membership Charities will have similar arrangements.


FilenameFile size
Kent Wildlife Trust Memorandum and Articles of Association221.09 KB