How We're Run

About Us

How We're Run

Birds at Seasalter, photo by Jim Higham

Meet Our Trustees

Like every Wildlife Trust, Kent Wildlife Trust has a Board of Trustees, elected by its members, that is responsible for the governance of the Charity.

All our Trustees are volunteers, representing a wide range of skills, experience and expertise, vital to holding the financial and legal responsibility for everything the Trust does.

From a range of backgrounds, they come together with a shared commitment to Kent Wildlife Trust's work and a passion for the natural environment and the part people must play in sustaining it is what unites us.

Our Trustees

Mike Bax (Chairman)

Mike Bax, Kent Wildlife Trust Chairman

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. 

Charles Tassell (Vice-Chairman)

Charles Tassell, Trustee and Vice-Chairman

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.

Nigel Steele (Treasurer)

Nigel Steele, Trustee and Honorary Treasurer

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.

Pauline Bateson

Pauline Bateson, Trustee

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.

John Bennett

John Bennett, Trustee

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 at a local dive club. 

Dr Bhupinder Singh

Dr Bhupinder Singh, Trustee

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

Andrea Byerley, Trustee

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

Martin Garwood, Trustee

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

Victoria Golding, Trustee

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

Graham Hill, Trustee

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

Dr Caroline Jessell, Trustee

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

Richard Kinzler, Trustee

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

Clive Maxwell, Trustee

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

Mike O'Connor, Trustee

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

Charlotte Osborn-Forde, Trustee

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

Colin Peters, Trustee

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

Tim Simmonds, Trustee

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

Dr Chris West

Chris West, Trustee

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 the UK and world environments and high-level governmental operations.

How to become a Trustee of Kent Wildlife Trust

We welcome and invite any member of Kent Wildlife Trust to enquire about becoming a Trustee. Though there are no specific qualification requirements, you must be eligible to stand for election under both company law and charity law and will need a range of skills and experience to contribute to an effective Board of Trustees.

All our Trustees are volunteers, elected at our Annual General Meeting and all have to step down or stand for re-election after a three-year term. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, then please get in touch.

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