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.
Dr Chris West (Chairman)
Chris has a DPhil in Ecology from Oxford, was a founder director of Bioscan UK Limited, a respected environmental consultancy. He was senior environment adviser at DFID (Department for International Development) before becoming director of Shell Foundation, where he supported social enterprises deliver clean energy and sustainable transport solutions in Africa and Asia. He is currently a member of DEFRA’s “Darwin Expert Committee” which funds biodiversity projects overseas, and a Partner at Sumerian Partners.
He brings to the Trust wide-ranging management experience, knowledge of the philanthropic sector, and significant links with businesses, investors and governmental agencies seeking to protect and manage the environment. He owns a woodland Local Wildlife Site and has restored a former hay meadow.
Charles Tassell (Vice-Chairman)
Charles comes from a background of running a mixed fruit and arable family farm on the greensand ridge, overlooking Headcorn and the Weald of Kent. He came to know the Trust when we were helping him take his land into environmental stewardship. His time is now spent overseeing the farm business units and promoting the importance of the rural sector.
Charles is a director of the Kent County Agricultural Society, Vice Chairman of the Kent CLA committee and Chairman of the Kent committee of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution.
Charles brings to the Council a farming perspective and his very wide set of connections with the farming community in Kent.
Nigel Steele (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.
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.
Dr Caroline Jessel
Dr Caroline Jessel was the NHS England Lead for the South Regional 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 the chair of the Kent Nature Partnership and a Trustee of Kent Wildlife Trust and the Wealden Literary Festival. She is very interested in the challenges of creatively addressing root causes of both physical and mental health difficulties while reconnecting with nature.
She is the chair and founder of Dandelion Time, which has an innovative approach to helping children affected by trauma, abuse and neglect. This unique therapeutic model is a successful example of ecotherapy.
Originally from Pennsylvania in the US, Richard has been working as an Orthopaedic specialist for the last 25 years. 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 in 2009 as Biodiversity Warden but has been a Volunteer since 2006 covering many aspects from Leading Tasks, Monitoring, Recording and Leading guided walks. As a local resident, he is a valuable link between the local community and our biggest nature reserve as well as the Chairman of the Pegwell & District Association a Conservation Charity. Invited to join the Board of Trustees in September 2012 by John Bennet and Fidelity Weston.
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.
Katherine qualified as a Chartered Accountant with a forebear of PwC in 1994. Local to Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest, she has been involved with the charity based there, the Friends of Bedgebury Pinetum, for more than a decade, first as an educational volunteer, then a trustee, and now as the charity’s manager. Working in partnership with Forestry England, the charity supports the conservation work of the National Pinetum. Along with her Bedgebury charity knowledge and love of trees, Katherine brings the Trust her passion for environmental conservation and her years of commercial and financial experience in Kent business.
Tamarin is currently Head of Partnerships at Prostate Cancer UK having had a varied career in fundraising since 2005. Considered a strategic, creative, and enthusiastic fundraising professional she has led teams to successfully create and grow highly profitable partnerships and projects. As a specialist in commercial partnerships, she is passionate about creating activations that achieve significant impact, with measurable returns on investment for both the partner and the charity. Her varied background in fundraising, including individual giving, community, and events, has given her a creative approach to income generation and project delivery. Recognised as a valued member of the fundraising community she has contributed to several conferences and awards events to push forward conversations around fundraising and philanthropy across the sector. This has included involvement on the Third Sector Advisory Panel, presenting on ‘The Changing Face of Fundraising and Futureproofing post Covid19’ at the 2020 Third Sector conference, and a number of judging opportunities including at the Business Charity Awards in 2019 and Purpose Awards EMEA 2020. Alongside Kent Wildlife Trust Tamarin is a very proud trustee for Abbey Physic Community Garden in Faversham. Out of the office, Tamarin is a certified Yoga Therapist specialising in mental health and an avid amateur gardener obsessed with hedgehogs.
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.