The Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust staff by BBOWT
Meet the people behind the scenes at the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust
Steve is a British naturalist, writer and television presenter. You may have seen him on BBC TV shows such as Deadly 60, Lost Land of the Volcano, Expedition Borneo, or ITV's Fierce series. He loves rivers and the Thames Valley, Chilterns and surrounding areas are very special areas for him. In 2010 he took on the role of President of the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust because of his passion for local wildlife and enthusiasm for more children to be intrigued and inspired by nature. Watch him introducing BBOWT here.
Chairman of Board of Trustees
Sir Clive Booth
Clive Booth has been a member of BBOWT since coming to work in Oxford in 1986. His enthusiasm for the natural world was kindled by his experience working as a teenager part time on an old fashioned dairy farm in Cheshire, when agriculture and wild life were in a rather more harmonious balance than they are today! He is an enthusiast for working with landowners to create Living Landscapes and wild life corridors
He has a science degree with first class honours from the University of Cambridge and a doctorate in public finance from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was a Harkness Fellow. His early career was spent in the civil service. He was appointed Director of Oxford Polytechnic in 1986 and served as Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University from 1992 to 1997. He was knighted in 2003 for services to higher education.
In the last fifteen years he has chaired national bodies concerned with teacher training, nurses’ pay and police training and he has advised the World Bank on university development internationally. Until the end of 2010 he was UK chair of the Big Lottery Fund and oversaw the distribution of £4.2 billion of lottery money to good causes, including wildlife and the environment, over a six year period.
He is currently a trustee of the Lloyds TSB Foundation for England and Wales, an editorial board member of the Oxford Review of Education and is active in the Association of Charitable Foundations and Oxford Civic Society.
Estelle Bailey – Chief Executive
Estelle joined BBOWT in January 2014 following 16 years working in nature conservation, most recently as Chief Executive of Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust and Herefordshire Wildlife Trust. At BBOWT, Estelle’s main role is to ensure that the Trust’s charitable objectives are met by working closely with the trustees and staff to develop and deliver the strategic vision, and to ensure the onward sustainable development of the Trust. A keen ornithologist, and with a lifelong passion for wildlife, Estelle is spending as much time as possible discovering the wild places of Berks, Bucks and Oxon, and meeting BBOWT staff and volunteers.
To contact Estelle please email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patrick Taylor, Director of Operations
Patrick joined BBOWT in 2016. His role as Director of Operations brings together all the vital backroom functions that enable us to do our work - finance, HR, facilities & IT - as well as co-ordinating our business strategy with the Chief Executive. Patrick is very experienced in charity management including 15 years as CEO of the mental health charity Oxfordshire Mind where he developed the organisation through a period of expansion and change.
Patrick is a cycling enthusiast, passionate about the great outdoors, and a fervent advocate of the importance of nature for all our mental health. Patrick is also a Trustee and company secretary of ‘Arts at the Old Fire Station’, a pioneering arts charity working in partnership with the homelessness organisation Crisis.
Tom Beckett, Director of External Affairs
Tom joined BBOWT in April 2016 to coordinate and drive forward how the Trust communicates with people and organisations across the three counties.
From membership and fundraising through to press and advocacy Tom oversees a passionate team to ensure the best job is done in engaging people and organisations about the work of BBOWT. He believes that everyone can and should be enthusiastic about enhancing an environment that provides safe homes, water, air, food, wellbeing and inspiration.
Dr Kate Dent – Conservation & Education Director, Berkshire
Kate heads up the Trust's operations in Berkshire, including taking the lead on the development of new projects and partnerships.
She trained as a veterinary nurse at The Berkshire College of Agriculture, then moved on to the University of Reading to complete a BSc in Zoology and a PhD in Evolutionary Biology. Kate joined the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust as a member in 1996 and in 2001 started volunteering full-time. By 2002 she was working as a member of the Berkshire Reserves Team, and after a brief spell at Butterfly Conservation, she returned in 2010 to take up her current role.
Since then the Berkshire team has expanded quite significantly, partly as a result of developing the Trust's first environmental education centre in Berkshire, Woolley Firs, but principally as a result of the West Berkshire Council countryside service transferring to BBOWT in January 2014. This included the Nature Discovery Centre in Thatcham and a number of Commons, including Greenham and Crookham, and Snelsmore Common Country Park.
Kate is currently focussing on developing projects within the east of the county that will contribute further to BBOWT's strategic aims, especially those relating to improvements for wildlife outside of the Trust's own landholdings, and ones that reach people new to nature conservation.
Christopher Williams – Conservation and Education Director, Buckinghamshire
Chris joined the Trust in 2006. He has worked in the sector for more than 20 years and before joining BBOWT was a Regional Manager with BTCV, where he helped to develop the first Green Gyms in the country. In recent years Chris has overseen the development of College Lake as a key resource for the Trust and a visitor destination of regional significance. Chris is excited about our Trust’s Strategic Plan: Be part of nature's recovery and its ambitions to significantly increase the area of land that is wildlife-rich and engage and excite thousands of people about wildlife.
Chris is keen to take forward our work across Buckinghamshire. He has identified Bernwood and the Upper River Ray as key focus areas for conservation, and Milton Keynes as the place to develop a new urban Living Landscape project with local partners. Chris is very active through a number of local partnerships across the county, including the Natural Environment Partnership. He believes it is essential that different sectors work positively together to meet the needs of our environment, the economy and social and health objectives because they are so inter-connected. Chris keeps busy in his free time with his family, volunteering at a local cricket academy and indulging his love for music.
Neil Clennell – Conservation and Education Director, Oxfordshire
Neil has been fascinated by wildlife for as long as he can remember. He has worked in conservation biology for over twenty years, and has a BSc Hons in Biological Sciences and an MSc with Distinction in Environmental Assessment and Management. His past positions have included Head of Herpetology at Bristol Zoo, Field Leader of the hawksbill turtle recovery project for the University of the West Indies, and Senior Ecologist with a well-regarded ecological planning consultancy. He has also worked as an expert witness for the RSPCA and lectured on reptile biology and pathology to student veterinary nurses at Bristol University's veterinary school. Neil oversees the Trust's work in Oxfordshire, where he has lived for the past eight years, only wishing it wasn't quite so far from the sea.
Matt Jackson – Head of Conservation Policy and Strategy
Matt has worked in nature conservation for more than 20 years, and most of that time for Wildlife Trusts. Like so many of the Trust's staff, he began his career as a volunteer. He went on to manage nature reserves before changing tack and moving into policy work. During that time he developed a passion for botany, and when he can, still tries to keep his hand in practicing as a botanist.
Matt's work at BBOWT is focused on supporting the Trust's reserve and conservation managers to ensure they have the best available information to enable them to get the best outcomes for wildlife.
George Murray – Head of Marketing and Communications
George joined the Trust in 2004 and has overseen a number of major fundraising campaigns, including buying new nature reserves and the development of the College Lake visitor centre, as well as ensuring that there are sufficient funds to allow the day-to-day work to continue.
Before joining the Trust, George worked for both local and national charities in a variety of communication and fundraising roles. In his spare time, George works on his allotment and enjoys walking and cycling, as well as exploring wildlife both at Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust reserves and in the wider countryside.
Laura Pepper – Head of Fundraising
Laura joined BBOWT in the summer of 2016 following 12 years of fundraising and being a proud member of the Institute of Fundraising.
Fuelled by a lifelong passion for wildlife and heritage, Laura spent nearly 10 years working for the National Trust in a variety of roles across London and the South East region. Concentrating on major project and acquisition work, such as the famous Oxfordshire house Nuffield Place, the beautiful restoration of The New Inn at Stowe Landscape Gardens in Buckinghamshire to creating the appeal to save the White Cliffs of Dover. In the last few years Laura was fortunate enough to bring together the first fundraising department in The British Horse Society, using all income streams and enjoying being part of the Directors Board.