How we're run
We are run by a group of elected Trustees, volunteers who hold the financial and legal responsibility for everything Cornwall Wildlife Trust does.
Our Trustees bring a wide range of knowledge, expertise and experience to the charity and are responsible for approving our strategic plans, annual budget and Annual Report & Accounts. Trustees are appointed from our membership at the Annual General Meeting of the Trust each November.
The Chief Executive and Senior Management Team report to the Trustees, and run the day-to-day operations of Cornwall Wildlife Trust with a team of expert conservationists and staff.
Nick Tregenza, President
Nick was Chairman of Cornwall Wildlife Trust from 1984-1997 and, over the years, has acted on various Trust committees. Nick ran a campaign for the protection of moorland in Cornwall from agricultural reclamation, which led to the Penwith Moors ESA; in 1993 he was a Member of Study Group on Seals and Small Cetaceans of ICES; in 1995-1997, 2001-2002 he was an invited participant on the Scientific Committee of International Whaling Commission; and has been Hon. Sec European Cetacean Society and DEFRA nominee on Cornwall Sea Fisheries Committee.
Nick’s research interests include intertidal marine life; floristic change and cetaceans. In 1989 he set up a voluntary research group collecting cetacean sightings and data in Cornwall. This group identified the existence of a pelagic trawl dolphin bycatch and a harbour porpoise gillnet bycatch in UK waters. Nick initiated and ran the first 3 dedicated observer programs in the UK of cetacean bycatch in fisheries (set gill nets, drift nets, pelagic trawls) with various other agencies in the UK and Europe, having visited fishing communities in Senegal and Guinea-Bissau to gain a wider view of these issues. Nick has developed a self-contained cetacean echo-location click detection and logging device, 'the POD', now in use in 12 countries as a conservation research tool.
Mark Nicholson, Vice-President
Mark is a former Cornwall Wildlife Trust employee who left his post as Education and Publicity Manager in 2002, after ten years with the Trust, to work as a writer in a marketing agency. Since 2012 he has run his own business, Mark Nicholson Copywriting. A graduate in zoology (BSc and MPhil), Mark’s specialisms are amphibians, reptiles and pond life. He has been a member of CWT’s Council since 2004 and has previously held posts including Chair of the Finance Committee. He was elected as Chair of the Cornwall Wildlife Trust in November 2013, and is currently Vice-President.
Stephen Warman, Chair
Stephen has a degree in botany from Oxford University. He led two University Expeditions to the Seychelles, as ornithologist and botanist, and then worked as researcher, technical assistant and dogsbody with Oxford Scientific Films. He taught zoology at Flatford Mill Field Centre, including adult residential courses in small mammals, birds, freshwater biology and coastal ecology. He led wildlife and ecology trips, with his wife Carol, for the Field Studies Council, to the Seychelles and the Florida Everglades and then became warden of Skokholm Island in Pembrokeshire. From here he moved to work as Ranger Naturalist for St Abbs Head National Nature Reserve in south east Scotland where he was instrumental in setting up Scotland's first Voluntary Marine Nature Reserve; pre-dating any statutory protection of Scotland's sea and coast by many years.
Stephen moved to Cornwall in 1986 to work for what was then the Nature Conservancy Council. He was involved in many initiatives including the re-routing of the A30 around Goss Moor, the establishment of Lundy as the UK's first Marine Nature Reserve, the setting up of computerised biological recording in Cornwall and the greening of Cornwall's Community Strategy. He has made many appearances at meetings and conferences and has been a regular contributor to press, TV and radio coverage of environmental issues in the South West. Stephen worked closely with the Objective One European funding Programme to strive to make their outputs sustainable and became the first chair of the Cornwall Sustainable Tourism Working Group, a role which allowed him to get to know the CoaST Project and to support their goals.
With Natural England, and its predecessor English Nature, Stephen project-managed the implementation of the EU Habitats Directive in England and later worked in policy, futures and strategy to try to influence the shape of government's environmental programmes. Stephen opted to leave the public sector in 2011 in order to set up Eupraxis Environment, a consultancy that provides training and expert support in all aspects of the natural environment to raise environmental awareness, to reach sustainable solutions and to help individuals and organizations speak and operate with greater confidence and credibility on environmental issues.
Paul spent twelve years as Financial Director of the Cornwall Rural Community Council (CRCC), where he also served as Acting Chief Executive twice. The CRCC is a well-established Cornish charity, with a mission to enable “Cornish communities to be vibrant, sustainable and inclusive”. He was also Company Secretary, a position he still holds. He has lived in Cornwall for twenty years with his main interests being walking, reading, personal investment, messing with cars, painting and drawing. He wants to use his charitable financial experience to help other Cornish charities wherever he can and has become Treasurer for the Truro Sea Cadets, and does consultancy work for Cornwall Community Accountancy Services.
Paul has also been responsible for installing the first financial and administrative computer systems into certain Cornish newspapers, notably the West Briton, the Cornish Guardian and the Cornishman. He has been Treasurer for Cornwall Wildlife Trust since November 2012 and become involved in various other committees.
Steve has worked in environmental and conservation management for over 30 years, including time spent with the National Trust and several Local Authorities. He has been involved in development and delivery of many innovative projects and initiatives including the Tarka Project in Devon, the development of some of the UK’s first voluntary Marine Conservation Areas in Cornwall’s inshore waters, the development of the first Local Authority Performance Indicators for biodiversity as well as the Natural Control of Japanese Knotweed national research project.
In Cornwall, Steve instigated the first conservation management schemes at several of the county’s key sites such as Penhale Sands and Hayle - Gwithian Towans and has helped in conserving key habitats and species such as petalwort and shore dock at these sites. This work has been recognised internationally by organisations such as Plantlife, amongst others. He has been a member of various county, regional and national consultation and advisory groups including advising the Government on development of the Marine and Coastal Access Act and identifying priorities for agri-environment schemes across Cornwall. Previously, Steve managed Cornwall Council’s Living Environment Service established with the formation of the new unitary authority in Cornwall. Now working as an independent environmental consultant and running Explore in Cornwall, Steve has been a Trustee for several years, has chaired the ERCCIS Advisory Board Committee and currently sits on the Finance Committee and Conservation Strategy Committee.
Fred enjoyed a long career with the Forestry Commission (FC) - first as a forester before a short time in wildlife management research. Fred then became Conservation Adviser to FC Wales for 11 years followed by 20 years as Conservation Adviser to FC England developing the role to a senior level. He worked on a broad range of local and national level issues such as onsite advice to woodland owners and managers, woodland and forest conservation planning, good practice guidance and training, and helped develop national policy and delivery through forming and managing partnerships and targeted Forestry Commission Grant schemes.
Fred has had a life-long interest in birds and bird conservation and with FC and partner support was able to co-ordinate national research, survey and management aimed at reversing declines in woodland birds. On retirement in 2007 Fred and his wife took ownership of a small 20 acre farm in West Penwith which they manage primarily for wildlife.
Charlie has had a career of over 35 years in countryside management arriving in North Cornwall in 1985 to work for North Cornwall District Council as their Countryside/Environment Manager and later for Cornwall Council as their Strategic Environment Manager.
His professional experience has included the management of historic and natural land owned by the Council; the development of a strategic approach to future management requiring bids for significant funding packages from the HLF and Europe; the use of Countryside Stewardship, directly and indirectly, and the development and management of local and marine nature reserves.
Charlie has been a Member of the CWT since 1985 and became a Trustee in 2017. Charlie is currently chair of the People Committee.
Charlie and his wife Rebecca are developing a wildlife garden of about five acres at their home near Lanner, and he volunteers for Cornwall Wildlife Trust's Open Gardens scheme. Charlie has spent time over the last few years occasionally working for his son who runs a small independent Countryside Management contracting business, Naturally Green.
With a background in geological sciences he spent his working life in the Natural History Museum (NHM) and retired to Cornwall. With a longstanding interest in the natural sciences he became a member and later chair of Cornwall Geoconservation Group and was appointed a Trustee of Cornwall Wildlife Trust 6 years ago. He chaired the Trust’s Conservation Strategy Committee for three years until it was replaced by the Strategy Committee and currently sits on that committee and a number of others.
At the NHM he worked on collection conservation methodology and research and, as part of the management team, established and managed the Museums first Health and Safety department. He has advised on museum conservation and management in the UK and internationally and was a member of committees including the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property, the UK Institute for Conservation, Government Safety Forums and was a joint co-ordinator of the first World Congress on the Preservation and Conservation of Natural History Collections. He has published widely on museum issues including books and papers on the conservation of geological collections and museum health and safety management. Since retiring to Penwith he has been actively working on and publicising the recent geological history of Cornwall and currently chairs the Cornwall Geoconservation Group. He sees the work of the excellent staff and volunteers of the Trust as essential in raising public awareness on the key part our biodiversity plays in maintaining a healthy environment and local ecosystems.
I am a retired solicitor who practised in both the private and public sectors specialising in planning, procurement and governance. I also spent some time in legal publishing. I have been a trustee for six years. Currently I am vice chair of the Trust’s council and chair of the Strategy committee. I am also a director of the Trust’s consultancy company, Cornwall Environmental Consultants.
Like many members of Wildlife Trusts up and down the country, Dee has a lifelong interest in, and passion for, the natural world. She has been a Cornwall Wildlife Trust trustee since 2013 sitting on a number of committees. Her background and experience is in marketing and public relations having worked professionally at senior management level in both the public and private sector for more than thirty years. Dee has also been a parish clerk, a trustee of a hospice charity in Oxford and, for four years, a staff fundraiser for Cornwall Hospice Care. Locally, she is secretary of the Restronguet Creek Society leading Creek Wildlife Watch walks and events while encouraging local residents to record the wildlife on the creek for the Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. She says she is enormously proud of the work of Cornwall Wildlife Trust, the expertise, enthusiasm and knowledge of the staff and volunteers who care so much about the environment and do so much to protect Cornwall’s wildlife and wild places.
Gill Saunders, Honorary Secretary
Gill joined Cornwall Wildlife Trust recently when she moved back to the south west (she's originally from East Devon) and lives near Boyton. She has around five acres here that she is developing as a wildlife-friendly garden, and is working with the Devon Wildlife Trust on the restoration of a meadow. She currently volunteers with Bude Sea Pool and takes part in various beach cleaning and cleaner seas activities in her local area. Although she was a career civil servant (with an OBE ) she always been interested in - and in one way or another involved in - activities around wildlife and conservation. Gill is an experienced trustee. She is currently on the board of Phoenix Futures, a large charity working in the drug and alcohol rehabilitation field and with a strong record in conservation work under the 'recovery through nature' banner. She was also a trustee and the business manager of a London allotment site where she ran projects involving tenants and community groups in building and maintaining wildlife habitats around the site as well as raising awareness of wildlife-related issues in the locality.
Currently she's particularly interested in how future uncertainties around commercial farming post-Brexit will impact land use in Cornwall - and how responses to new regulatory and subsidy regimes may bring new challenges for habitat conservation and development.
Karen has a legal and commercial professional background and worked for BG Group Plc from 1985 to 2011 obtaining many years of management experience across a wide range of disciplines. Karen qualified as a lawyer with Linklaters then practised there for several years as a commercial lawyer. In BG Group Karen worked on several major projects and became Deputy General Counsel in 1997. Subsequently she had commercial and country management roles for BG Group in Trinidad and Canada.
Karen was an Environment Agency Board Member for six years from 2012 and chaired the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee, taking a particular interest in the work of the Devon Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly area, as well as the Solent and South Downs area.
Currently Karen is a governor of Cornwall College and is Chair of the Finance and Resources Committee. Karen is a member of the Chairs’ Group (Remuneration), and the Search and Governance Committee. Married with two grown up daughters her interests include hiking, rowing, skiing, sailing and working with environment groups including the National Trust and the Roseland Environment Action Team.
Fiona Wotton is Chief Executive of Creative Kernow, Cornwall's leading creative hub and cultural agency. Before her appointment she was director of one of the charity’s key programmes Cornwall 365 which promotes the region as a year-round sustainable creative destination.
Fiona has worked in charities for most of her working life. Before moving to Cornwall in 2009, she led fundraising campaigns for Macmillan Cancer Care and the University of East London and relocated to oversee the capital funding project for Tate St Ives.
She holds degrees from University College London, Birkbeck University of London and the University of Exeter. Her PhD investigated the politics of sustainable communities and developed new methods for engaging communities in social and environmental issues. She was a Clore Fellow in 2018/19.
Fiona lives near Penzance with her husband and twin daughters.
Lucy is probably best known as the co-founder of Frugi, an organic childrenswear brand based in Helston, Cornwall for which Lucy was awarded the MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2020 for services to ethical fashion design. She founded the ethical brand with her husband, Kurt, when she couldn’t find any clothing to go over her first born son’s environmentally friendly washable nappy in 2003. It was their dream to make ethical clothing a mainstream choice; to prove that you could be a profitable, successful business whilst doing everything “right”, i.e. in an environmentally and socially responsible way.
Fast forward 16 years and Frugi employs over 100 people, is available in over 500 outlets around the world including John Lewis, Next and Zalando, as well as through their own website www.welovefrugi.com. Frugi has been the recipient of three prestigious Queens Awards, in sustainability and export. It was also tagged as “One to Watch” in The Times Fast Track 100 awards 2016. Lucy herself was crowned Cornwall’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2008, as well as being a finalist in the “Business Woman of the Year” at the national Private Business Awards in 2017.
Having joined 1% for the Planet, right at the start – a global movement where businesses give 1% of their turnover to environmental charities, Frugi chose Cornwall Wildlife Trust as one of their recipients of their donations. This helped to fund CWT’s marine conservation work, particularly the Marine Strandings Network, for many years.
After Kurt was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer at the young age of 44, Lucy and Kurt decided to sell the majority stake in Frugi in 2018. Since then Lucy has enjoyed mentoring some other Cornish high growth businesses, and the couple have been very busy trying to get to grips with ensuring their newly acquired 76 acres of woodland is managed optimally for nature. Lucy’s background prior to Frugi includes a BSc in Marine and Freshwater biology from Queen Mary College, London University in 1993, working as a marine biologist for a pollution tracing company, being a Director at the Mullion Cove Hotel and several years working in the pharmaceutical industry in sales and marketing.
Stafford is an experienced business specialist with a keen interest in wildlife, nature and conservation. He has the experience of a number of executive and non-executive board positions under his belt and is well equipped to help guide or direct organisations, especially with regards to their commercial strategies.
He is well known as an experienced leader with a proven ability to identify opportunities, develop organisations and deliver significant results. His background includes business development, leadership, negotiation and resilience.
Career highlights include representing the UK digital media industry in Hong Kong; sitting on the Innovation, Research and Knowledge Strategy Board for Cornwall; and being part of the Strategic Management Board for Superfast Broadband in Cornwall. He has also carried out extensive international charity work, particularly in the field of disaster relief with ShelterBox as a Response Team member.
Originally from Hertfordshire, Stafford relocated to Cornwall in 2003 and can be often found walking through the Countryside accompanied by a four-legged friend, or more recently tending to some recently acquired woodland near his home in Falmouth.
Oliver Blount, Honorary Treasurer
Oliver found a derelict farmhouse near Camelford in 1998 and has spent the years since then restoring it as a family home. The farm has been tenanted and farmed for beef cattle until this year. A new plan for the land will focus more on environmental and ecological aspects. Prior to being able to spend more time in Cornwall Oliver had an initial spell in the army serving in the Far East with a Gurkha regiment; and latterly a 35 year career in financial services principally in London and with time spent in New York, Milan, Istanbul and Eastern Europe.