Chief Executive - Adam Taylor
At the age of 3, Adam and the Taylor family moved from North London to the village of Tiptree in Essex. This move was pivotal, as opposite their new house was Essex Wildlife Trust’s ‘Tiptree Heath’ nature reserve; a site on which Adam spent thousands of hours playing, exploring and learning. 21 years later Adam became Assistant Warden at ‘Tiptree Heath’ which in turn led to roles including site Warden along the Thames Estuary and Living Landscapes Manager across the whole of Essex. In 2013 Adam moved to take up a senior management role as Head of Land Management for Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, then in 2019 accepted the huge privilege of becoming CEO at Gwent Wildlife Trust. Alongside work, Adam is studying for an MBA from Warwick Business School and renovating his house. His limited spare time is filled with reading anything that crosses his path, running and gardening.
Conservation and Land Management Staff
Our Nature Recovery team work hard to improve habitat resilience and species populations whilst our Natural Solutions team champion and realise environmental and social problems addressing the Ecological and Climate Crises
Gemma Bodé - Head of Nature Recovery
Gemma Bodé specialises is an ecologist. For the past 15 years at Gwent Wildlife Trust, she’s developed many externally funded conservation projects around Gwent, most notably our Local Wildlife Sites work. She leads our Gwent Levels and Newport activities including the £2.8million Heritage Lottery Funding, Living Levels Landscape Partnership Scheme. Gemma is our Gwent Levels Living Levels Manager/Deputy CEO.
Andy Karran - Evidence Manager
Andy Karran is an ecologist. He is happiest exploring a species-rich grassland or poking about in rock-pools, preferably with camera in hand. His work involves undertaking wildlife surveys, evaluating results and providing advice to ensure our precious habitats are preserved. Andy is our Local Wildlife Sites Officer.
Lowri Watkins - Conservation Monitoring Officer
Lowri Watkins joined Gwent Wildlife Trust in March 2016 as an Ecological Surveys Trainee on the LEMUR+ training scheme. Lowri was appointed a member of staff later that year and tasked with researching and writing the Trust’s new Nature Reserves Guide. Based in the Gwent Levels team, Lowri’s role sees her working across a range of projects, including managing the Water Vole Project, undertaking an audit of all GWT’s reserves and, most recently, coordinating our Reserves Monitoring Programme.
Mike Webb - Conservation Officer
Mike is a graduate of Queen Mary College, University of London, in Environmental Biology . He holds an MSc in Environmental Planning and is a chartered town planner. He spent many years in local government planning departments in North Wales before moving into the NGO sector. He has sat on several Welsh Government advisory panels representing the NGO sector, including the 2011 Independent Advisory Group into the future of the Welsh planning system, which resulted in the Planning (Wales) Act 2015.
Viv Geen - Ecological Surveyor
Viv is an Ecologist and graduated in Environmental Science at Plymouth University, and joined the NRA/EA where she worked in the planning department and then in the fisheries and conservation department. She then moved to Shropshire Wildlife Trust as Planning and Wildlife Sites Officer where she also managed the biological data system and worked on the landscape ecology project called Longstones. Viv has also worked in the private consultancy sector and as a self-employed Ecologist. More recently Viv has worked as Wildlife Monitoring Officer for a farming and wildlife charity in her home county of Herefordshire where she developed an interest in rare breeds, including her much loved Hereford cattle. She is passionate about all wildlife; but has a keen interest in plants and gardening. She is currently studying for a RHS Level 2 Diploma in Horticulture.
Joe Ryder - Conservation Grazing Officer
Joe has a degree in Environmental Pollution Science from the University of Glamorgan, having previously studied at Brooksby Agricultural College and Farnborough College of Technology. For the past 15 years he has been running Lower Gockett Farm in Monmouthshire, focusing on conservation management and improving wildlife habitats. I have created a 25 acre hay meadow that has seen the return of many plant and invertebrate species and has become home to Skylarks and Brown Hares. I’ve kept my own herd of organic beef suckler cows and flock of sheep. I’m am now using these skills and knowledge to help manage the grazed sites for the Usk to Wye reserves. I live locally and have walked through Pentwyn Farm many times, it’s a real pleasure to be working for the Gwent Wildlife Trust on such a beautiful and wildlife rich site!
Ben Boylett - Nature Recovery Officer
Ben joined Gwent Wildlife Trust (GWT) staff in April 2018. After graduating in a biological sciences degree from the University of Plymouth in 2015, he began volunteering with Gwent Wildlife trust working on a number of reserves across the Gwent Levels. Ben’s role involves managing the reserves on the levels, organising and leading practical volunteer group work parties with the Senior Reserves Officer.
Carys Solman - Nature Recovery Officer
Carys joined the Gwent Wildlife Trust team in December 2019, and is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Trust’s suite of grassland sites in the Usk to Wye Living Landscape area. Since completing an MSc at the University of Exeter in 2010, Carys spent 2 years working as Biodiversity Officer at Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, followed by 6 years managing nature reserves and delivering projects for the Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales.
Liz - Nature Recovery Officer
Gwent Valleys Reserves Officer Liz has worked for the trust since 2015. Following the completion of her Outdoor Education degree, Liz volunteered with the trust on a variety of reserves for over a year. She thoroughly enjoys all aspects of working outdoors and adores the Trusts Badger Face Sheep. She is happiest when exploring new places and learning new skills.
Natalie Waller - Head of Natural Solutions
Natalie joined the staff team in December 2018. Before that she worked for 10 years at Newport City Council as their Biodiversity and Education Officer, having graduated in Environmental Biology in 2006. Natalie leads the team based in Ebbw Vale, ensuring that they have the funding, resources and energy to deliver their education and conservation work. Natalie also champions education and community engagement across Gwent and is a Level 4 Forest School Trainer and Cambium Sustainable Associate Trainer, delivering accredited training in outdoor learning and forest school.
Ian Thomas - Wild Health Project Officer
Ian has a wealth of experience in working with under-represented groups. A lot of this engagement has been in the outdoors. Previous work undertaken has been with Youth Offending Service, Funky Dragon and Come Outside! Ian is passionate about the environment and wildlife, has 3 kids, 3 grand kids and 2 sheep dogs. In his spare time he likes to walk, read and play the blues.
Kathy Barclay - Senior Education Officer
Kathy joined the team in 2007. With a degree in Applied Biology degree, Kathy has worked for the National Rivers Authority (later the Environment Agency) as a Pollution Control Officer, Catchment Planner and later Customer Services Manager. Her role at GWT involves managing the Centre at Magor Marsh, delivering learning sessions for schools and community groups and organising events on the Gwent Levels. She is a Level 4 Forest School Trainer and Cambium Sustainable Associate trainer and delivers accredited training in outdoor learning and forest school for GWT.
Petra Mitchard - Climate Action Fund Officer
In 1989 I embarked on a career change from radiography to teaching and worked in the primary sector for 17 years. I have an MA in education and a Post Graduate certificate in Special Educational Needs and Inclusion. I am also a qualified Forest School Leader. During my teaching career I developed the school’s wildlife garden and pond, which are still used and loved today. I joined Gwent Wildlife Trust as an Education Officer in 2014. It was during my time as a GWT volunteer that I set up the wildlife quiz for primary schools and it has grown steadily since. I work with many schools, with university students and families and have established a group known as Elderflowers; those over 50 who love nature and being outdoors. I enjoy the variety of work and continually learning.
Rob Magee - Youth Engagement Officer
Rob graduated as an ecologist in 2011 and soon worked for the RSPB on the Red Kites of Ceredigion project in Mid Wales and BBC Springwatch at Ynys hir Nature Reserve in 2013. He helps Gwent Wildlife Trust raise income from a wide range of sources including businesses, our raffle, Lottery for Wildlife and events such as Race for Wildlife, Open Air Cinema and Autumn Challenge Walk. Rob has been managing the My Wild Newport project, which aims to connect people to green places in the city. He is also our Welsh Language Champion.
Core and support staff
Our core team work from our HQ in Dingestow, near Raglan in Monmouthshire - supporting our delivery teams by running the accounts, administration, finances, fundraising, communications and other management.
Leigh Danziger - Head of Finance and Administration
Leigh has been Finance & Administration Manager for almost four years but has been with Gwent Wildlife Trust since 2008. She has been involved with the voluntary sector for the last 28 years. Before moving into charity finance she ran her own business and has 15 year experience in the retail sector. Her love for wildlife was the driver to move out of the comers and into environmental and charitable work.
Anthony Cook - IT and Safety Officer
Ant's role at Gwent Wildlife Trust covers several functions, including IT, H&S and GDPR - having previously worked solely with the Eastern Valleys Team covering admin & marketing. Having worked in several different sectors covering different roles straight from school, Ant returned to higher education as a mature student before joining Gwent Wildlife Trust in 2011. Born and bred in the Gwent Valleys, Ant's love for wildlife and the local environment has been cemented with the knowledge garnered from working at GWT both locally and in the wider Gwent environment.
Jo Taylor - Finance and Administration Officer
I have worked in a variety of finance departments since 2007 and to support and develop my knowledge I completed AAT level 4 in 2015. I have a passion for nature, and previously volunteered regularly on practical work parties, surveys and as the Treasurer of a local group for Essex Wildlife Trust. My spare time is currently dedicated to renovating our house and looking after our rescue dog, but I like to get out and explore new areas whenever I can.
Sarah Coleman - HR and Volunteering Officer
Sarah joined Gwent Wildlife Trust in November 2020. She started her HR career in the private sector after graduating but has since worked in the third sector. She is a CIPD Associate and champions great working environments and cultures that enable great work and working lives. She is passionate about volunteering and has been a volunteer for over 13 years in various local groups including; school’s chess, foodbank and youth work. Sarah is pleased to be working for an organisation in her local area and is looking forward to working with the volunteers across all locations.
Debbie Stenner - Head of Fundraising and Communications
Debbie is responsible for our fundraising, membership and communications and wants everyone to be a positive force for wildlife and play their part in nature's recovery. After an early career in the computer games industry, Debbie travelled and worked for many years in diverse locations around the world before finding her 'natural home', working to build support for sustainable development and nature conservation in the place she grew up.
Lois Holroyd - Membership and Marketing Administrator
I'm responsible for the administration relating to memberships and assisting the Marketing Team. I also volunteer at a local community shop and café. I live on the English bank of the Wye, looking across to Monmouthshire. My husband and I share our gardens with goats, chickens, lurchers, otters and a wide variety of birds. We have buzzards and a barn owl family on our farm. I’m grateful for the opportunity to make a difference for the wildlife and habitats of Gwent, a county I am feeling increasingly at home in.
Sarah Harris - Senior Press and Communications Officer
Sarah joined GWT in June 2017. As a former journalist and editor Sarah jumped at the chance to work on her home patch of Gwent, in a role that allows her to combine two things she loves – writing and the natural world. Prior to joining GWT Sarah was a journalist for ten years, then worked at a number of third sector organisations, including WWF Cymru, in Communication/Media and Campaign roles. Sarah deals with all our media enquiries and led our successful #SaveTheGwentLevels #NoNewM4 campaign, gaining widespread media coverage and engaging support regionally and nationally. She proactively seeks to raise our profile at every opportunity, coordinates our social media channels and is editor of our membership magazine Wild About Gwent.