Our Trustees

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is a registered charity with the Charity Commission in England and Wales (no 259558) and is a company limited by guarantee (no 959609). It has two wholly owned trading subsidiary companies, Staffordshire Wildlife Trading Limited (no 3387233) and Staffordshire Ecological Services Limited (no 6775503).

In accordance with the Articles of Association the affairs of the Trust are managed by the Board of Trustees (the Board). Find out more about Staffordshire Wildlife Trust’s Trustees here.
 

Chairman
Richard Higgs

Richard joined the board of Staffordshire Wildlife Trust in 2010 and became Chairman in 2015 after serving as Vice Chairman during 2014.
The former Director of Development Services for Staffordshire County Council, Richard has had a passion for wildlife for as long as he can remember, and his specialist subject is birds.
He has undertaken volunteering work for both the Trust and previously for the RSPB Coombes Valley.
Alongside his wildlife interest, he isalso a keen walker and gardener. He also very much enjoy holidays in this country and abroad which also tend to include a wildlife element, such as trips to Peru and Sri Lanka in recent years.

Vice Chair
Susanne Carr

Suzanne became a Trustee in 2010. She began her environmental career after graduating in Town and Country Planning and worked for 15 years as a chartered Planner in development management, policy planning and regeneration roles for various local authorities including High Peak Borough, Derbyshire.
Most recently CEO of a health and social care charity, Suzanne brings significant experience of leading charitable businesses, strategy development, identifying opportunities for and developing commercial services, stakeholder management and partnership building, service development and delivery and supporting and improving charity governance.

Paul Hackney
Secretary

The former Head of Legal Services with Stoke-on-Trent City Council became a Trustee at the Trust in 2015.
Having being a local government lawyer throughout his career, Paul is well versed in public law matters, such as highways and footpaths, common land and bye-laws, as well as the challenges of using constantly decreasing resources to meet every increasing demands.
He is a hands-on conservation and a co-founder of Staffordshire and Cheshire Barn Owl Conservation Project.

Treasurer
Ian Downing

Ian joined the Board of the Trust in 2015. He worked for Stoke-on-Trent City Council, retiring in 2009 having worked there for 40 years.
Wildlife has always been an interest of Ian’s and from a young age he has always been a keen walker, combining walking with his interest in wildlife.
He says bird-watching is his most enjoyable pastime, but wildlife generally is always close to his heart. 

Ruth Green
Ruth retired three years ago following an academic career of 25 years at Staffordshire University, first as a psychology lecturer, eventually moving to Head of Psychology, Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching and finally Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences.
She has a lifelong interest in wildlife, especially wild flowers. She also volunteers for the Trust in the office at Wolseley, and is membership secretary of her local nature reserve support group.

Philip Hunter
After completing a PhD in ecology, Philip was employed as a lecturer in zoology in the University of Khartoum. He then worked as a Senior Scientific Officer in the Agricultural Research Council before taking up a career as an administrator in the Department for Education and the Civil Service College.
He served in local government in London and became Director of Education in Staffordshire. He was appointed as Chief Adjudicator for Schools and has served as Chair of an NHS Trust. He was awarded a CBE in 1998 for services to education and knighted in 2008.

Bernard Price
Bernard Price, CBE, DL, has been a trustee since 2003 and a former Trust Secretary.
He trained as a solicitor and was Chief Executive of Staffordshire County Council from 1983 to 2003.
In his retirement he has been involved with a number of environmental charities, including the National Trust where he was Deputy Chairman of the Midlands Advisory board. He and his wife volunteer regularly for the Wildlife Trust, manning the front desk at the Wolseley Centre at weekends.

Michael Walker
Michael, who has been Head of Trentham Gardens and Estate since 2008 and a Trustee of SWT since 2012.
He is a Chartered Horticulturist, Chairman of the National Trusts Gardens and Parks Panel, a board member of the Staffordshire Destination Management Partnership, a Vice President of the Professional Gardeners Guild and a member of the Royal Horticultural Society Bursary and Awards Committee.
He has a wealth of experience in visitor management and estate management.

Nick Young
Nick graduated from Sheffield University in 1974 and trained as a Landscape Architect. He worked for several local authorities where he was head of the Landscape and Conservation Group within the Planning Department. He spent eleven years working for the Countryside Agency and its successor Natural England, where he led the organisation’s work on regional planning, and landscape, in the West Midlands region.
Nick is a member of the Boards of Staffordshire Wildlife Trading and Staffordshire Ecological Services, and chairs the latter. He has a particular interest in landscape scale conservation.

Rachel Kelsall
Rachel is a Chartered Marketer with more than 20 years' experience of designing, implementing and conducting strategic marketing campaigns across a broad spectrum of industry.
Her keen commercial focus has helped dozens of businesses to grow by reducing marketing costs, increasing market share and developing new products and markets.
Specialist areas include product management, brand architecture and DNA, sales pipeline development, social media planning, go-to-market projects, copywriting and NPD. She is also multi-lingual, counting French, German and Spanish in her linguistic portfolio.
Rachel lives in Trentham and enjoys walking the Trentham Estate, playing bridge and acoustic guitar. She also sits as a JP on the North Staffs Bench of magistrates.

Julia Hagan
Julia is a property lawyer in the heart of Staffordshire. She was co-opted to the Board in April 2016 and brings useful legal and business knowledge to the Trust.
Julia's professional experience includes a long stint in London acting on property and land acquisitions and foreign travel. Now settled back in her home town she enjoys taking advantage of the county's many country walks and nature reserves.
She enjoys walking in the forest with her daughter and their dog and is passionate about preserving our wildlife and natural habitat.