Meet our Trustees

Read all about our Trustees . . .

Chairman: SIR GRAHAM FRY retired from the British diplomatic service in 2008 and lives near St Neots. He speaks Japanese and spent 12 years in Japan on three postings, the last as ambassador. His other overseas postings were to France and Malaysia, and he has a number of part-time appointments with companies and a university. Graham has been bird watching since 1973, and in 1993 helped to translate the text of A Field Guide to The Waterbirds of Asia published by the Wild Bird Society of Japan and distributed to Asian conservationists. From 2009 to 2016 he was a member of the Council of the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, and joined as one of our Trustees in 2012. Graham has served as Vice Chairman since October 2014.


Vice Chairman: Professor WILLIAM STEPHENS is an ecological scientist by background. The majority of his working life has been at Cranfield University in Bedfordshire, specialising in the effect of climate on plant growth culminating as Head of the Institute of Water and Environment until 2006. Since then, he has been working in the Vice-Chancellor’s Office, latterly as University Secretary. He chaired the University Board for Energy and Environment responsible for the University’s environmental performance. William is a Chartered Environmentalist and was a Trustee of the Marston Vale Trust for three years. He also served as a Trustee for the Bedford Charity for 10 years and as a Commonwealth Scholarship Commissioner for six years.


Dr Jenna Bishop

Honorary Secretary: Dr JENNA BISHOP’s professional career was as a solicitor, both in private practice and for the National Trust in the Legal Department, where she worked on property law, public access and conservation matters. She has an MA in Environmental Law, and completed her PhD thesis on the impact of different land tenure arrangements on the rural environment. Jenna has also worked as a university lecturer and on research projects with various conservation organisations, and joined as a Trustee in 2010. She lives in Cambridgeshire with her husband, Chris, and two teenage boys, and is involved with several local charities.


Honorary Treasurer: JAMES FANSHAWE is a chartered accountant and farmer. He was a partner in PriceWaterhouseCoopers for 20 years until his retirement in 2006. In partnership with his wife, he is now a livestock farmer of 450 acres of grassland in Northamptonshire with a sucker cow herd of pedigree Beef Shorthorns and a flock of breeding ewes, including rare and native breeds. His farm is in a Higher Level Stewardship conservation agreement. He also has experience of policy work with DEFRA, meat processing and advisory work for farmers though AHDB Beef and Lamb and the National Beef Association.


Chairman of the Conservation and Education and Community Committee: STEWART LANE retired in 2008 after 35 years promoting wildlife conservation within the statutory nature conservation organisation latterly Natural England. He worked variously in Cumbria, Wiltshire & Norfolk as well as holding national posts on land use policy, partnership working, and National Nature Reserves. He has a particular interest in land management, protected areas and access and is delighted to continue to support conservation as a Trustee, a role he has held since 2011. He believes that the Trust’s commitment to promoting Living Landscapes is essential if we are to have a country rich in wildlife in the future.


Dr SAMUEL BROCKINGTON  studied Plant Biology at the University of Edinburgh, before gaining a PhD at the Florida Museum of Natural History, USA. He is currently a Lecturer at the University of Cambridge, and Curator of the Cambridge University Botanic Garden. Here his research group pursues a variety of questions relating to the evolution of plant biodiversity, particularly within the flowering plant order Caryophyllales. In his role as Curator, he is interested in how plant biodiversity is held and managed across the world’s ex-situ collections, and its utility for ecological restoration.


Dr SHARON ERZINÇLIOĞLU studied Zoology at Bangor University in North Wales in the late 1970s, and then moved to Durham to pursue a PhD in Animal Behaviour where she investigated the foraging behaviour of American mink. At Durham, she met her future husband, a fly (specifically Diptera, Calliphoridae) taxonomist and the couple moved to Cambridge in 1984 and started a family. While the children were small she kept up her interest in the natural world, working part-time as a science copy editor for Cambridge University Press on various books and the journal Animal Conservation.
Returning to a full-time research career in the late 1990s she joined the Medical Research Council’s Cognition & Brain Sciences Unit (CBU) where she joined the Environment Group, serving as Chairman for the past 3 years.
In her spare time Dr. Erzinçlioğlu enjoys gardening, countryside walks, travel, films and volunteering with the Cambridge Mammal Group and the Wildlife Trust’s Ecology Group.


MARION HESSION is a retired Bedfordshire Lower School Headteacher.
A long-time member of The Wildlife Trust, she is an active member of the Bedford Local group where she has held a variety of positions. She has a keen interest in community engagement and has served on the Conservation, Education and Community Committee for some years.


CHRIS PULLEN followed a career teaching Physics by forming a Commercial Landscape Company. His years of experience in landscape work have given him a practical knowledge of how to maintain the Trust’s reserves, together with the ‘hands on’ experience of operating a large variety of maintenance and construction equipment within both the horticultural, amenity and arboricultural environments. Working with and managing employees within this industry has made his aware of the importance of Health and Safety, combined with efficient working practices, and he has a good knowledge of accounts and employee legislation. Mr Pullen is currently an active volunteer for the Trust and a grazier with his sheep on the Totternhoe reserves.


Paul Solon

PAUL SOLON trained at the University of Bristol (LLB 1970) and The College of Law, Guildford and qualified as a Solicitor in 1973 and as a Notary Public in 1977. For many years he worked as a commercial lawyer in London, acting for public and private companies in the shipping, food, publishing and transport industries. Since 1990 he has specialised in trusts, including charitable trusts and now practises independently for a select number of high net worth individuals and families. Paul has advised charitable institutions for many years and in Cambridge he has advised the University and several colleges on charitable issues. Currently, he is a trustee of the University of Cambridge Veterinary School Trust and of the Geoffrey C Hughes Charitable Trust. He is secretary of the corporate charity The 9/11 Foundation. He has long been interested in nature and conservation issues and is a member of several environmental organisations.


Dr EDGAR TURNER is Academic Director in Biological Sciences and at the Institute of Continuing Education; an affiliated researcher in the Insect Ecology Group, University Museum of Zoology; and a Fellow at Clare College, University of Cambridge. He has been involved with the Wildlife Trust BCN since 2006, when he worked as an Ecology Groups Officer on a project studying Duke of Burgundy butterflies and other species at Totternhoe Quarry. Since then, his research has concentrated on the impacts of deforestation and oil palm expansion in Malaysia and Indonesia. He joined the Conservation, Education and Community Committee in 2014 and became a Trustee in 2015.


Dr Matt Walpole

Dr MATT WALPOLE is a conservation biologist with 20 years post-doctoral experience in conservation research, practice and policy. His career in academia and, more recently, in the international NGO sector has combined ecological, economic and social perspectives to improve decision-making from local to global scales. This has included work on community engagement and participation in wildlife conservation and reserve management. In his current role he advises governments and the international community on the implications of biodiversity change. He also directed the UK National Ecosystem Assessment to improve understanding of nature’s value to society. Matt has lived and worked in Cambridge for the past decade, and in a professional capacity contributes to a range of governance processes including the Steering Committee of the Cambridge Conservation Initiative. He is also part of the senior management team at UNEP-WCMC responsible for the performance, strategic growth and sustainability of the organisation. 


President BARONESS YOUNG OF OLD SCONE started a new 4 year term in 2013.

Vice President SIR CHARLES CHADWYCK-HEALEY, Bt

Vice President MR MICHAEL ALLEN

Vice President PROF DAVID BELLAMY

Vice President MR HUGH DUBERLY

Vice President MR IOAN THOMAS