How we're run
What we do
Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust is the leading wildlife conservation charity working to protect and enhance the wildlife and wild places of Leicestershire and Rutland. For over 60 years we have been saving wildlife and engaging people with nature. We believe Leicestershire and Rutland should be rich in wildlife for the benefit of everyone - with more wildlife, more wild places and more people having a strong connection to nature.
How we're organised
The Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust is a local registered charity (number 210531) concerned with all aspects of nature conservation. The Trust is a membership organisation, governed by its Memorandum and Articles of Association. 16,000 members currently support the Trust’s work.
The Trust is managed by a Council of Trustees (elected from its members) who oversee the governance and strategic direction of the Trust. You can find out more about these individuals and the skills and expertise that they bring to us below. We advertise council roles on our Jobs page, so keep an eye out if you're interested in joining as a Trustee. The day-to-day work of the Trust is delivered by a team of 30 staff assisted by more than 700 active volunteers. In addition, we have a network of local groups in the two counties that support our work.
Chairmain - Andrew Cotton
Andrew was born and brought up in Manchester, where from a young age the nearby hills of Derbyshire always beckoned. He studied at Birmingham University, graduating with a doctorate in civil engineering and is a Chartered Engineer and a member of the Institution of Water and Environmental Management. Andrew works in international development in water and sanitation and is currently Director of a self-financing research, education and consultancy institute (WEDC) with a staff of 25, at Loughborough University. The issues faced at work are in some ways not dissimilar from those facing the LRWT, namely running an organisation with charitable status and strong values in a business-like way. His work has involved 30 years of international travel working for international agencies and NGOs in countries as varied as Guyana and Afghanistan – it is hard to pick a favourite, but eastern and southern Africa (for the skies as much as the wildlife!) and India figure prominently. He has lived in Shepshed since 1980 and been a member of the Trust from around this time. A keen gardener striving to maintain a wildlife-friendly garden, he is particularly interested in flora and loves visiting both the upland reserves in Charnwood and the easterly limestone areas. Music is Andrew’s other consuming interest; he was Chairman of the Rutland Sinfonia (a full amateur symphony orchestra) from 2005-2011, where he has also been the clarinet player for 30 years. He was elected as a trustee in 2011 and hopes to have more time to become and active volunteer soon.
Hon. Treasurer - Ann Tomlinson
Ann was born and educated in West Cornwall. After a degree in history at Oxford University, she moved to London, qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 1982. She spent most of her career in the City of London, specializing in investment business. She latterly worked for a succession of financial services regulators, where she was responsible for developing and implementing policy for marketing, conduct of business, financial adequacy and compensation, at both national and European level. Ann and her husband John moved from London in 1998 looking for somewhere nice to live, and found Rutland. Ann ran her own consultancy business for several years and started volunteering at Rutland Water. In 2002 she became a member of Trust Council and Honorary Treasurer.
As well as her Trust activities, Ann chairs East Midlands Environment Link, a grouping of environmental NGOs monitoring the impact of government policy at a regional level. She is also is the out-going Chair of the Rutland Natural History Society. Ann has always had an interest in natural history and finds it very satisfying that her business and policy skills can be used in helping protect the natural world. She has travelled extensively, usually looking at wildlife on the way, and has a particular fondness for Northwestern USA, central Europe, Southern Africa, pachyderms (not often found in Rutland), and all small cuddly animals.
Hon. Secretary - Maggie Morland
Maggie moved to Leicestershire thirty years ago after a childhood and further education in Lancashire and Cumbria. A career in teaching and residential social work followed, and she gained a Masters degree in Education at Nottingham Trent University while teaching in Ruddington near Nottingham. Her final post with Nottinghamshire County Council was as Head of Environmental Education Day Centres, organising and leading activities for visitors ranging from nursery schools to universities. Since then, Maggie has worked as a freelance ‘Learning Outside the Classroom’ Educational Development Consultant, creating wildlife, environmental and heritage-based educational materials for Local Authorities, Country Parks, Local Councils, charities, environmental partnerships and businesses across the East Midlands. Maggie has been a member of LRWT since the 1980s, organising talks and other events with the Charnwood Local Group for many years. She has been a Council member and Honorary Secretary since 2009, enjoying her role supporting and helping to develop the educational activities of the Trust. Since childhood Maggie has always loved wildlife watching and conservation activities of any kind, walking, travelling, gardening and painting wildlife and landscapes in many different media. Last year she also volunteered for the role of Tree Warden in Woodhouse Eaves and helped organise a recent Parish BioBlitz.
Vice Chairman - Anthony Biddle
Anthony Biddle has been a member of Trust Council for over 30 years. He is a Chartered Biologist and was, until his retirement in 2013, Technical Director of a private vegetable research organisation. As a plant pathologist, he has specialised in crop protection and as a keen naturalist, has an appreciation of the need to integrate wildlife conservation with profitable agricultural production. He is Chairman of the Rutland Group of the LRWT and is very 3 much involved in the organisation of local events for Rutland members.
Trustee - Bob Bearne
Bob moved to Leicestershire in 1984 to take up a job as a Probation Officer with Leicestershire & Rutland Probation Service, with whom he still works, now as an Assistant Chief Executive Officer. He has also been Chair of the Governing Bodies if two different schools. Bob has always been a keen amateur naturalist, a love for which he got from his father. His teenage son is a very keen and knowledgeable naturalist, particularly regarding birds, and many days and weekends are spent by them birdwatching around the country or locally. Whilst not claiming any specialist or professional conservation or environmental knowledge, Bob hopes to bring his knowledge of strategic planning, staff management and budgeting to his role on the Trust Council. In addition, having lived and worked in the city of Leicester for many years, he is particularly keen to broaden the demographic of those engaged in the work of the Trust to those living in urban areas without ready access to the natural world.
Trustee - John Bleby
Born and bred in Leicester, John has lived in Whetstone with his partner and two step-children for the last three years after spending the previous decade in Foxton. He has spent the last 20 years working in sales and marketing of laboratory equipment primarily to the NHS and he holds an advanced certificate in marketing, a diploma in management and a Masters degree in Biomedical Science. Wildlife in general and birds in particular have been a passion since childhood evenings spent dissecting owl pellets at Young Ornithologists club meetings at Beauchamp College in the early 1970s. He is a member of the BTO, RSPB & LROS and has been a trustee of the LRWT for the last two years having been a member for around 10 years.
Trustee - Tony Clarke
Tony Clarke became a member of Trust Council in November 2017. After graduating in Economics he began his career in personnel management in the steel industry. After several years of private sector experience, he was recruited into the Civil Service. He worked for the 4 Department of Education and Skills, holding policy responsibilities for the administration of several Government programmes designed to support the labour market. During his time with the Civil Service he spent two years on loan to the Canadian Federal Government – advising them on their labour market policies and programmes. On his return he moved to take charge of a Borough -wide regeneration partnership in Rotherham, bringing together the main public, private and voluntary sector organisations to work together on multi-million pound improvement programmes, addressing both economic and social problems. Tony has always had a strong interest wildlife and conservation and on retirement from full-time employment has been able to devote more time to helping the Wildlife Trust movement and pursuing his passion for wildlife photography. He spent 5 years as a Trustee for the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and is also a member of the RSPB and the National Trust. He moved to Rutland in 2016, where he hopes his skills and experiences to date will be of value to the Leicester and Rutland Wildlife Trust.
Trustee - Linda Jones
Linda is a long term member of the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust and a Fellow of the RSPB. She has been an active volunteer at Rutland Water Nature Reserve since January 2010, where she has done a variety of roles, including in the visitor centres, the Rutland Osprey Project, the WildSkills volunteer group for young people, work on the planning of the Volunteers Training Centre, chairing the Volunteers' Forum and helping out at Birdfair. Linda has been a birdwatcher since her early 20's and has enjoyed wildlife and birdwatching trips to The Gambia with the Rutland Osprey Project three times, Kenya, South Africa, Svalbard, India, Scotland, a volunteer researcher in Namibia, and as part of other holidays. She loves North Norfolk. Linda was born in Leicester, brought up in Leicestershire and has lived in Hallaton for the past 29 years. She attended University College London where she received a BA Hons degree in Medieval and Modern History and studied at Leicester University for her postgraduate probation training and the Diploma in Social Work. Her career was in Criminal Justice. She was Chief Probation Officer in Leicestershire & Rutland for 16 years, worked in Prison Service Headquarters for 3 years leading on women prisoners and prisons, and then a Senior Civil Servant/ Regional Commissioner for Prisons and Probation, before she retired in December 2009. Linda's career has given her wide experience and skills in leadership, strategic and operational planning, budget/ performance monitoring and management, partnership working, equal opportunities and policy formulation. Linda was given an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from both Leicester and De Montfort Universities in recognition of her work in probation locally and nationally. Linda has considerable experience in governance of charities. She has been a Trustee of 6 other charities, including current roles of Chair of the Board of Trustees at Voluntary Action South Leicestershire (VASL), based in Market Harborough, for the past 7 years; and Chair of the Board of Trustees of her village Charity, 5 the Hallaton and Isabella Stenning Trust. She was also Chair of the Board of Voluntary Action Leicestershire (VAL) for 3 years between 2012 and 2015. In all of these organisations, she has led on reviews of governance and put in place systems in line with Good Governance as required by the Charity Commission, including risk registers, conflicts of interest registers, role descriptions for board officers, skills audits and the open recruitment of trustees.
Trustee - Andrew Moffat
Andrew is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, having originally qualified as a rural practice surveyor, and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He is also a Chartered Environmentalist and Chartered Geographer and Certified Facility Manager. Andrew has spent his career as a civil servant working for the Ministry of Defence in a senior management position. He has a MA from Kings College, London having earlier studied at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester and at the Joint Services Command and Staff College. 6 Andrew’s main skills and interests are in strategic real estate management, operational planning, sustainable development and conservation. He is a life member of Falklands Conservation, The Royal Scottish Geographical Society and the Royal Agricultural Society of England and an annual member of numerous organisations including the British Trust for Ornithology, the National Trust, the Country Landowners Association, the South Georgia Association and various other sporting and special interest societies. As well as being a trustee of LRWT he is a member of RSWT's Audit and Resources Committee, a local committee member for the CLA, Honorary Secretary of the Shackleton Scholarship Fund and Executive Secretary of the United Kingdom Falkland Islands Trust.
Trustee - Ray Morris
For over sixty years Ray’s life has revolved around biology which has been an important part of both his personal and professional life. A first degree in Applied Biology was followed by a doctorate in Environmental Virology. In 2013 Ray retired after 44 years working in the applied microbiology field including being the lead organiser of numerous international conferences on Healthrelated Water Microbiology, publishing in the scientific press, teaching at university level, supervising doctorate students and latterly running his own microbiology consultancy. His natural history interest covers most areas with a main passion being entomology. In 1976 Ray moved to Leicestershire and has been a life member of the Trust for over 30 years. In 1988 he founded the Leicestershire Entomological Society (LES) having been its Chair for most of the 26 years it has been in existence. Additionally, he edits the LES Occasional Publications Series that aims to make available the detailed research work of LES members feeling strongly that archived data has little use if it is not made available to aid our understanding of our natural heritage. He is a strong supporter of the Trust’s annual Recorder Conference and the Leicestershire & Rutland (VC55) Recorder Journal. Having carried out moth trapping in the south-west of the county for the last 30 years, he is now VC55 coordinator for records of Trichoptera (caddis) and the Opiliones (harvestmen). Ray has a strong belief that recording is an integral part of the “Wildlife Trust” ethos. The effectiveness of conservation measures can only be assessed through such monitoring to ensure that there is enhancement of biodiversity without damaging what was already present. The importance of the less studied groups in habitats, particularly invertebrates and lower plants, is not often considered during conservation activities. Wildlife conservation involves more than identifying important sites that can become reserves but should include areas where there is good biodiversity without rarity of species being a deciding factor in line with national Living Landscape initiatives.
Trustee - Ian Selmes
Ian is a Rutland resident who has a passion for walking, cycling, running and sea kayaking to appreciate the diverse environments and wildlife of UK, so has developed a keen appreciation of the value of nature conservation. As a teacher, a senior manager in a local secondary school, a leader in the education and professional development of teachers and a former Governor and Chair of Governors at a local primary school, he has broad experience of working with children and young people. As a geography and geology teacher he also has had a long-standing involvement in outdoor education and fieldwork. Diverse experience in committee work with a variety of universities and national organisations, as well as with a schools’ inspectorate, has provided him with a practical understanding of how to contribute effectively to teamwork, governance and strategy. Ian is a Chartered Geographer, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a recipient of the RGS’ Ordnance Survey Award for services to secondary education, a member of the Geographical Association and of its editorial board for Teaching Geography. Following a first degree in geography from Leicester University, specialising in glaciology and biogeography, he taught and gained a PhD (Education) in Edinburgh before moving back to the area.
Trustee - Helen Nott
Helen grew up in Hertfordshire and then studied Biology at University in York and a PhD in Animal Behaviour at Reading University. She moved to Leicestershire in 1988 to work for Mars (then Pedigree Petfoods) initially as an animal behaviourists studying wild bird feeding and developing a range of toys for dogs and cats. Her career at Mars moved to market research and then marketing and in 2008 she moved into the charity sector as a Director for the Woodland Trust. Helen now runs her own consultancy business supporting organisations that do good with strategy, audience insight, marketing and fundraising. She has worked with a number of environmental and conservation charities including The Wildlife Trusts, Earthwatch and the Soil Association, as well as a range of smaller regional charities from London to Sheffield. Helen’s love of wildlife was kindled by long walks with her Gran who was a mine of folklore and plant names. She is heritage warden for her village, a trustee for its community park and desperately tries to encourage her daughters to recognise plants. She’s keen to inspire more people to appreciate wildlife and to value it as part of their daily lives.
Trustee - Peter Williams
Peter lives in Anstey with his wife, Alison and is a father of two girls. Having moved to Anstey in 1979 he worked for Leicestershire County Council in various roles, including as Head of Environmental Management, until his recent retirement. With the County Council he was fortunate to be involved with various environmental programmes including land reclamation in the Leicestershire and South Derbyshire coalfield, National Forest, Country Parks and Rights of Way service, and Climate Change initiatives. Peter is a keen birdwatcher, having formed an interest in Norfolk and Cyprus in the 1960's and is ViceChairman of the Leicestershire and Rutland Ornithological Society (LROS) and is President of the Leicestershire and Rutland Ramblers. Peter is an Ambassador for the National Forest and a Board Member of the National Forest Charitable Trust. He enjoys volunteering at Beacon Hill and Watermead country parks and with LROS.
Full accounts are available on request
Want to learn a little bit more about us?
Our Strategy 2015-2020
The Wildlife Trusts - our work in context
Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust is an independent charity. We belong to a powerful conservation network of 46 Wildlife Trusts across the UK taking effective action to protect our unique natural heritage. The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT) acts as a national voice, generates support and provides leadership for the movement.
Together the Wildlife Trusts manage more than 2,300 nature reserves, campaign tirelessly on behalf of wildlife and run thousands of projects and events throughout the UK. The Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust is your local partner in this powerful conservation network.
Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust was founded in 1956 by a small group of naturalists and was formerly known as the Leicestershire and Rutland Trust for Nature Conservation. The Trust has grown considerably in recent years and developed important work for local wildlife and wild places and for local people who care about the future of their natural environment.
Get in touch
If you have any questions about any aspect of our work, or you'd like to support us, our friendly and enthusiastic staff will be happy to help.