Meet our Trustees - Jon Cooper

31 May 2021 | Posted in SWT News , Emma Chaplin
Meet our Trustees - Jon Cooper

Tell us a bit about yourself

I live as a tenant of the Knepp Estate in Shipley, so my rent goes to the project. We moved here during lockdown and it has been brilliant, even if I spend most time in my bedroom on zoom! I have been developing a wildlife garden out the back, including a pond, prairie beds and veg patch. All enjoyed by the local rabbits. My day job is working in international development evaluating global health projects, for example in pandemic preparedness and vaccine equity - which is very current. 

What drew you to become a Sussex Wildlife Trust Trustee?  

Given the ecological crisis and ongoing species extinction, I have wanted for some time to contribute to supporting my local wildlife and its environment. Having a young son and experiencing with him an Sussex Wildlife Trust meadow and moth session last year really enthused me for everything Sussex Wildlife Trust does.

How are you finding it?  

I love the organisation, am so impressed by the expertise of its staff in multiple areas whether ecology, planning, advocacy or people engagement – it is truly multi-disciplinary, and is far greater than the sum of its parts in terms of its impact. I am looking forward to helping the team deliver a new strategy, focusing where it can make a difference in a very complex multi-stakeholder environment, especially as we contend with increased pressure on our environment through human activity. I would also like to see Sussex Wildlife Trust as a passionate advocate for racial inclusion and diversity in its reserves and more widely. Often our countryside is seen as no-go by BAME people, and that’s got to change.

Where are your favourite places in Sussex to see wildlife?  

Knepp for the African Savannah feel; The Mens for scrambling around and exploring with my 10 year old son.

When you first visit the new Discovery Centre at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, what will your drink and cake order be? 

Flat white with salted caramel brownie (this may reflect what I need now on my third zoom call of the day!).

Cat, dog or….?  

Dogs. We had three in Uganda all living outside. But none here as I am allergic to their dander, which is a shame.

Tell us something about yourself that people might not know.  

I packed in work and cycled from Brighton to the Tunisian Sahara, camping wild most nights – some time ago now.

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