Meet our trustees - Martin Kyndt

06 June 2021 | Posted in SWT News , Emma Chaplin
Meet our trustees - Martin Kyndt
Martin Kyndt and Toku

Tell us a bit about yourself 

I've lived in Sussex for 26 years and now live just outside Burgess Hill. My background has always been in the voluntary sector and international development. I worked for Christian Aid for 15 years, in various roles, including Director of Strategy, People Development, PR and Fundraising. 

More recently I've focussed on roles on several boards, including being Chair of Fitzroy Support, an organisation that works with people with learning disabilities and autism. Also, Shared Interest, a social investment fund that invests in Fair Trade projects.

How's lockdown been?

My back garden has been very helpful and a great place to see wildlife. I listen out for birds to ID them as much as looking out for them. The Song Thrush is my favourite. 

Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos) at Woods Mill

I've really missed singing with Sussex Harmonisers, an a capella group. We managed to do some outside singing for the first time in a year recently for an ex member celebrating his 80th birthday in Seaford. 

What drew you to become a Sussex Wildlife Trust Trustee?

I felt I had something to offer in terms of governance skills and experience. We have a biodiversity crisis and I've been passionate about wildlife since a young age. I'm a keen bird watcher. I'd also been a member of the Trust for a number of years. 

I am distressed by the amount of development this county is having to sustain and want to help instil a sense of sanity in the minds of planners who seem to be acting with impunity.  

How are you finding it?

The timing has been tricky with Covid - I haven't been able to meet everyone yet except on zoom. But I'm really enjoying working on the Trust’s governance - we're creating a manual for trustees at the moment. I've also been discussing the Trust's safeguarding with staff. Working with the staff team is a real privilege.  

I was delighted to visit the Rye Harbour Discovery Centre recently as well. What an achievement. I love the design. 

What would your ideal drink and cake order in the Lime Kiln Café there be?

Strong Americano and a slice of Red Velvet cake. Although the Victoria sponge I had when I visited was delicious. 

Where are your favourite places in Sussex to see wildlife?

Ebernoe Common and The Mens. The Mens is so magical. I always get lost but just love it. 

Cat, dog or….?

Dog. We had a beloved Japanese Spitz called Toku who sadly died last year.

Tell us something about yourself that people might not know.

I met my wife Jo whilst working as VSO volunteer in Papua New Guinea.

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