Trustees

Sussex Wildlife Trust is governed by a board of trustees with operational management for the Trust delegated to a Senior Management Team.

Please contact Maria Jonsson, Assistant to the Executive Officer, if you would like to find out how to become Trustee of the Sussex Wildlife Trust. mariajonsson@sussexwt.org.uk or tel: 01273 497526.

Carole Nicholson Chairman

Carole Nicholson

Carole joined Sussex Wildlife Trust as Honorary Treasurer and Trustee in 2011 and was elected as Chairman in 2015.

She spent 14 years with MEPC plc as Group Treasurer and Finance Director of the UK operation and subsequently spent 10 years in Consulting and Finance Director roles. She has also been a non-executive director and Chair of Audit Committees in several Ministry of Defence departments and at the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Carole is also an independent member of the South Downs National Park Authority and carries out several volunteering roles for Sussex Wildlife Trust including fixed-point photography across our nature reserves and lookering. She has been a member of Sussex Wildlife Trust since 2004.

Sue Walton Honorary Secretary

Sue Walton

Sue has been Chief Executive of the Pestalozzi International Village Trust since 2011. Prior to this she had a 25-year career in investment banking where she specialized in aviation finance. Sue’s first role in the third sector was as Chief Executive of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust before becoming Director (South London) for Groundwork London, an environmental regeneration charity.

Sue is also an Independent Director of Fly Leasing Limited, a Trustee of the Sussex East Area Meeting of Quakers, a Trustee of Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare and IPP of the Lewes & District Soroptimists. She enjoys scuba diving and photography, often combining the two pursuits! She has been a member of Sussex Wildlife Trust since 2004.

Linda Clark ​Honorary Treasurer and Chair of Business Committee

Linda Clark

Linda is a Chartered Accountant with over 30 years’ experience in sectors as diverse as Professional Services, Telecommunications, Property and Financial Services in both New Zealand and the UK. Since 2009 Linda has been acting as a part-time Finance Director for SME organisations and as a Trustee and Treasurer to selected charities.

Linda's upbringing on a New Zealand hill country sheep and beef farm instilled a love for nature and the outdoors from a very early age. When not working Linda will be found walking her two miniature schnauzers in either London or West Sussex, or holidaying with her partner (preferably in the sunshine!). She has been a member of Sussex Wildlife Trust since 2015.

Emma Montlake Chair of Public Engagement Committee

Emma Montlake

Having trained as a lawyer and worked for 10 years in commercial practice, it was after a year trip around Latin America that the seed was sown for a different sort of life. Emma gave up commercial practice and went to volunteer at the Environmental Law Foundation where she was then given her first job in environmental law.

Emma is now married with two small children and left London six years ago to settle in Lewes. She became involved with Sussex Wildlife Trust because she wanted something that would embed her in the local environmental community. Emma chairs our Public Engagement Committee. She has been a member of SWT since 2013.

Alan Stewart Chair of Conservation Committee

Alan Stewart

Alan is Reader in Ecology at the University of Sussex, where he has been teaching and doing ecological research since 1993. Previously, he worked at Cardiff University, Rothamsted Experimental Station and RSPB.

He started bird watching aged eight and wonders why it took him until his late teens to discover his other interests in plants and insects. Locally, he researches ways to restore species-rich grassland habitats, especially for insects.

Alan is also involved in the conservation of glow worms (the South Downs being one of the strongholds for this species), especially the extent that they may be affected by artificial lighting at night. Alan chairs our Conservation Committee. He has been a member of Sussex Wildlife Trust since 1994.

Dr Sean Ashworth Trustee

Dr Sean Ashworth

Sean grew up in Brighton and has spent his career looking after the environment following the completion of a PhD at the University of Exeter studying the ecology of the European eel.

He has worked at Southern Water and the Environment Agency in Sussex. Currently Sean is Deputy Chief at the Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority.

Sean’s involvement with the Sussex Wildlife Trust includes writing site management plans as a volunteer, working on numerous freshwater and marine partnership projects, and as a Trustee and member of the Conservation Committee. He has been a member of SWT since 2016.

Sarah Bonnot-Tijhaar Trustee

Sarah Bonnot-Tijhaar

Sarah has worked in Human Resources for 18 years, she is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development and has a Masters Degree in Human Resources. She is also a qualified mediator, occupational health manager and leader, experienced in operations management, practical marketing and employee development.

Sarah’s career spans private, public and charitable sectors and she currently works for an International NGO. Sarah is passionate about the benefits of nature supporting positive mental health and wellbeing. Sarah is also an artist, taking much inspiration from the natural world. She has been a member of Sussex Wildlife Trust since 2018.

Dave Green Trustee

Dave Green

Dave is a trained accountant and has spent 15 years running a small business but for as long as he can remember his passion has been wildlife and conservation.

He was born and bred in Sussex and loves this fantastic county and feels a real affinity with its habitats and wildlife. Dave spends most of his spare time recording biodiversity and has a particular interest in moth trapping and birding, with Long-eared Owls and Stone Curlews holding a special place in his heart.

Dave is currently training to be a bird ringer and is attempting to increase his botany skills. He has been a member of Sussex Wildlife Trust since 2001.

Claire Kerr Trustee

Claire Kerr

Claire started her career in the environment sector with English Nature and has previously worked for the South Downs National Park. She was the South East Regional Manager for the Woodland Trust until 2015 where she led the team that managed the woodland estate, people engagement events and delivered woodland advice including woodland restoration and woodland creation. She also had a leading role in advocacy for woods and trees in the region.

Currently, Claire is the RSPB Area Manager for Sussex and Surrey and oversees the portfolio of nature reserves in the region. She has been a member of Sussex Wildlife Trust since 2010.

Mike King Trustee

Mike King

Mike has considerable experience, both in the UK and internationally, connecting people with nature and their environment. He has held senior roles in a number of major environmental charities including The Conservation Volunteers, Living Earth Foundation and The Environment Council. He is currently an environmental consultant.

Mike lives in Wisborough Green and volunteers for Sussex Wildlife Trust locally as the Volunteer Reserve Manager for The Mens and Northup Copse Nature Reserves. He also sits on the Trust’s Public Engagement Committee. He has been a member of Sussex Wildlife Trust since 2008.

Simon Linington Trustee

Simon Linington

Simon became a trustee of Sussex Wildlife Trust in 2015. Following work as a plant breeder for a Lincolnshire seed company, he moved to Sussex in 1981 to work for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew at Wakehurst Place. Here, he helped develop a national and international plant conservation programme using long-term seed storage. This work culminated in the establishment of the Millennium Seed Bank. He retired in 2014 as deputy departmental head.

Though with a wide-ranging interest in natural history, his life-long passion has been birdwatching. This has given him a deep appreciation of the Sussex countryside and the challenges it faces. He has been a member of Sussex Wildlife Trust since 2013.

Crispin Scott Trustee

Crispin Scott

Crispin has worked for the National Trust for 20 years, initially as a countryside property manager and more recently as Wildlife & Countryside Adviser to Kent, Sussex and Surrey sites.


He has previously worked for West Sussex County Council in the countryside unit and in more urban locations with Arun District Council setting up community groups, "pocket parks" and working on urban wildlife projects.

Crispin has an MSc in environmental management and a keen interest in bats and a lifetime of following Brighton & Hove Albion. He has been a member of Sussex Wildlife Trust since 2015.

Chris Warne Trustee

Chris Warne

Chris has always had an interest in wildlife, particularly, birds, butterflies and pond life as well as vegetable gardening.

He worked as a chartered accountant in practice and lived and worked with his family smallholding in West Sussex, which taught him a lot about the importance of and the respect for nature in its widest form and its relationship with wellbeing.

He retired as a partner, with charity specialisation, from RSM in 2010 and joined Sussex Wildlife Trust as a Trustee soon after.

In 2011 Chris became Chairman until 2015 and has since remained as a trustee in addition to sitting on the Business Committee. He has been a member of Sussex Wildlife Trustee since 2011.