Sussex Wildlife Trust is governed by a board of trustees with operational management for the Trust delegated to a Senior Management Team.
Dr Tony Whitbread President
Dr Tony Whitbread, who retired as Chief Executive of Sussex Wildlife Trust in March 2018, has returned to take a leading role in nature conservation as President of Sussex Wildlife Trust.
He joined the Sussex Wildlife Trust in 1991 as Head of Conservation before taking on the role of Chief Executive Officer in 2006. During his time, Dr Whitbread played a huge role as a conservation advocate, battling against road building, urban development, the potential expansion of Gatwick Airport and other countryside loss.
Dr Whitbread was at the forefront in promoting the need for the establishment of the South Downs National Park. He also played a leading role in establishing the Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre, which holds almost seven million species records – information used to inform planning decisions.
Dr Sean Ashworth Chair
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 Sussex Wildlife Trusts since the 1970s.
Linda Clark Honorary Treasurer and Chair of Finance Committee
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.
Simon Linington Honorary Secretary
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.
Alan Stewart Chair of Conservation Committee
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.
Mike King Chair of Public Engagement Committee
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.
Emma Montlake Trustee
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 sits on our Public Engagement Committee. She has been a member of Sussex Wildlife Trust since 2013.
Sarah Bonnot-Tijhaar Trustee
Sarah grew up in Brighton and lives in mid Sussex. She has worked in HR for many years across varied sectors and currently works for an international NGO. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development and has a Masters Degree in Human Resources. She is also qualified and experienced in mediation, occupational health and marketing and experienced in operational leadership and management development. Sarah is part of the Business Committee, specialising in human resources and Health & Safety.
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, hiking around Sussex and enjoying nature with her family and friends and has a special interest in moths and fungi. She has been a member of Sussex Wildlife Trust since 2018.
Nick Pasricha Trustee
Nick is a chartered accountant who spent much of his professional career in an international accounting firm where he gained significant experience in strategy formulation, business management and people development. Since retiring Nick has worked with a number of charities and social enterprises as a coach and as a Chair or Trustee.
Nick has in lived in West Sussex for the past 11 years, initially in Midhurst and more recently in Chichester. He is an enthusiastic walker and appreciates the importance of the natural environment to our health and wellbeing. Nick is married with 3 children, a granddaughter and a dog.
Jon Cooper Trustee
Having spent the first part of his career as a commercial and charity lawyer, Jon moved into the area of public health working with a number of international NGOs. This included a stint in Uganda. Where the negative environmental impact of human development and climate change really hit home, in particular the need for system level changes which balance the needs of people and wildlife.
Since returning to the UK, Jon has worked as a partner in a consultancy evaluating aid projects, focussed mainly on health and education. He has also advised and sat on a number of charity boards over the years, both in the UK and overseas.
Jon is married and lives with his wife and young child in Shipley. He became interested in Sussex Wildlife Trust after taking his son to a number of wildlife activities which led to an interest in the wider work of the Trust within the county.
Martin Kyndt Trustee
Martin has held several executive roles in large international development charities, leading the key functions of corporate strategy, people development, communications and campaigns and programme innovation and funding. He is currently the Chair of FitzRoy Support, a national charity supporting people with learning difficulties and autism and the Vice Chair of Shared Interest, an international social development co-operative society, providing financial support to help Fairtrade producers trade their way out of poverty.
From his early childhood Martin has always held a fervent interest in the natural world which influenced the choice of his first degree in Environmental Science. His love of nature has been his life-long hobby. Having lived in Sussex since 1993, he has a deep appreciation for its special beauty and is passionate to be actively involved in the preservation and restoration of its natural history. He has been a member of the Sussex Wildlife Trust since 2015.
Helen Marshall Trustee
Helen is a retail professional, having spent the majority of her career working for contemporary brands both in the UK and internationally. During this time she has gained significant experience in retail growth strategies and developing customer propositions within a number of high street businesses.
Born and raised in Chichester, West Sussex, Helen cites her frequent family outings to the coast and South Downs in helping nurture her passion for wildlife and conservation.
After a period of time in London, Helen returned to live in Fishbourne, West Sussex where she is actively involved in local conservation work within an area of Chichester Harbour close to where she lives. As a keen walker, she loves to explore locally as well as travel the world to learn about the indigenous wildlife.