Meet The Trustees

NIKKI JONES

Nikki Jones MSc is a writer, speaker and campaigner on UK and global energy trends. For several years she wrote for an industry magazine on the political economy of oil and gas but in recent years has devoted her time to public talks and blogs to help individuals understand their energy consumption and why it matters.

She has wide experience in the charitable sector, having worked for Age Concern England, the National Council for One Parent Families, the Alzheimer’s Society and Carers’ Centre. Her roles have spanned service development, press and publicity and fundraising. She worked as a press officer for the BBC for six years. 

Cathy Bedford

Cathy Bedford is a freelance researcher, writer and trusts and foundations fundraiser, with ten years’ experience of working in the charity sector and a past career in documentary film-making at the BBC. Cathy grew up on a farm in Devon where she developed a deep love for the countryside and an interest in trees, rivers, natural history and rewilding. Now based in Bristol, when not working she spends her time playing the piano and cello, walking, swimming and wild gardening. 

“For me Avon Needs Trees offers a fantastic focus for my interest in and concern about the natural world – a chance to impact positively, in practical ways, on a local scale, on our threatened environment”

Gavin Spittlehouse

Gavin took some time out from his IT career in 2015 and planted 15 acres of native woodland a few miles from his home in central Bristol. Along with a wealth of practical woodland skills Gavin has professional experience of managing teams of volunteers. Gavin keeps bees and is interested in agroforestry.

John Chew

John has been a primary school teacher for over twenty years. His favourite subjects have always been science and geography, seizing every opportunity he can to introduce children to the wonders of the natural world. More recently, he has become passionate about sharing knowledge and understanding of climate change with children of all ages. He is currently studying for accreditation in the UN Climate Change Learn programme and is aiming to become an accredited Forestry School Educator later this year.

“I have found children to be very concerned about the state of the planet; the animals, forests and ecosystems that are being destroyed and sometimes lost for ever. Let’s get them re-engaged with wilderness and encourage them to learn about our precious natural world. They are our future and perhaps our greatest hope in sorting out the mess we’ve created.”

PETER WILLIAMS

Peter Williams is a local musician and music teacher, who founded the Chippenham based charity fundraising band ‘Shake the Bucket’. Since 2005 the band have raised over £75,000 for local and national causes.

Peter is also passionate about trees, and as Coordinator for North Wilts Friends of the Earth helped create a new woodland near Castle Combe. He also started the Chippenham Tree Mapping Project, that will be used as part of the Forest Schools initiative.

“Avon Needs Trees is a positive, productive, hands-on project that has the potential to make a big difference. Not only for carbon sequestration but for flood management, biodiversity and landscape protection. Doing nothing is not an option”.

Harriet Alvis

Harriet Alvis is an aquatic ecologist working in river restoration in the charitable sector for the West Wales River Trust. She has a passion for re-wilding and reducing our impact on the natural environment, as well as re-engaging people with it. In her free time, she enjoys horse riding, kayaking and surfing.

dr nick murry

Nick Murry is a sustainability and climate change consultant with experience working in both corporate sustainability management and environmental consultancy.

He has worked in public and private sectors, in the UK and internationally, most recently advising large corporations on embedding sustainability in their supply chains. He is also an Associate Lecturer (part-time) in Sustainability and Environmental Management at the University of Bath Spa.

Additionally, Nick is a Wiltshire Councillor and serves on Wiltshire Council’s ‘Environment Select Committee’ and its ‘Climate Emergency Task Group’. He also chairs ‘Zero Chippenham’, a voluntary organisation with the aim of achieving local carbon neutrality by 2030. 

Andy chester

Andy has a lifelong love of wild life and wild places which began on the heaths  and woods of Dorset and the New Forest. He has spent the last twenty years working at Natural England, creating opportunities for people to be in the English countryside. He cut his teeth on the roll out of open access rights – the so called ‘right to roam’ – and was a founding member of the team that is creating the England Coast Path. He brings experience of balancing and reconciling outdoor recreation with safety, nature conservation, farming and other land uses.  

Nick Self

Hazeland Site Guardian and Ecological Advisor