Trustee Board Members

Personal Statements

Mike Alexander

Trust Chair since end of 2020. I recognise my lifelong commitment to wildlife conservation when as a thirteen year old I was so inspired by a visit to Skomer that I decided that I would, one day, become the warden, eventually I spent 10 years as warden of Skomer. In 1986 I moved to North Wales where I managed 5 NNRs. For 17 years I was responsible for coordinating the management of all NNRs in Wales. My text book on adaptive conservation planning has become a standard text on the subject. I taught a Masters module on conservation at Birkbeck, University of London, and also at Bangor University where I am an Honorary Lecturer. Trustee since September 2017. Chair of the Islands Conservation Advisory Committee (ICAC).

Paul Culyer

As with so many nature conservationists, my first experience was as a volunteer. This helped me acquire some of the skills and knowledge I needed to get my first job and begin my career. So having been made aware of an opportunity to apply for the role of Trustee with WTSWW it seemed like a good time to go back to my roots. I currently work for Natural Resources Wales. Public service and voluntary work I strongly feel are important for us as individuals and for our society. I can offer my experience as a professional in nature conservation alongside a wider knowledge of organisational management. Appointed to the Board in 2019. Vice Chair since AGM 2020.

Stuart Bain

I was appointed to the Board in 2018 and have been Treasurer since 2020. My background is in banking, specialising in risk, compliance and governance. Based in South Wales, I have a passion for the outdoors, walking and conservation. I also act as a trustee for the Open Spaces Society, Britain’s oldest conservation charity. I am also on the board of the following not for profit companies: the Long Distance Walkers’ Association in the capacity of risk and environment Officer and South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre as treasurer. I am currently studying for an environment management diploma to further improve my knowledge in this sector.

Rob Pickford

Trust Chairperson from September 2013 to 2020 and now a member of the Board of Trustees. I am Chair of Wildlife Trust Wales and Vice Chair of the Council of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts. I have a long term interest in wildlife and landscapes born of much walking of coast paths, hills and mountains. This has bred a commitment to ecological sustainability and biodiversity as valuable in their own right, but also as a major contributor to our well-being. I am an organic gardener and allotment holder. My personal contribution over and above these enthusiasms come from the more years than I like to recall in local government and the civil service in Wales. I bring therefore experience in the fields of governance, resource management and the achievement of sustainable change. I also have expertise in organisational development. DC updated May 2021.

Shirley Matthews

I have been a member of the Wildlife Trust since the 1980’s and am committed to their work in educating the public and in raising awareness of the value of our flora and fauna, which are beyond price. I believe in the conservation and protection of nature but accept that at times other interests may have to take priority where compromise cannot be reached. I have been bound by professional codes of conduct and ethics for many years (as a Member of the British Psychological Society and senior social worker) and have wide experience in managing meetings and minute taking. WTSWW Trustee since 2015. Chair of Local Groups Forum.

Sally Weale

I am an experienced TV documentary producer, making films for the BBC and various independent production companies. Latterly this has included producing the new BBC series, ‘Wonders of The Celtic Deep’, which celebrates the extraordinary marine wildlife to be found off Welsh shores. For several years I headed the Natural History Museum’s broadcast unit, leading a team making films for its exhibitions and digital channels. I have a degree in natural sciences and PhD in zoology, and a lifelong interest in wildlife conservation. I aim to support the Trust through my science background, skills and expertise in media and digital communication and experience working in large, complex organisations going through a period of change. Trustee since September 2017.

Mark Brian

I became a Trustee at Brecknock Wildlife Trust to do something for my locality and develop my amateur enthusiasm for wildlife and the environment. I would like to continue in the newly merged WTSWW, ensuring that Brecknock is well represented but also in the wider context of the Trust’s role of championing environmental integrity on land and sea. My activity thus far has been internally focussed due to the needs of Brecknock Wildlife Trust, I hope to bring an aptitude for developing a coherent approach to opportunities and problems to support field activities and advocacy of a vital cause in the governance team. Co-opted April 2018, appointed to the Board Dec 2018. Chair of H&S Committee.

Rosey Grandage 

I am a physiotherapist, Chinese medicine practitioner and founder of a community  interest company art gallery which promotes awareness of the environment and conservation and have worked with a wide range of conservation groups. I have worked for both the NHS and in private practice. I have an interest in education and ethics and was a senior lecturer and course leader at University of Westminster for 17 years. I was Chair of Brecknock Wildlife Trust and led it through the merger with WTSWW. I enjoy hill walking, qi gong, Chinese philosophy and growing wildflowers, trees, medicinal herbs and vegetables. Co-opted May 2018, appointed to the Board Dec 2018. Currently leading the Trustees’ work on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

Gillian Berntsen

I am an experienced tourism, marketing and management professional with the broad range of skills required to lead multi disciplinary teams across varied projects and partnerships. I have managed large budgets, successfully applied for external funding and set up partner funding initiatives. I was Head of Marketing at Visit Wales for a number of years. I have more recently worked as a marketing/communications consultant and was a Trustee of a community regeneration project. I love wildlife and nature and now that I am semi-retired am enjoying developing my knowledge of these things and contributing my skills to the role of Trustee of the WTSWW. Appointed Dec 2018.

Richard Payne

Trustee since 2018. I am a solicitor with a lifelong amateur interest in wildlife and the environment.

Tom Roberts

I am the owner of a 9-acre sheep farm in Ceredigion currently undergoing the process of rewilding. I believe I can make a positive contribution. I am a documentary filmmaker and I have worked with broadcasters worldwide and have received over 50 international awards. I am the Founding Trustee of the Directors Charity Foundation, and founded October Films an independent production company. Appointed to the Board in 2019.

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