Innovative mammal conservation

twitter facebook instagram linkedin youtube vimeo


Head Office

Dr Lucy Rogers – Chief Executive

As the Chief Executive, Lucy is responsible for leading the VWT team and driving the development and implementation of VWT's strategic and operational plans to conserve threatened mammals through evidence-led conservation work. Lucy has a background in conservation science and conservation delivery. With a PhD in small mammal ecology from the University of Aberdeen, she worked for a number of years with the Central Science Laboratory (now the National Wildlife Management Centre, APHA) at Woodchester Park managing projects on badger ecology and TB epidemiology. Prior to joining the VWT, she was Director of Delivery Programmes for Avon Wildlife Trust, leading the strategic planning, development and delivery of their conservation and community engagement work. Lucy was appointed as Chief Executive for the Trust in 2018. Office: Ledbury.

Tim Bennett – Finance Manager

Tim joined the Trust in 2019 as Finance Officer. He has a background in both the charity sector, having previously worked for Mind Aberystwyth as its Business and Finance Officer, and in the private sector more recently with Balfour Beatty. Through both roles, Tim has a number of years of people management experience. He has a degree in Zoology and has completed his advanced diploma in accounting through the AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians). Tim moved into the role as Finance Manager in 2020 and also took on the the duties of Company Secretary. Office: Ledbury.

Averil Clother – Operations Manager

Averil joined the team in October 2022 as Operations Manager, having previously worked in parish council administration as well as HR and Administration at Herefordshire Wildlife Trust and the Bulmer/Brightspace Foundation. As Operations Manager, Averil is responsible for overseeing and managing Head Office functions and helps to ensure that the company's operations run smoothly, safely and efficiently, supporting the wider conservation team to achieve the charity’s conservation and strategic goals. With oversight of the Trust’s I.T.  and HR functions, fleet vehicles and H&S administration, as well as supporting the CEO with reviewing organisational risk and company policies, one day is never the same as another. Averil enjoys the variety of work involved in supporting a small charity in this way. When there’s time, Averil loves to join the Conservation Team at reserves to gain a greater insight into their everyday working environment, as well as learning more about threatened mammal species.  Office: Ledbury

Rachel Court — Fundraising and Communications Manager

Rachel has been involved in charity fundraising for over a decade and enjoys working to achieve sustainable outcomes for projects, people, and wildlife. She is a full member of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising and has a qualification in Charity Fundraising Management. Rachel has a life-long interest in the natural world and its conservation. She studied ecology as part of her degree in Environmental Health and has lived in the countryside for much of her life. Rachel joined VWT in November 2023 and enjoys working with colleagues, partners, funders, and volunteers in the conservation of threatened mammal species.  Office: Ledbury.

Jane Abel – Finance Officer

Jane joined the Trust in 2020 as Finance Officer. She has a background in finance and administration, and has worked for a variety of organisations, including the NHS. Jane also has experience of working within the charity sector and within the retail sector. She is a fellow member of the Association of Accounting Technicians. Office: Ledbury.

Sandy Bromige — Administration and Finance Assistant

Sandy joined the Trust in April 2024 as the Administration and Finance Assistant. She has a background in healthcare and regulation, administration and finance. She has worked for a variety of organisations, including the NHS, independent healthcare regulators, charities and within the retail sector. Office: Ledbury

Julia Bracewell – Senior Design and Communications Officer

Julia joined the Trust in 2018 as Design and Communications Officer and then moved into the role of Senior Design and Communications Officer in 2020. She has a background in conservation education and in the production of publications. Julia’s past career has included working for Kent Wildlife Trust as Education Officer where she helped develop the education programme, before taking on the role of Publications Officer and producing a range of education and marketing materials. Julia has also worked for Christian Aid as a writer and editor and, more recently, she worked for a small environmental and development charity based on an organic dairy farm. Julia is a qualified graphic designer, has a degree in Botany, an MSc in Creative (non-fiction) Science Writing and is a qualified science and primary school teacher. Office: Ledbury.

Laura Lawrance-Owen – Volunteering and Community Engagement Officer

Laura's role is responsible for the recruitment and engagement of people in VWT activities to support the Trust's conservation programmes. She is passionate about involving people in the Trust's work and providing opportunities that meet expectations for all. Working as a volunteer and with volunteers has been a core part of Laura's experience in the wildlife conservation sector. Prior to joining VWT, Laura was working as an Area Ranger for the National Trust and spent six years in total as part of the ranger profession at NT. Previously she completed her BSc in Zoology at the University of Liverpool; following this she moved around the UK gaining experience in countryside working and wildlife conservation with the RSPB, Chester Zoo, Cheshire Wildlife Trust, rECOrd and local wildlife charities. Office: Ledbury (Hybrid)

Conservation Team

Dr Samantha Bremner-Harrison – Head of Conservation

As Head of Conservation, Sam's role is to lead the development and delivery of VWT’s Conservation and Science work in line with the Trust’s Ten-year Strategy.  Sam joined VWT as Head of Conservation in May 2023. She completed her undergraduate degree in Zoology at the University of Aberdeen and an MSc in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare at the University of Edinburgh. Her PhD with The Queen’s University, Belfast, assessed the impact of individual behaviour of captive-bred swift fox reintroduced on to the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana, USA. Following six years as a research biologist with the Endangered Species Recovery Program in California, Sam returned to the UK to work as a Senior Lecturer and then Associate Professor at Nottingham Trent University, where she led the Species Recovery Unit and a species-recovery focused Masters programme. She has worked on conservation programmes for a range of species, with a particular focus on meso-carnivores and conservation translocations.

Sam holds a number of honorary positions, including the IUCN National Species Survival Working Group; Mammal Society Scientific Advisory Committee; member of the Association of the Study of Animal Behaviour; the Editorial Review Board of Frontiers in Veterinary Science: Animal Behaviour & Welfare; member of the IUCN Conservation Translocation Specialist Group and Canid Specialist Group; and is the UK IUCN Focal Person representing the IUCN UK National Committee to the Species Survival Commission. In addition, Sam sits on several regional or species-specific working and advisory groups. Office: Southwell, Nottinghamshire and Ledbury.


Dr Kate McAney – Ireland Mammal Programme Manager

As Ireland Mammal Programme Manager, Kate covers a wide range of duties, from engaging with statutory and other bodies, managing bat reserves, fundraising, producing educational material and conducting practical research. With over 30 years’ experience working in Ireland in the conservation and research of Irish mammals, she is also an experienced educator and adept at public engagement and partnership building. She has recognised the importance of managing conflict to reduce the impact on all parties (including wildlife), and this experience has helped her bring conservation projects to successful outcomes. Kate sits on the Steering Committee of the Lesser Horseshoe Bat SAP and is also on the committee of Dark Sky Ireland.

Office: Headford, County Galway.

3-4 Bronsil Courtyard, Eastnor, Ledbury, Herefordshire HR8 1EP
01531 636441 |