Innovative mammal conservation

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Head Office

Dr Lucy Rogers – Chief Executive

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 FERA (now the Animal and Plant Health Agency) 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 VWT team in October 2022 as Operations Manager. She is keen to contribute to the local and national charitable sector, particularly in the arenas of sustainability and environmental conservation, having previously worked in HR and Administration at Herefordshire Wildlife Trust and the Bulmer / Brightspace Foundation. Prior to working for these charities, Averil was involved with local council administration, being a Clerk to two parish councils and a Project Officer for Herefordshire Association of Local Councils. She has a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Masters in Arthurian Literature. 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 is looking forward to 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.

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 joined the Trust in 2020 as Volunteering and Community Engagement Officer. After completing a Zoology degree at the University of Liverpool she joined the RSPB as a warden intern to gain experience of conservation work in the UK. This led to other volunteer roles and employment in the sector, including a year with Chester Zoo, Cheshire Wildlife Trust and rECOrd on a biodiversity traineeship. Laura joined VWT after working as a Ranger for six years with the National Trust. Working as a volunteer and with volunteers has been a core part of Laura's experience. Office: Ledbury.

Conservation Team

Dr Samantha Bremner-Harrison – Head of Conservation

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 mammal species, with a particular focus on meso-carnivores and conservation translocations. Office: Southwell, Nottinghamshire and Ledbury.

Dr Kate McAney – 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 more than 25 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. Office: Headford, County Galway.

Dr Steve Carter – Carnivore Programme Manager

Steve is a zoologist with a background in research on a number of mammal species, including water voles and badgers, and with a particular interest in the smaller carnivores. He has a PhD, from Royal Holloway University of London, on the impacts of introduced predators and their management for conservation. Steve joined the Trust in 2016 to develop the Trust's carnivore conservation and research programme. Prior to joining the Trust, Steve worked for many years as a wildlife biologist with the Animal and Plant Health Agency, managing projects on the development and deployment of TB vaccines for badgers. Office: Amberley, Gloucestershire.

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