In conversation with…

Last month we announced the appointment of  3 new Trustees to our Board. Earth Trust’s Board of Trustees play a very important role in making sure that our charity has a clear strategy, and that our work and goals are in line with our vision. By making sure that all decisions made put the needs of our beneficiaries first, they are very much the ‘guardians of purpose’.

Trustees come from all walks of life and share one common drive – they all feel a personal connection to the vision of the charity. We hear from Sara, Clare and Terry on what motivated them to join us:

Earth trust trustees Clare, Sara and Terry

What inspired you to join Earth Trust as a trustee and how do our vision and mission connect to your own interests and experience?

Terry: Visiting places all over the world, I have experienced how awe-inspiring nature can be in its beauty and diversity, but also how it is being critically damaged by human activity. As an Earth Trust volunteer, I see first-hand the vital role that Earth Trust plays in managing wildflower meadows, farmland, woodlands and wetlands, demonstrating how we can improve the ways we care for our world, enabling habitats to thrive, and provide access for everyone to enjoy nature. This has inspired me to offer my time and energy as a Trustee to contribute to Earth Trust’s ambitious plans to increase its impact through developing nature-based solutions and connecting and engaging people in addressing the very real threats to our natural world.

Clare: Growing up in south Oxfordshire, Wittenham Clumps holds a special place in my heart – I remember many windy, rainy and some sunny, but all glorious, family walks there. Connecting people with the natural world around them, showcasing the power, beauty and importance of green spaces is vital in creating positive attitudes to the environment. For me, nothing is more important than inspiring and engaging people, from across all sections of society, with the importance of protecting the natural world for the future.

Sara: Earth Trust’s commitment to inspire people as a way to address climate and wellbeing in conjunction with each other really appealed to me. I have learnt from my own experience through the loss of my son to cancer and my own breast cancer diagnosis that the power of green spaces can profoundly contribute to wellbeing.


What do you hope to bring to your new role as an Earth Trust trustee?

Terry: I believe my expertise from my professional life, in areas such as innovation, planning and delivering successful programmes, building teams and developing people, can help Earth Trust to prioritise challenges, shape plans and increase its impact. Working with the team of Trustees, I want to see that we continue to build on the success of the first phase of the Gateway programme which created the Earth Lab and Innovation Hub to develop new facilities, establish Earth Trust Centre as a popular destination, increase our engagement of local communities particularly where people are facing disadvantage, increase the range and diversity of volunteering opportunities, and continue to raise the profile of Earth Trust both locally and nationally.

Clare: I want to proactively contribute to Earth Trust’s community work with specific audience groups to ensure we can provide equitable access to our green spaces. I hope that my experience in charity income generation will support the team with financial planning, perhaps one of the most challenging parts of governance in the current challenged economic environment. I am really looking forward to becoming part of the Earth Trust community and working alongside so many other inspiring individuals.

Sara: As a change and people expert, I am hoping I can bring a wealth of experience to Earth Trust that,  like so many charities, faces constant change whether societal or technological. Steering a pathway forward will require a diversity of skills, many of which I use daily to advise clients and which I hope can now benefit Earth Trust.


What do you think the future holds for Earth Trust and our work?

Terry: The increasing threats to our natural world together with the growing understanding people have of the challenges we face, means the work of Earth Trust will be ever more important. This offers exciting opportunities to grow Earth Trust as a place for people to come together to share understanding, explore new ways to care for our environment, develop and demonstrate new sustainable solutions, and provide practical advice and support to help people adopt green initiatives in their local communities. Earth Trust can grow its educational programmes, develop the programme of public events, pilot more nature-based projects, demonstrate new approaches for farming, and enable everyone the opportunity to play a part in bringing about change.

Clare:  I think the experience of the pandemic, a time when so many people turned to green spaces for their mental as well as physical health, shows the urgency and importance of the mission. With 40 years of experience under its belt, now Earth Trust is embarking on its five year strategy, all about connecting people to nature, and I am really looking forward to being part of that journey.

Sara: As climate change and wellbeing remain two priorities for our society, Earth Trust has huge opportunities to harness its resources to tackle both. Engagement with green spaces will power the push for climate action to be prioritised and provide natural spaces for personal and group wellbeing.

Looking to the future

At Earth Trust, we are seeking to grow our warm, respectful, passionate and open community, where people actively participate and contribute to environmental change. The range of experience brought by these new recruits complements Earth Trust’s existing Board and we look forward to further strengthening and broadening diversity and inclusivity across the whole organisation.

Read more about our trustees here.

Wittenham Clumps in Spring Credit Hedley Thorne

Photo credit: Hedley Thorne