NBN Trust Board
All our board members are senior managers and experts in their field whether this is information management, business development or biological recording.
Day job: Lawyer and Trustee
Chair since February 2019
Neil has held senior executive and general counsel roles at multi-national firms in the financial services industry. He is currently responsible for overseeing legal and regulatory matters at a leading social impact investor, Big Society Capital. He has significant experience managing complex legal, governance, commercial and compliance issues at team, executive and board levels.
Neil became the Trust’s chair in 2019 and, reflecting his long-standing interest in the natural world and environmental issues, completed a post-graduate qualification in environmental law and practice with a focus on biodiversity and species and habitat protection.
Otherwise, he becomes absorbed in the intricacies and inspirations of the natural world through activities such as fishing, gardening, birdwatching and photography, and taking advantage of the green and watery spaces of south-west London.
Dr Roddy Fairley
Day job: Non-executive Director and Environmentalist
Trustee since February 2012
After graduating in ecology from the University of Edinburgh, Roddy’s studies of the below ground ecosystem led to a PhD from Aberdeen University.
Between 1998 and 2008 he was a Director / Chair of Reforesting Scotland; between 2007 and 2009 he was a Director of Paths for All, and sat on Scotland’s National Access Forum; between 2003 and 2011 he was a Director of the Central Scotland Forest Trust and since 2005 has been a Director of the Cairnhead Community Forest Trust. He was on the Advisory Board for the OPAL team (the Open Air Laboratories UK-wide citizen science initiative) at Imperial College London.
Roddy has a long history of working for Scottish Natural Heritage. Between 2007 and 2009 he was acting Director of Operations following 10 years in area management. This came after several years in charge of corporate planning and organisational development. Latterly, he was Area Manager for Southern Scotland.
Before joining SNH in 1992, he was in charge of policy development in the Countryside Commission for Scotland. This all followed early work for the Nature Conservancy Council on various aspects of nature reserve management, survey and monitoring.
Roddy lives in rural south west Scotland where he sings in choirs, cooks for the family, writes poetry, keeps bees and walks the hills.
Day job: Director and Trustee
Trustee since February 2018
Wilma is a Chartered Forester and Chartered Environmentalist. An experienced director, having held senior positions in the Forestry Commission and now has a portfolio of board positions in the biodiversity and forestry sectors. She is a Director of TWIC, the local records centre for South East and Central Scotland and recently appointed President of the Royal Scottish Forestry Society. She is also a Trustee for Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards. She regularly leads excursions for the Edinburgh Natural History Society and enjoys the exploring and discovery these field trips bring.
Alongside this broad environmental background, she has considerable experience of corporate governance, strategy and change management. She has a particular focus on areas which support people improve their appreciation of their environment and the value of being outdoors for improving health and wellbeing. When sitting at a computer gets too much, she escapes by trail running in her local woods.
Dr Belinda Howell
Day job: Managing Director at Decarbonize Ltd
Trustee since February 2018
Belinda is a Chief Executive and Non-Executive Director with extensive international experience in sustainability and climate change strategy across a wide range of sectors from agri-commodities, fisheries, natural resources and energy and water utilities through the supply chain to consumer goods and retail.
Belinda founded and is managing director of sustainability strategy consultancy, Decarbonize Ltd. As well as being a Trustee of the NBN Trust, she currently serves as a Non-Executive Director on the Boards of the National Centre for Atmospheric Sciences, Marine Management Organisation and the London Pension Funds Authority. Previously she represented Retailers on the boards of the Roundtables for Sustainable Palm Oil and Responsible Soy associations. She holds a Diploma in Company Directorship and an MBA.
Passionate about the natural environment, Belinda volunteers for Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, checking on conservation grazing cattle on a site of special scientific interest.
Non-executive Director and Consultant
Trustee since May 2021
Terence has extensive and varied senior experience across public and private sectors, in the UK and overseas, including many years in the Ministry of Defence and four years as Chief Executive of Crown Agents, a leading international development company. He has had a long standing passion for the natural world, especially birds and trees, and is interested in the social effects of environmental degradation and in rewilding. He has previously served on the board of two wildlife trusts, and is currently a trustee of Tree Aid, a director of the Marine Management Organisation, and Chair of Trustees at NMITE, an innovative higher education institution.
Day job: Senior Advisor in Stakeholder Engagement at Natural England
Trustee since February 2018
After completing his degree in Zoology at Cardiff University and a couple of years working in academic research alongside studying for an MSc in environmental management, Matt spent 10 years with The Natural History Consortium (NHC) leading several major collaborations around environmental communications and particularly BioBlitz wildlife recording activities.
Matt has continued to champion formats for public participation and engagement with biological recording as a positive action for nature, helping to convene discussion and support BioBlitz events locally, nationally and internationally, delivering the world’s first continental 48hour BioBlitz across Europe in 2021. Between 2017 and 2021 Matt supported a network of UK cities participating in the international ‘City Nature Challenge’ leading the Bristol and Bath effort to secure the most wildlife observations in Europe two years running.
Combining public engagement practice with professional development and communications theory, Matt’s interests include emergent theories of change, social ecology, behavioural science, mass participation initiatives and strategic communications all wrapped up in a natural history / environment context.
In January 2022 Matt took up a new role supporting staff and stakeholder engagement at Natural England and is now based in Shropshire.
Day job: Chief Executive of Greenspace Information for Greater London CIC (GiGL)
Trustee since 2017
Mandy’s the first person to admit she started working in the local environmental records centre (LERC) sector by accident. Having taken on a temporary admin role with London Wildlife Trust (LWT) in 1997, she immediately found something more interesting to do in the form of manually creating stag beetle distribution maps utilising the Trust’s public survey data, some paper maps and a red felt tip. Her colouring skills eventually led to a role as assistant biological recording officer on LWT’s Biological Recording Project, which was set up in 1996 as a precursor to an LERC for London. In 1999, Mandy took over as the Biological Recording Project’s Manager and led the establishment of Greenspace Information for Greater London, initially as a records centre hosted by London Wildlife Trust in 2006, and as an independent, not-for-profit community interest company in 2013.
Mandy learnt a lot from the National Biodiversity Network’s ‘Linking Local Records Centres’ project which started in 1998, and has been a keen advocate for the potential that local environmental records centres have as regional delivery nodes within the Network ever since. She represented the LERC community on the National Federation for Biological Recording council for 11 years from 2002, and was involved in the development work and eventual establishment of the Association of Local Environmental Records Centres (ALERC) in 2009. She was co-opted onto ALERC’s board of directors in 2011 and stood down 6 years later.
Mandy was co-opted onto the National Biodiversity Network Trust’s Board to represent ALERC in 2016, and was officially appointed to the Board as a trustee after the governance review in 2017.
Mandy lives in south London, works in central London and escapes to green and blue spaces close to home and further afield whenever she can.
Dr David Slawson
Day job: Visiting Researcher, Imperial College London (former Director of OPAL) and volunteer
Trustee since May 2021
Currently, David observes and records species for two Citizen Science projects in his local area: Observatree (tree pests and pathogens; he is also the lead volunteer for Scotland) and Shorewatch (cetaceans). He coordinates the UK Tree Health Citizen Science Network and is a member of the RHS Science Committee.
Previously, David had a career in various Defra agencies leading Plant Health surveillance, research and consultancy programmes. In 2013, he used dead trees in a show garden at the Centenary RHS Chelsea Flower Show to communicate plant biosecurity risks to the public. In 2014, he became Director of the OPAL Partnership which started over 1 million people on their journey to record their local nature. His OPAL experience broadened his horizons to include air, water, soil, hedges, bugs and pollinators and also taught him some harsh lessons about financial sustainability of environmental projects.
David is keen to use his experience and networks to facilitate collaborations, inspire local people to learn about nature and generate accurate data to influence policymakers and environmental decision-making. Outside ‘work’, David’s interests include family – he has four grand-daughters, walking, cycling, rugby and bowls.
Day job: Data & Evidence Professional, Trustee
Trustee since May 2021
Pete manages the Evidence Team at Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust where he developed and implemented a new, more robust, adaptive ecological monitoring framework for the Trust’s Nature Reserves; work which was shortlisted for the National Biodiversity Networks Group Award in 2019.
Pete now oversees this ongoing work and develops new data insights linked to SRWTs ‘Strategy 2030’, working towards quantifying how community engagement leads to people taking action for and becoming more connected to nature. Pete has also led work to initiate the development of a Local Nature Recovery Strategy for South Yorkshire with key regional partners, in particular facilitating data and mapping work on species prioritisation and Nature Recovery Network mapping.
Pete is Chairperson of Padfield Community Spaces, a small charity aimed at improving local community spaces for people and nature. He lives in the Peak District and spends most of his time hiking, running and working on his allotment.