Meet our team

The trust currently employs a team of more than 50 staff, who collectively have a diverse breadth of experience and high-level expertise. It is in the wealth of knowledge and experience of the trust staff where our real strength lies.

Senior management

Dr Laurence Couldrick

Dr Laurence Couldrick

CEO

Laurence specialises in the ecosystems approach & is passionate about joining up delivery to get true integrated catchment management, where we think holistically about what we need as a society from our land.

Dr Bruce Stockley

Dr Bruce Stockley

Head of Fisheries

Bruce has spent the past 10 years repairing the rivers of the Westcountry.  He works to make our rivers a better place for fish to live in, and for people to enjoy.

Kelly Sivorn

Kelly Sivorn

Head of Finance

Kelly has overall responsibility for the accounting and finance function of the trust. Kelly has significant charity experience and loves combining her accounting and finance skills with working for the trust and making our small part of the world a better place.

Dr Nick Paling

Dr Nick Paling

Head of Evidence & Engagement

Nick specialises in the visualisation and communication of strategic information to target actions into the most important areas and predict/measure the improvements that might be realised.

Support Team

Sarah Howe

Sarah Howe

Financial Manager

Sarah works in the finance and accounts department, focusing on the integral management of the trust’s core accounts and comprehensively ensuring all administration responsibilities are fulfilled to the highest standard

Victoria Yallop

Victoria Yallop

Project Finance Officer

Victoria is responsible for maintaining, collating and submitting project claims for a number of the Trust’s larger projects. She also provides general finance admin support to the Finance Manager, which includes aspects of timesheet and expenses processing.

 

Liz Palmer

Liz Palmer

HR Officer

Liz works in Human Resources to assist the HR Manager.

She can be found working through a variety of administrative tasks, such as preparing essential documents required for staff members, administering the recruitment process, alongside onboarding the new starters at the Trust with coordinating the induction process, as well as maintaining Breathe, our HR System.

Kerensa L’Arbalestier

Kerensa L’Arbalestier

Project Finance Officer

Kerensa is our Project Finance Officer.  She is responsible for maintaining project finances and managing the claims process for European-funded projects.  Kerensa spent 19 years working in education and is a languages specialist fluent in German and Russian with a good working knowledge of French and Spanish.  Kerensa loves to travel and really enjoys working with our European partners on cross-border projects.

Emily King

Emily King

Reception/Office admin

Emily oversees our front desk, phones and day to day office administrative tasks, such as arranging transport, accommodation and equipment for other team members. She also supports the finance team and works closely with the asset management team. In her own time Emily is an amateur beekeeper and enjoys cycling and paddleboarding.

Comms & Marketing team

Josie Purcell

Josie Purcell

Communications & Marketing Manager

Josie is a qualified and experienced journalist, photographer, and short filmmaker with several years of communications and marketing management experience. She gained a distinction in her MA in Photography for her work highlighting the global sand crisis and highlights other environment-related topics via her photographic practice.

Ella Chambers

Ella Chambers

Communications & Marketing Officer

Ella has experience in environment-related communications and marketing and is currently studying for her Masters in Digital Marketing while she works part-time at the Trust. She assists with project specific marketing needs, focusing on social media support. When not at work, Ella can be found hiking or enjoying wildlife photography.

 

Fisheries & Rivers Team

David Chapman

David Chapman

Land & Fisheries Officer

With a background in landscape design and management, Dave’s main interests lie in environmental protection and restoration as well as being a keen angler.  His primary responsibility currently is the delivery of fish passage improvements across the Fowey and Camel catchments as part of the Water For Growth project.

Olivia Cresswell

Olivia Cresswell

Land & Fisheries Officer

Olivia joined the Trust in 2011 to conduct fisheries habitat walkover surveys on the River Teign, where over 100 km of the river catchment was surveyed. Olivia has since managed several river restoration projects, fish pass projects and monitoring across south Devon and Dorset, including a large Catchment Restoration Fund project, DTRIP.

Matt Healey

Matt Healey

Fisheries Officer

Matt is a Fisheries Officer for Westcountry Rivers Trust and undertakes surveys to inform and implement appropriate actions for improvements to water quality and in river habitats.

Sam Baycock

Sam Baycock

River & Fisheries Officer

Sam is involved in both the fisheries and operations team, working on a wide array of projects including habitat works, weir removals and studies such as electrofishing and trapping. He is particularly interested in migratory species and the challenges they face. When he’s not working he can be found on the riverbank, fly fishing.

Dr Polly Couldrick

Dr Polly Couldrick

River & Fisheries Consultant

Polly is an aquatic consultant with extensive experience of both marine and freshwater ecological surveys specialising in fisheries and the ecology of the European Eel (Anguilla anguilla). She is also a Research Fellow at Exeter University, working towards developing a non-lethal method to sex adult eels for the management of the fishery.

Scott West

Scott West

Fisheries Scientist, Dorset & Somerset Fisheries Team

Scott is a dedicated fisheries professional and team leader for the Wessex area. He has 20 years’ experience in fisheries with specific interests in eel and coarse fish conservation. His expertise lies in developing scientific studies as well as delivering practical fisheries work, helping to raise the profile of fisheries issues. He has a number of national roles with the Institute of Fisheries Management (IFM) and is the chair of the South West branch. In addition, Scott also runs his own coarse fishery in his spare time.

Phil Turnbull

Phil Turnbull

Fisheries Technical Officer

Phil has a varied background working in rivers, including environmental contracting, flood defence, and fisheries management. With particular interest in improving habitat connectivity, Phil is keen to delve into the technical aspects of fisheries management in West Country rivers.

James Christoforou

James Christoforou

Angling Officer

James is primarily responsible for delivering the Fish Pass mobile app as part of the Water For Growth project, making token fishing within Cornwall easier. He grew up fishing the rivers, still waters and reservoirs around Bodmin Moor and the wider Westcountry, spending much of his time on his grandparents trout fishery. This experience fostered his interest in ecosystems and habitat management. 

Ben Gallant

Ben Gallant

River Habitat Officer

Ben will be using his background in environmental sciences and his experience as an aborist to deliver a variety of in river habitat development projects.

Adrian Dowding

Adrian Dowding

Devon River & Fisheries Manager

Primarily involved in managing fish pass installations, Adrian has a keen interest in all river-ologies and the technical delivery of long term sustainable improvements to rivers and catchments.

Craig Renton

Craig Renton

River & Fisheries Officer

Craig assists with river and habitat surveys, semi and fully quantitative electrofishing surveys and SNIFFER surveys of weirs. He helps with data analysis, produces GIS maps and creates reports for numerous projects. He also works with the River Ops team with riparian and river habitat restoration and improvements. Outside of work, he’s a fishing enthusiast and can be found beside a lake chasing big carp.

Layla Ousley

Layla Ousley

Land & Fisheries Officer

Since 2011 Layla has been working for WRT managing and delivering several river restoration projects across Devon and Cornwall. Her background and interest in Conservation Biology and Ecology supports her current role conducting ecological impact assessments and delivering fish passage improvements across the Fowey and Camel catchments under the Water for Growth project.

George Harvey

George Harvey

Arboricultural Apprentice

As an Arboricultural Apprentice within the River Operations Team, George will support the team with riparian tree works alongside in-river and habitat work too. When not at work, George is keen runner and sportsman, and enjoys spending time exploring Dartmoor.

Mia Bryant

Mia Bryant

Rivers & Fisheries Officer

Mia has worked within the Fisheries team as a Rivers and Fisheries Officer at the Trust since 2018. She has developed specific interests in wild fisheries management and public education. Her role primarily assists and leads in a variety of fishery focused surveys, involving passage assessment, fisheries population monitoring and riverine habitat assessment. Alongside this, Mia identifies, assists and manages river habitat and fisheries improvement projects.

David Moreton

David Moreton

River Woodland Officer

David has just joined WRT as one of our new River Woodland officers. His background in aquatic conservation and land management helps deliver the aims of the Trust through a variety of river enhancement projects.

George Stone

George Stone

Arboricultural Apprentice

George is an Arboricultural Apprentice with the River Operations Team, supporting the team to deliver riparian tree work, as well as in-river habitat works, tree planting, wildlife surveys, and much more. He has a background in game keeping and conservation biology. George is a keen musician as well as a conservationist, spending most of his spare time either on the drums or volunteering for bats.

Fergus McBurney

Fergus McBurney

Arboricultural Apprentice

Fergus is one of our River Operations Arboriculture Apprentices. With a background in Conservation Biology and strong interest in wildlife, both aquatic and terrestrial, he aims to build on his prior experience and provide riparian corridor habitat works and surveys, in the canopy, on the bank and in stream. In his spare time, he greatly enjoys playing guitar, photography, and hiking on Dartmoor.

Evidence & Engagement Team

Ian Townsend

Ian Townsend

Evidence & Engagement Officer

Ian is an organic/analytical chemist. He joined the trust in 2019 after a long career in the water industry where he specialised in the monitoring of trace organic micro-pollutants and provided background chemical expertise in a number of different fields. Ian’s primary role at the trust is in helping to deliver the monitoring data needed to support a range of on-going projects, in addition to contributing to monitoring-related research and development work and providing chemical know-how to a wide cross section of colleagues.

Freya Stacey

Freya Stacey

Evidence & Engagement Officer

Freya’s background is in environmental consultancy and interpretation planning. She is the project officer for PROWater. This cross-border project PROWATER will protect and restore raw water sources through actions at the landscape scale. It contributes to climate adaptation by restoring the water storage of the landscape via ‘ecosystem-based adaptation measures’ such as forest conversion or restoration of soil compaction.

Jo Neville

Jo Neville

Senior Ecologist

Jo is a Senior Ecologist with over 10 years experience in ecological surveys and assessments across a wide range of habitats.  Jo provides ecological input to a diverse range of projects, from river restoration and habitat creation, through to spatial planning and green infrastructure. Jo also manages projects for the consultancy arm of the trust and holds survey licences for bats, dormice and great crested newts.

Sarah Wigley

Sarah Wigley

Senior Evidence & Engagement Officer

Sarah specialises in the use of GIS to analyse and display spatial datasets (e.g. fish populations, habitat types and water quality) in order to monitor the health of river systems and identify areas for improvement

Nicola Dyer

Nicola Dyer

Senior Ecologist

Nicola is a Senior Ecologist at Tamar Ecology with over 20-years of consultancy experience. She has particular expertise in managing surveys for large scale development projects and coordinating ecological impact assessments across a diverse range of sectors.

Frank Grandfield

Frank Grandfield

Junior Data & Evidence Officer

Frank specialises in spatial analysis and mapping using GIS, and in environmental data analysis and visualisation using the statistical programming software R.

Simon Browning

Simon Browning

Senior Monitoring & Evidence Officer

Simon has a wealth of experience with catchment scale environmental monitoring instrumentation. He has worked in a variety of roles including the development of novel monitoring tools and installation of real-time monitoring systems. Simon leads the water quality monitoring activities at the trust and has developed the Westcountry CSI volunteer monitoring scheme

Shona McCombie

Shona McCombie

Education Officer

Shona worked as an ecologist for the trust before becoming the charity’s Education Officer. With a background in ecology and a qualified teacher, Shona uses her knowledge and passion to engage with schools and communities across the South West and enable them to connect with their environment. Shona’s educational activities show that that once people are given opportunities to get to know their environment, they are then more likely to look after it.

Dr Emily Howard-Williams

Dr Emily Howard-Williams

Evidence & Engagement Officer

Emily’s background is in wildlife conservation. Within the Trust, Emily works on a variety of projects including the natural capital element of the LIFE ReMEDIES project, biodiversity analysis for South West Water’s Upstream Thinking project. Emily is also involved with collating and presenting data for evidence reviews and undertaking opportunity mapping.

Jenny Wytcherley

Jenny Wytcherley

Evidence & Engagement Officer

Jenny’s background is in Ecological Consultancy and Green Infrastructure. Within the Trust, Jenny is the Project Officer for Plymouth River Keepers (PRK). PRK is a water quality and community engagement project based around a series of urban streams in the north-west of Plymouth, in the Tamar Management Catchment.

Lydia Deacon

Lydia Deacon

Evidence & Engagement Officer

Lydia works within our monitoring team, collecting and analysing water quality data, installing monitoring equipment and running our Westcountry CSI volunteer monitoring scheme. She also works on our EU Interreg Preventing Plastic Pollution project.

Dr Sarah Ward

Dr Sarah Ward

Co-creation Specialist & Honorary Fellow CIWEM

Sarah has joined WRT to support the Connecting the Culm project as Co-creation Specialist. She will be overseeing stakeholder and community engagement, providing technical input, sharing knowledge, supporting events and social media and playing a key role in facilitating the successful co-creation of the Blueprint for the Culm. Her background is in physical geography and earth sciences, social science and engineering and she has professional experience in water resources and urban water management, including alternative water supply systems such as rainwater harvesting, drought risk management and community water resilience. 

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Dr Holly Pearson

Dr Holly Pearson

Monitoring Programme Coordinator

Holly specialises in water quality monitoring and environmental data analysis. She assists the team both in reporting on the effectiveness of interventions and targeting areas for improvement, and monitoring and maintaining sensors deployed in various catchments under investigation

Lucy Morris

Lucy Morris

Evidence & Engagement Team Manager

With a background in ecology and environmental management, Lucy’s main interests lie in spatial planning and the development of payments for ecosystem services schemes. Lucy’s specialisms include data analysis, visualisation and communications. She is also a project manager.

Perry Burns

Perry Burns

Education & Engagement Officer

Perry provides on-the-ground education and engagement activities with predominately communities in the Tamar Valley. He is currently involved in three projects, Plymouth Rivers Keepers, Preventing Plastic Pollution and most recently River Explorers, a project within the wider TAMARA Landscape Partnership. He also aims to engage with our citizen scientist community that resides in the Tamar Valley.

Land Management Team

Martin Harmer

Martin Harmer

Senior Land & River Advisor

Martin has worked in the Rivers Trust movement for 20 years in all aspects of catchment management. He has a wide experience of farming, forestry, fisheries, and natural flood management. He recognises stakeholder cooperation and economics are vital drivers for success to improve water quality, biodiversity and flood mitigation.

Harriet Housam

Harriet Housam

Farm Advisor

Harriet works in the Tamar catchment as a member of the farm advisory team. She has a background in biological sciences and agricultural technology and has previously developed tools to help farmers achieve healthier, more resilient farm businesses.

Ross Cherrington

Ross Cherrington

Senior Farm Advisor

Ross has worked for the trust as a Farm Advisor since 2002 and specialises in delivering cost-beneficial solutions to watercourse protection and best-practice advice on farms across the Westcountry

Giles Rickard

Giles Rickard

Cornwall Fisheries Team Leader & Senior Land Officer

Giles delivers both catchment scale improvements such as Upstream Thinking and fisheries management actions. Giles has a good understanding of both agricultural systems and fisheries habitat monitoring and enhancement, which is invaluable when combined together.

 Yog (Iorwerth) Watkins

Yog (Iorwerth) Watkins

Senior Land Officer

Yog has considerable experience in engaging and delivering advice to farmers through one-to-one visits, developing whole farm plans, running farming workshops and presentations to wider stakeholders including private companies, community interest groups and students.

Annabel Martin

Annabel Martin

Land Management Officer

Annabel is a member of the trust’s farm advisory team, specialising in soil and nutrient management and advising farmers on fencing watercourses and improving yard infrastructure.

John Hunt

John Hunt

UST 3 Farm Advisor

John is a member of our UST 3 farm advisory team and will be working in the Tamar catchment.  With a background in agricultural research, he has interests in soil health, manure and slurry management, and integrated farm management; he has expertise in nutrient management planning and crop protection. He is a member of the BASIS professional register and is both a FACTS qualified advisor and holds a BASIS Certificate in crop protection.

 

James Harbord

James Harbord

Farm Advisor

James will be involved in the Channel Payments for Ecosystem Services programme, working with land managers to improve water quality, with win-win outcomes for farmers, businesses, the environment and society.

Wendy Couch

Wendy Couch

Farm Advisor

Wendy works on the Dart and Otter catchments. With a background in agri-environment advice alongside a variety of practical farming experience, she is passionate about facilitating nature-based solutions through collaboration with local farmers.

 

Zoë Smith

Zoë Smith

Natural Capital Officer

Zoë supports both the land and rivers teams in delivering nature based solutions across different catchments. Her background is in landscape architecture, environmental management, and arboriculture. She believes the work of the Trust should help our landscapes become healthier and even more multifunctional.

Daniel Halford

Daniel Halford

Farm Advisor

Daniel is involved with the “Connecting the Culm project” which looks to find sustainable nature based solutions to better adapt the river Culm’s catchment to the potential consequences of climate change. His role is to work with and help farmers and landowners improve there land management and use nature based solutions to improve water quality, biodiversity, flood and drought risk.