Meet our teamThe 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.
Dr Laurence Couldrick
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
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.
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
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.
Head of Land Management
Hazel manages the Land Team and oversees a range of projects which develop engagement with farmers, landowners and the wider agricultural industry to provide advice and support which helps identify new opportunities – delivering positive practical change for sustainable environmental and economic benefits.
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
Finance & Facilities Administrator
Victoria supports the project accounts in collating and maintaining financial information for claims, provides general day-to-day finance admin support, and is responsible for aspects of Health & Safety and HR.
Assistant Administrator / Receptionist
Liz works on our front desk, taking care of daily reception duties. She also assists the finance team with administration, and processes purchase requests for everyone at the trust.
In addition, she is responsible for sending out purchased Westcountry Angling Passport tokens.
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.
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 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.
River and Fisheries Officers
As River and Fisheries Officers, Sam is responsible for riparian tree work and fisheries studies. When he’s not working he can be found on the riverbank, fly fishing.
Dr Polly Couldrick
River and Fisheries Commercial Team Leader
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.
Fisheries Scientist & Dorset & Somerset Fisheries Team Leader
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
River and 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.
Land & Fisheries Officer
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.
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.
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.
Evidence & Engagement Officer
Rosie works on a range of projects which aim to engage people with their local environment. This includes working with communities to co-create Sustainable Drainage Systems, developing Westcountry CSI (our citizen science water quality monitoring scheme), working with stakeholders at all levels through the CaBA movement, and using GIS to analyse, present and use environmental data in an accessible way.
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 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.
Communications & Marketing Manager
Josie has a background in journalism, photography and film-making, along with several years communications and marketing management experience. She gained a distinction in her 2018 MA in Photography for her work highlighting the global sand crisis, and continues to raise awareness of the human impact on the natural world through her photographic practice.
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 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.
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.
Evidence and Engagement Officer
Jenny’s background is in Ecological Consultancy and Green Infrastructure. Within the trust, Jenny will be working with the Urban Landscapes Team on a variety of projects, including Plymouth River Keepers (a community engagement project).
Junior Evidence & Engagement Officer
Lydia monitors and collects data from the rivers and streams of the Westcountry. She is helping to develop the CSI project to engage communities in their waterways.
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.
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
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.
Project Manager - Urban Landscapes
Andy has a background in the water industry and project management. He has spent many years in the UK and abroad working on capital water and wastewater infrastructure projects, in project and contracts management. He has worked for Thames Water in clean water production in the Thames Valley. His role at the trust is to project manage existing programmes such as Sponge 2020 and develop new projects in the Urban Landscapes programme, which aims to improve natural and social aspects of the urban environment.
Dr Sarah Ward
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.
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.
Upstream Thinking 3 Project Manager
Steph is an experienced environmental project manager with a varied background in ecology, habitat enhancement, river restoration, fish habitat improvement schemes, fish easement and environmental contracting.
She will be managing the UST3 project and advisors. She has a passion for conservation and is particularly interested in nature-based solutions.
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
Land Management Advisor
Dr David Valder has more than 25-years’ experience in Land and Environmental Management, dealing face-to-face with landowners and stakeholders to improve the water environment across the South West. David facilitates Natural Capital Gain and Payments for Ecosystem projects via contract procurement and project management, involving legal agreements, planning applications and land drainage consenting.
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.
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.
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.
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.