About us


© Russell Savory

How we're run

Our Trustees are a group of volunteers who hold the financial and legal responsibility for everything the Trust does.

Our Trustees bring a wide range of knowledge, expertise and experience to the charity and are responsible for approving our strategic plans, annual budget and Annual Report & Accounts. 

Trustees are appointed from our membership base at the Annual General Meeting of the Trust each November.

Our mission

Our Trustees

Angela Swarbrick (Chair)

Angela retired in 2017 from Ernst & Young LLP, where she was a partner, a Chartered Accountant and a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner. She has significant financial and commercial experience working with businesses over a 28 year period.  Angela has an honours degree and a doctorate in Geology and has a lifelong passion for the outdoors, nature and wildlife.  She is also a Trustee and Chair of the Audit Committee for a national animal charity.  She lives in Surrey and is a member of SWT.

Gerry Bacon (Treasurer)

Gerry retired from a successful career in corporate finance in 2010, during which time he was CFO and Group Treasurer in the energy and telecommunication industries respectively. He is a Chartered Accountant and a Fellow of The Association of Corporate Treasurers for whom he was also President.  

Since retiring he has been a part-time corporate finance lecturer, a non-executive director of an autism trust and an insurance group and he recently completed a part-time degree in history and history of art. A life-long lover of nature, Gerry is also Chairman of a cricket club, a keen sportsman and is passionate about education.

Nick Baxter

A Chartered Biologist, Nick has had a long career in countryside management spanning over 30 years. Nick came to Surrey in 1983 to run the Lower Mole Countryside Management Project, the first area-based countryside management project in Surrey and south London. Following this, he worked for Surrey County Council, eventually as Head of Countryside Management. He also oversaw the start of the contract between SWT and Surrey County Council to manage SCC’s countryside estate. Nick has a particular interest in development and retention of volunteers, common land issues and lowland heathland. 

Andrew Beattie

Andrew is an experienced environmental professional with proven ability in leading multidisciplinary teams to deliver environmental management, assessment and consenting on high-profile projects. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and holds full membership with the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment. Andrew has been a member of SWT for over six years and is a  RiverSearch volunteer. In his spare time he is a cyclist and a trail runner.

Jason Gaskell

Jason is the Chief Executive of Surrey Community Action, a charity that provides advice and support to Surrey’s voluntary sector.  Before moving to Surrey in 2013, Jason worked for Northumberland Wildlife Trust and BTCV, as well as studying Ecology at University.  He had a stint in corporate IT in between too.  He has maintained his interest in ecology and the environment both professionally and in his leisure activities.  He also sits on Surrey’s Health and Wellbeing Board and on the Board of the Local Enterprise Partnership, so brings that knowledge and experience to the Trust.

Christine Howard

Christine Howard is in her final year as Chairman of the Surrey Hills Society – the charity she helped set up nine years ago to support Surrey’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. She is also Chairman of Visit Surrey, Surrey’s official Tourism Board and Vice President of the Surrey Association of Local Councils. She has served as both a parish and borough councillor, as well as working as an officer in local government for both Waverley and Guildford boroughs.  

Having grown up on a farm in Australia, she is passionate about rural issues and the environment. She writes a rural column for Surrey Life magazine and is a judge on the Surrey Life Food and Drink Awards, which champions local producers. In her spare time she leads walks in the countryside and sings Gilbert and Sullivan operas with Godalming Operatic Society.

Peter Smith

Peter was born and lives in Surrey and has an enduring interest in wildlife. Peter’s background is in marketing strategy - after a degree in biology Peter joined the pharmaceutical industry, where he has held a variety of marketing leadership roles. More recently he became a strategy consultant and has been providing support to the Trust in this capacity.

Ian Smith

Ian heads the Financial Planning and Performance team at WWF and brings commercial experience from the private and charity sector. In previous roles he worked with sales teams assessing investment opportunities and now works to ensure value for money is achieved with limited charity resources. He is an ACCA qualified accountant and has just completed a part-time degree in Natural Sciences with the Open University.

Ian is a keen hiker, loves being out in nature around Surrey or further afield. He is passionate about conservation and is happy to be able to combine a local focus at SWT with an International focus at WWF.

Peter Sutton

Peter has over 40 years experience working in environmental science. With a keen interest in plants, animal and ecology from an early age, he went on to study for a degree in Plant Sciences at Cambridge University. During his career he worked as a field trials biologist, multi-discipline project manager and global product development manager, environmental stewardship manager and as an ecological risk assessor. As part of his environmental stewardship role he was responsible for creating projects to enhance farmland landscapes and wildlife biodiversity. 

Mark Turner

Mark retired in 2014 following a successful career in commercial law, during which he was a partner and head of the technology group at a prominent international law firm. Since retiring he has become a qualified executive coach and an Associate Fellow at the Oxford Saïd Business School. He has considerable experience of charitable organisations, including advising and coaching CEOs and chairs of trustees in the management and development of charitable organisations. Mark moved to rural Surrey several years ago and is a long standing member of several local and national countryside charities.

Pam Whyman

Pam has been a volunteer and advisor with our education team for many years, sharing her wealth of knowledge gained over 40 years of teaching biology. She has a passion for the benefits of outdoor learning and now that the dream of a new super classroom complex in the magical Nower Wood has become a reality, she is even more excited to be involved in the endless opportunities that SWT can deliver. Pam still teaches at Esher College and will continue to provide an educational training and advisory role for the Trust, working closely with staff in all sections of the education department.

Financial summary 2020

Governance documents

AGM 2020 recording

A recording of the Online 2020 AGM on Zoom

How to become a Trustee

Any member of Surrey Wildlife Trust may apply to become a Trustee, provided they are eligible to stand for election under both company law and charity law. No fixed qualifications are needed, but a wide range of skills and experience are required in order for our Board of Trustees to be effective. Trustees may only serve for a maximum of three terms of three years (9 total).

If you are interested in becoming a Trustee, please check our vacancies page. Trustees are elected at our Annual General Meeting, held each November.