FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

How We Are Run


The FSC is a registered charity in England and Wales, and in Scotland.  The Board of Trustees is the governing body, responsible for ensuring that FSC conducts its affairs in accordance with the Articles of Association and the law.

The Board and its principal committees operate to a schedule of quarterly meetings. Once policy and strategy have been agreed, responsibility for implementation lies with the Chief Executive and Management Team.


HRH The Prince of Wales 

Professor Timothy P Burt FAGU FRGS 

Professor Desmond B A Thompson FRSE FCIEEM 

Chief Executive
Robert Lucas 

Vice Patrons
David Elleray MBE
Professor Steve Jones FRS
Joanna Mcvey
David Streeter MBE FRSB
Professor Iain Stewart MBE PRSGS 

Vice President
Alastair Lavery OBE

Chairs’ Committee

 Prof Timothy P Burt (President)

Tim Burt

Master of Hatfield College, Durham University.

Tim first visited an FSC Centre in the mid-1970s (Nettlecombe) when a PhD student at Bristol, helping to run a field course.  He then started taking his own field trips from Huddersfield Polytechnic  to Slapton and Rhyd-y-Creuau, as well as supervising placement students. At Oxford he continued to use Slapton and at Durham started taking students to Blencathra; this course is still running nearly 20 years later.

Tim became a FSC trustee in 1982, Chairman in 1996 and President in 2014. He comments: ‘I have learned a great deal from being involved with FSC as well as, hopefully, putting something back into the organisation’.

Tim’s academic interests are in physical geography, in particular hydrology, geomorphology and climate change. The very long nitrate record for the Slapton Wood catchment, unique for such a small basin, has been one focus of his research over nearly 40 years.

Prof Desmond Thompson (FSC Chairman)

Des ThompsonPrincipal Adviser on Biodiversity with Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH)

Des manages policy, research and advisory work on biodiversity and climate change in SNH, and led some of Britain’s upland nature conservation work for the government and its agencies.  Hailing from the Scottish Highlands, he graduated in biology at the University of West of Scotland, and took his PhD and DSc from the University of Nottingham.  

Becoming Chairman in 2014, having previously chaired the Finance and Administration Committee, Des is immensely proud of the superb outdoor learning opportunities available at FSC centres.  Visits to these special places have been real highlights for many people, who enthuse about their ambience, facilities and talented staff.  

With specialist interests in the uplands and bird ecology, Des has written and edited many books and papers.  A Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, he serves as chair or member of several international and national committees.  He is passionate about the importance of fieldwork, has co-supervised many research students, and enjoys hill walking, bird watching, landscape photography and rock climbing. 

Dr Penelope Watt (Chair of Education Committee)

Penny PhotoSenior Lecturer in Zoology, Univeristy of Sheffield

Penny first went on an FSC course at Millport as a zoology undergraduate whilst studying at Newcastle University in the 1980s. She completed her PhD at Leeds and has taught on field courses in Leeds, Imperial College (Silwood Park), De Montfort and Sheffield Universities. She especially enjoyed the trips to Nettlecombe Court.

Penny is currently senior lecturer at the University of Sheffield. As a behavioural ecologist specialising in fish, freshwater invertebrates and amphibians, fieldwork has formed an important part of her research. Penny is passionate about the outdoors and is a big fan of Sir David Attenborough. She has been a school governor for a number of years and is very keen to engage children with the natural world from an early age.

Members of her family have attended and thoroughly enjoyed the Lakeland Discovery course at Blencathra and the Marine Science Camp at Dale Fort. She has attended the annual Dale Fort Marine Symposium which Penny believes is an excellent forum for students and those working in marine biology to present their results. Plus the marine life is some of the best she's seen!


Mr Geoffrey Brown (Honorary Treasurer)

Geoff BrownGeoff spent his entire career with the Royal Dutch Shell Group, working both in the UK and abroad. He became an accountant whilst with Shell, gaining the ACCA qualification. Geoff ended his Shell career in the position of Global Finance Manager for one of Shell’s businesses.  All Geoff’s roles were financially based, with the exception of being Head of Commercial Recruitment for Shell International in London, in the mid 1990’s.

 Whilst in this role Geoff started sponsoring University Expeditions and came into contact with Professor Tim Burt, the FSC Chairman, then Chair of the Oxford University Expeditions Council. Geoff was subsequently asked to become the FSC Honorary Treasurer, taking up this post in 2003 shortly before his retirement from Shell.

Since retirement, Geoff has become a Magistrate.  He is passionate about the FSC’s financial performance and stability, and he has a keen eye for our environmental performance.

Mrs Jane Ross (Chair of Finance and Administration Committee)

JJane Rossane has a degree in Economics and qualified with CIPFA as an accountant specialising in the public sector. She held posts in Local Government and the NHS before becoming Director of Finance at Royal Holloway, University of London in 1990. She became responsible for all operational services as Director of Resources together with governance matters as College Secretary. Both before and since retiring she has held various governor/trustee roles including Chairman of Governors at the Lady Eleanor Holles School for eleven years.

Jane's first experience of the FSC was her A Level Geography field course and over the years she has enjoyed painting holidays at various FSC locations. She is very impressed by the work done by the FSC and so was pleased to become a Trustee in 2011 and hopes as Chair of the Finance and Adminsitration Committee from 2014 to help contribute to the FSC's continuing success and financial strength.


Mrs Angela Bailey (FSC Vice Chair)

Angela Bailey
Angela has been involved in environmental education all her working life. Until her retirement in 2013 she taught both geography and biology at GCSE and A level and, when her school embarked on the IBDP, she was took responsibility for running the Environmental Systems and Societies course. She has worked for OCR as a senior examiner and question paper evaluator for geography at GCSE level.

Her past pupils always remember their residential field courses as some of the best times at school and Angela is firmly committed to FSC's vision of extending such fieldwork opportunities to as many people as possible.




Ms Kim Adams
Mr Paul Airey
Mr Peter Anderson
Mrs Angela Bailey
Mr Geoff Brown
Dr Caroline Bucklow
Prof Timothy Burt
Mr Graham Burton
Mr Rob Cooke
Dr Martin Dixon
Ms Tara Duncan
Lady Isabel Glasgow
Prof Peter Higgins
Dr John J Hopkins
Dr Karen Kerr
Mr Chris Lane
Prof Rob Marrs
Ms Gill Miller
Ms Helen Munro
Mr Bill Rogers
Mrs Jane Ross
Dr Mark Smith
Prof Des Thompson
Dr Penelope Watt
Dr Sarah Whild
Ms Jenifer White