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.
- Patron – HRH The Prince of Wales
- President – Professor Timothy P Burt FAGU FRGS
- Chairman – Professor Desmond B A Thompson FRSE FCIEEM
- Chief Executive – Mark Castle OBE
- Vice Patrons:
Professor Steve Jones FRS
David Streeter MBE FRSB
Professor Iain Stewart MBE PRSGS FRSE
Alastair Lavery OBE
Rob Lucas FRGS
Anthony D Thomas OBE
Mr Paul Airey
A field visit as a secondary school student inspired a career in the outdoors for Paul. He originally taught outdoor activities and field studies in local authority centres and finished full-time work as an Outdoor Education Adviser for Cheshire West in 2014. He is a former chair of Mountain Training Cymru and was a trustee of the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom for nine years. He currently chairs the Outdoor Partnership Charity, is an honorary member of Outdoor Education Advisers Panel and is a Fellow of the Institute for Outdoor Learning.
Mr Peter Anderson
Peter became a trustee in 2016 and is also a trustee of FiSH Neighbourhood Care, a charity in south west London where he has lived for over 30 years. Peter was a corporate finance partner for 29 years with a large London law firm, before retiring in 2015. Peter grew up in Northern Ireland and read History and Law at Downing College, Cambridge. He has been a trustee of a grant giving charity and a Director of a medium sized company in the retail sector.
Mr Geoff Brown
Geoff spent his entire career with the Royal Dutch Shell Group, in the UK and abroad. He qualified as an accountant, eventually becoming Global Finance Manager for one of Shell’s businesses. All Geoff’s roles were financially based, except when Head of Commercial Recruitment for Shell International in London, in the mid 1990’s. While in this role Geoff started sponsoring University Expeditions and met Professor Tim Burt, then FSC Chair. Since retirement, Geoff has become a Magistrate.
Dr Caroline Bucklow
Caroline is currently Executive Secretary of the Rank Prize Funds, a charitable trust working in Nutrition and Optoelectronics. Prior to this, she spent six years co-ordinating the University of Oxford Social Enterprise scheme and worked with partners to support a national network of social entrepreneurs. Caroline has spent most of her career in the not-for-profit sector, leading organisations through turnaround, start-up and growth as well as providing mentoring for small charities and social enterprises.
Prof Tim Burt
Tim first visited an FSC Centre in the mid-1970s (Nettlecombe) when a PhD student at Bristol. He then started taking his own field trips from Huddersfield Polytechnic to Slapton and Rhyd-y-Creuau. At Durham he took students to Blencathra (a course still running 20 years later). Tim retired in 2017 after 21 years as Master of Hatfield College, Durham, and Professor of Geography. He became an FSC trustee in 1982, Chairman in 1996 and President in 2014. Tim’s academic interests are in physical geography, in particular hydrology, geomorphology and climate change. He is an elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the British Society for Geomorphology. He was awarded the David Linton Award by the British Society for Geomorphology (2017).
Mr Rob Cooke
Rob is a Director at Natural England, the Government’s adviser in the marine and terrestrial environments, including nature conservation, access and landscape. His current role is Director for EU Transition, advising on matters relating to Brexit. Previously Rob has worked on biodiversity policy, environmental legislation, site designation, landscape scale delivery and sustainable development issues. He has worked in the environmental sector for over 30 years in policy implementation and operational roles.
Ms Amanda Craig
Amanda is Natural England’s Director for People & Nature, having been Operations Director (North) for 5 years. With a background in practical habitat management and ecology, Amanda has held a number of operational roles in Natural England, including leading on the initial set up of the England Catchment Sensitive Farming Programme, Water Company Pricing Reviews and was Area Manager for Shropshire, Staffordshire and Birmingham. Amanda is a licensed bat volunteer.
Prof Peter Higgins
A love of and care for the natural world, led to Pete’s academic training and early career as an environmental scientist and freshwater biologist, and roles including re-introducing salmon to the Thames. Following teacher-training he taught outdoor and environmental education in residential centres. As Professor of Outdoor Environmental & Sustainability Education (University of Edinburgh), he teaches indoors, on-line, and outdoors on the River Spey, Isle of Rum and locally. His research and writing is primarily in these fields. He is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Association, and was recently awarded the University’s highest award for teaching ‘The Chancellor’s Award’. He is Director of the University’s Global Environment & Society Academy, Director of the UN Regional Centre of Expertise in ESD (Scotland), and advises Scottish Government and internationally on related education policy development.
Dr Nicholas Howden
Nicholas is a catchment hydrologist and hydrogeologist. He researches the effect of climate, land-use and land management on the quantity and quality of surface and groundwater. He lectured in Soil and Water Engineering at Cranfield University, before joining the Department of Civil Engineering, University of Bristol, in 2010. He was leader of Work Package Hydrology for the Arctic Biosphere Atmosphere Coupling at Multiple Scales research project. Nicholas has worked as a consultant for Yorkshire Water, WINGAS Storage UK, Egdon Resources, and the Portland Gas Company.
Prof Tom Hutchinson
(Chair of Education Strategy Committee)
Tom is Professor of Environment and Health at the University of Plymouth. He was for many years a senior environmental scientist at AstraZeneca in Sweden and the UK. His commitment to environmental education and research led Tom to senior roles at Plymouth Marine Laboratory and Defra’s Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas). He continues as an advisor to international agencies, and the UK Government on environmental and health matters. Tom is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, the Linnean Society, and the Royal Society of Biology.
Dr Karen Kerr
Karen Kerr is a Lecturer in Education in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at Queen’s University Belfast, to include initial teacher education. She is a qualified science teacher, and has taught in nursery, primary (elementary) and secondary (high) schools in Northern Ireland, England and Spain. Her research background is in science education, in particular, outdoor learning and professional development for teachers.
Mr Chris Lane
Chris’s first encounter with FSC was at Slapton 1971. He has visited FSC centres, in various capacities, at least once every year since then. Almost 40 years as a teacher of geography cemented his view of the value of FSC work to young people in their learning and understanding of their environment. This experience shaped his desire to contribute further to the organisation, where his chief interests are for the users and for the safety and wellbeing of all FSC staff.
Prof Rob Marrs
(Vice Chair Education)
Rob is an applied plant ecologist. Now retired, he is an Emeritus Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool and has a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship. His research interests include restoration ecology and the conservation of heathland and moorland habitats and their interactions with weed species, especially bracken. During his career he has worked on ecosystems ranging from the sub-tundra to tropical forests. For almost 30 years he taught field work skills to undergraduate and masters students, often using FSC sites.
Ms Gill Miller
Gill is Senior Lecturer Emerita in the Department of Geography and International Development, University of Chester. Her early career was as teacher and deputy head of a secondary school. She was Chief Examiner of A-level World Development, has many years’ experience examining A-level Geography, is a moderator for non-exam assessment, and revises A-level papers for WJEC. Gill has authored several A-level texts and wrote regularly for Geography Review. She delivers CPD to geography teachers and lectures on geographical and development issues to sixth forms. She is currently President of the Geographical Association (2019-2020), and trustee of other organisations, including Five Talents, a microfinance NGO.
Mr Jeff Sissons
Jeff’s corporate career spans executive and non-executive positions, including CEO of a UK FSA regulated company, Chairman of an Irish IFSRA/CBI regulated company, sales and marketing director and then compliance director of an international life insurance company. In 2012 he decided to focus on academic studies, freelance consultancy and non-executive roles. Jeff combines his commercial experience with an MA in Coaching and Mentoring Practice; an MSc in Psychology; and an MSc in Applied Ecology. He currently serves as a non-executive director of Ramblers Holiday Group Ltd.
Ms Kim Somerville
Kim has been leading marketing and campaigns in the Education and Third Sector for 15 years within universities and schools, to help young people to raise aspirations and flourish. She is currently a Director with Magpie Communications, and was, until recently, CEO of the Council for Learning Outside the Council (CLOtC). Previously, Kim led the Brilliant Residentials campaign for the Learning Away consortium nationwide which continues to promote and champion school trips with an overnight stay.
Prof Des Thompson
Des manages scientific, and advisory work on biodiversity and climate change in Scottish Natural Heritage, and led some of Britain’s upland nature conservation work. He graduated in Biology at the University of West of Scotland, with a PhD and DSc from the University of Nottingham. 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. Des was awarded the 2019 CIEEM Medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to biodiversity conservation and upland ecology.
Mr John Thomson
(Chair of Finance and Administration Committee)
John’s love of the countryside drew him from an early career in the Treasury to the world of conservation and outdoor recreation. Roles there included 5 years as Principal Finance and Establishment Officer at the Countryside Commission and almost 20 years as a Director in Scottish Natural Heritage. Since retiring in 2011 he has remained involved in a variety of voluntary bodies, and runs with his wife a small herd of native Galloway cattle.
Ms Jenifer White
(Vice Chair Centres & Wider Estates)
Jenifer works for Historic England as National Landscape Adviser. She studied Botany and has a Masters in Landscape Ecology, Design and Maintenance. She qualified as a chartered landscape architect and offers expertise in countryside conservation and landscape protection, public access and heritage estates. In her current role, Jenifer is involved in the sustainability of historic urban public parks and green spaces, and the role of these sites in health and well-being, green infrastructure and climate change adaptation.