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
Mark Castle OBE

Professor Steve Jones FRS
Joanna Mcvey
David Streeter MBE FRSB
Professor Iain Stewart MBE PRSGS FRSE 

Alastair Lavery OBE
Rob Lucas FRGS
Anthony D Thomas OBE

Chairs’ Committee

 Prof Timothy P Burt (President)

Tim Burt

Former 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.  Tim was awarded the David Linton Award by the British Socienty for Geomorphology (2017), and edits Field Studies.

Prof Desmond Thompson (FSC Chairman)

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

Des manages scientific, 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. 

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.

Mr John Thomson (Chair of Finance and Administration Committee)

John ThomsonJohn’s love of the countryside and wildlife drew him irresistibly from degrees in history and economics and 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.  Always keen to combine policy and practice, he has since retiring in 2011 remained active in the environmental and rural development fields through heavy involvement in a variety of voluntary bodies and by running with his wife a small herd of native Galloway cattle.  

Many years of observation have convinced him of the key role that childhood experience of nature plays in shaping people’s environmental attitudes and broader values.  It thus gives him great pleasure to contribute to the awareness-raising work of FSC, which he sees as crucial to a future both more sustainable and more fulfilling.



Ms Kim Adams
Mr Paul Airey
Mr Peter Anderson
Mr Geoff Brown
Dr Caroline Bucklow
Prof Timothy Burt
Mr Rob Cooke
Ms Tara Duncan
Prof Peter Higgins
Dr Karen Kerr
Mr Chris Lane
Prof Rob Marrs
Ms Gill Miller
Mr Bill Rogers
Prof Des Thompson
Ms Jenifer White
Dr Nicholas Howden
Prof Tom Hutchinson
Ms Kim Somerville
Mr Jeff Sissons