The Barn Owl Trust is a registered charity and has five Trustees who are legally accountable for controlling its management and administration. They are all volunteers and between them they share the ultimate responsibility for all our decision-making, policies and expenditure. We also have an Honorary Treasurer who advises the Trustees on financial matters. They attend regular meetings in their own time and each has their area of expertise.
Here’s a little information about each of them:
Senior tour guide with a specialist bird-watching holiday company. Keith is the current chair; he is a British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) ringer and trained the other BTO ringers at the Trust. He is responsible for overseeing all our bird ringing, involved in the recruitment of new conservation staff and was instrumental in the development of the Trust’s Health & Safety Policy and Forward Plan. He also line-manages our Head of Conservation. Keith has been interested in birds since he was a child and also knows a huge amount about butterflies and plants.
Keith has been a Trustee since 1992.
Frances Jaine Ramsden
Frances runs her own business providing financial assistance, PR, photography and training for charities and not-for-profit companies. Until 2003 she was responsible for the day-to-day workings of the office, staff and volunteers as Managing Trustee. Now semi-retired from this role, Frances line-manages the Office Manager and is joint editor of Feedback (the Trust’s bi-annual magazine). She is a BTO ringer and helps with the Trust’s annual monitoring of Barn Owl sites. In her professional capacity Frances is responsible for paying all the bills and producing the annual and management accounts for the Trust. In her spare time she has a garden, makes baskets, takes photographs and keeps quite a few animals.
Frances has been a Trustee since 1987.
A solicitor and a Partner in Wollen Michelmore Solicitors, Simon became the Trust’s Honorary Solicitor in 1999 after moving to Devon from the southeast of England where he practiced law for over twenty years. He advises the Trust on legal matters. Simon has a keen interest in the environment and has been a member of Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace for many years. He was also involved in the creation of GASP!, a local environmental pressure group in Greenwich. As a result Simon took an MA in Environmental Law and is an active member of the United Kingdom Environmental Law Association (UKELA). Simon is active in the local community and is a Non Executive Director of Torbay Development Agency Ltd. In his spare time Simon plays bass guitar in a band even though he is old enough to know better.
Simon has been a Trustee since 2000.
Chris was an adviser to the Trust for many years on matters relating to education. She helped produce the Trust’s schools’ pack and volunteered for both the Devon and Cornwall Barn Owl surveys. Now retired, Chris was a teacher-governor at a local primary school. She and her pupils organised and maintained a small area of ancient willow coppice with stream as a wildlife habitat. Her classroom acted as a bird hide with a winter bird count of over 30 species. Ex-pupils still comment on the fact that work would stop if a new bird or new bird behaviour was spotted. She encouraged the use of school grounds as a cross curricular outdoor classroom long before it became mainstream. Chris continues her lifelong interest in ecology and conservation in retirement. Her new home includes an orchard and a stream where she can encourage wildlife and is able to involve her grandchildren’s generation.
Chris has been a Trustee since 2007.
Company director of Wildlife Watching Supplies and wildlife photographer. Kevin has been a Friend and supporter of the Trust since 1993 when he began taking photographs for us. Born and brought up in Sussex he moved to Devon in 1989. He has been a commercial diver, went to agricultural college, worked on a farm and started a rope business. Through his varied careers Kevin always had a camera with him and has always been passionate about wildlife and wildlife photography. In 1992 he set up Wildlife Watching Supplies to provide better equipment for wildlife photographers. Kevin is married with 2 daughters.
Kevin has been a Trustee since November 2010.
Mark is a District Councillor and a retired Senior Business Bank Manager and has worked closely with small businesses. He oversees and advises on all financial matters for the Trust. He was born in Gloucester where he grew up with several Dalmatian dogs but now lives in Devon. A keen bird watcher, he also loves sports and spends quite a bit of his free time working with people with mental health problems via Rethink.
Mark has been Honorary Treasurer since 2001.