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Our Team

Meet our team of dedicated and knowledgable employees and Trustees.

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Aimee Felus - Trust Manager

Aimee has worked with water for 18 years, specialising in water quality issues, nature-based solutions and community engagement. Rivers captivate Aimee, for their vital place in the natural world, for their role in our culture and all that they offer to us. Aimee’s top river moments include hauling 3500 tyres from the Lea with amazing Thames21 volunteers, watching the sand martin’s aerial dance from a canoe on the Wye and seeing a river weave its magic into her son as he was charmed for hours on a paddleboard. Aimee feels very privileged to be able to work for her local rivers through ARRT.


Andrew Lee - Trustee

Andrew started his career at the Sussex Wildlife Trust, latterly as CEO. He went on to head the UK & European Programmes of WWF UK, and then became the first CEO of the Sustainable Development Commission, a government watchdog, thinktank and advisor. Andrew joined the South Downs National Park Authority as it went live in 2011 and led its strategy, nature recovery, climate and people work for 13 years. In his final months he convened the “Rother Summit”. He has also been a trustee for various charities including Global Action Plan and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. He currently chairs its Conservation & Science Panel.


Charlie Baker - Chair of Trustees

Charlie lives in Northchapel in West Sussex. A tributary of the Arun runs through his garden. Charlie feels a relationship with rivers and thrives on watching flow and complexion. He is as interested in what happens below the surface as what happens above it; if the activity below the surface is contaminated, life is restricted and nature’s struggle for health and wellbeing is curtailed. It is his ambition to see the Arun and Rother and Western Streams rapidly restored to health in line with the Water Framework Directive. He wants to inspire many people with a passion for ecology to contribute to this vision for our rivers.


Dave Brown - Trustee

Dave is an environmental scientist and the retired head of a university unit, having previously worked in the environmental consultancy sector. While a general environmental scientist, with particular experience in fields of environmental impact assessment and environmental auditing, he has a strong interest in the aquatic environment and has worked in a professional capacity on many river systems. He has a longstanding involvement in the rivers trust movement; in addition to being a Trustee of WSRT he was for over a decade a Trustee and Vice Chair of the national Rivers Trust (RT).


Dave Cooper - Trustee

Until August 2022, Dave was Head of University of Chichester Business School and Professor of Management and Economic Development. Prior to joining the University, he worked for Cap Gemini and was an Account Director within the telecommunications sector. He studied engineering and has significant experience of commercial and public sector programme development and implementation. He was Programme Director for the ERDF funded, £11m Business Hot House project to support business start-up and growth for Coast to Capital LEP. He has been involved in a number of European projects and led the €4m Interreg funded Channel Payments for Eco System Services Project focused on catchment scale improvement in water quality. He is Chair of the Bognor Regis Regeneration Board, Vice Commodore of the Emsworth Slipper Sailing Club and runs his own small consulting business supporting sustainable projects.


Dave Green - Trustee

Dave has lived in West Sussex his entire life and currently resides a short walk away from the River Arun near Wisborough Green. He has been passionate about conservation and ecology for more than thirty years and has a particular interest in moth recording and bird ringing. He was a Trustee at the Sussex Wildlife Trust for 16 years and is involved with the Knepp Estate Rewilding project where he carries out regular ecological surveys.


Jane Reeve - Aldingbourne Rife Project (contractor)

Jane has a special interest in endangered mammal species and has been part of international teams researching primates in Indonesia and tigers in India. The rapidly declining water vole has been the focus of Jane’s attention for the last 14 years and this has allowed her to work locally and fall in love with all riparian mammals. Jane enjoys liaising with farmers, landowners and communities to improve wetland areas and leading volunteer work parties to make action on the ground happen. Happiest moments are in wellies in an unloved ditch and finding water vole signs or working with volunteers to breathe life into a new section of waterway. It is very exciting to work with the ARRT team who have amazing skills, experience and passion for improving rivers. Not very secret ambition is to work on a beaver introduction project locally!


Keir Smith - Volunteer and Catchment Coordinator

Keir is passionate about protecting our rivers and their biodiversity. He enjoys working with our volunteers to make a difference throughout the catchment and has a wealth of experience combining education with conservation and the environment. Keir particularly enjoys spotting wildlife along the Arun and Rother within the beautiful South Downs National Park.


Kirsten Mills - Soil and Water Officer

Brought up in the Norfolk Broads, Kirsten has been around rivers most of her childhood. Following her passion for the natural world she studied environmental science in Bangor, North Wales and in Wageningen, The Netherlands. As ARRT’s Soil and Water Officer she is keen to put into practice what she has learnt. Kirsten is looking forward to working with volunteers and stakeholders, and to help bring positive change to the local area.


Mandy Phyfferoen - Finance and Admin Manager

Mandy has worked in nature conservation for 16 years, with the National Trust as a Ranger and Project Co-ordinator, managing rare habitats such as ancient woodlands and heathlands for rare species such as Dartford warblers and silver studded blue butterflies. She has always loved the natural world and combining her passion for photography, has travelled to Kenya to see the lions and wildebeest on the Masai Mara, New Zealand for the whales and dolphins and the Galapagos to see the iguanas, giant tortoises, birds and sea lions. Mandy also has a background in IT having worked in the industry for over 20 years. She has a very keen interest in the health of her local rivers as a wild swimmer, kayaker and canoeist and is excited to be part of a team protecting and improving them for nature, wildlife and people.


Nick Cross - Vice Chair of Trustees

Nick lives in a 16th century mill on the river Arun, which flows around and under his home. Nick recently took on the restoration of the previously silted, stagnant mill pond and restored it to create a thriving habitat for birds, fish, eels and amphibians. During an international career in business leadership, Nick and his family lived in 10 countries on 4 continents. Now back in the UK, in addition to starting his own business with a focus on leadership and organisational effectiveness, Nick is keen to support causes aimed at improving the environment and protecting biodiversity.


Sarah Hughes - Chalk Stream Resilience Officer (Ems & Hambrook)

Sarah has worked within the wildlife and biodiversity sector since 2004, monitoring, surveying and habitat enhancement and connectivity for protected species and habitats, specialising in nature-based solutions. She enjoys working with the local community enthusing them on the importance of biodiversity and how we all can make a positive contribution to our environment. Sarah has a passion for rivers and the wealth of wildlife that it supports, especially along the River Ems and Aldingbourne Rife. She also has a love of woodlands and trees.


Sian MacLeod - Trustee

Sian trained to be a classical violinist before pursuing a Diplomatic Service career that took her to Russia, Lithuania, The Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Austria and Serbia, including 12 years as an Ambassador. As a diplomat she has been a professional advocate on environmental protection, climate change and greener energy, whilst supporting and working with conservation groups at home and abroad. Having grown up close to the River Itchen she has a lifelong love of rivers. With her family she has spent many hours walking, cycling, skiing or swimming in and along the Moskva, Rhine, Vltava and Danube and other continental European waterways. Happiest in her wellies, since settling back for good into her East Hampshire family home she can be found out and about monitoring the water in the western Rother catchment and volunteering for other local environmental organisations.


Tony Whitbread - Trustee

Tony retired from the Sussex Wildlife Trust in 2018 after working there for 27 years, being chief executive for 12. He is now president of the Trust. During Tony's career he represented the Wildlife Trusts nationally, regionally, and locally on Forestry Commission, National Ecosystem Assessment, Environment Agency, and National Park forums, and currently chair the South Downs Network and the Southeast Climate Alliance. Tony was an early advocate of rewilding and currently runs rewilding workshops at the Knepp Rewilding project. He has written articles and reports on natural processes, for example after the storm in 1987, for British Wildlife in 1997 and in numerous publications for the SWT.


Tracy Thurlow - Project Manager

Tracy has lived in West Sussex most of her life and spent many hours outdoors exploring the Sussex coast where she was brought up. After studying Energy Resources & the Environment at University, she worked at the Environment Agency for 17 years before joining the Rivers Trust. She has a love of nature and the outdoors and has had the enormous pleasure of helping the Trust grow over the last 10 years and is excited to see what impact the growing team can have on the rivers of Western Sussex.

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