Kirstie has worked for the Trust since June 2017 in the capacity of Office and Business Development Manager. She has a strong financial background working as a Financial Controller for a PLC in the Nuclear sector for 10 years. She has qualifications in accountancy and management, her knowledge and experience has enabled her to develop the Trusts business processes. From October 2023 she has taken up the role of Chief Operating Officer, steering the Trust into the future. Outside of work Kirstie enjoys the outdoors regularly open water swimming and tending to her horses.
Peter has two grown up daughters, a nurse and a chartered accountant, and lives with his partner in Upper Weardale. He attended the London School of Economics 1977-1981, then spent 2 years working on farms in Australia. On returning to the UK he worked in logistics with Scottish & Newcastle and Asda stores, 1983 to 2006, before making a career change, initially as a volunteer into the environmental sector. Peter has worked with the Trust since its creation in 2008, initially as a founding Trustee, becoming full time Director in 2012. He stepped back in October 2023 to fill the transitional role of Strategic Funding Director as part of a phased retirement process. In this new role he will work with partners, through the Wear Catchment Partnership and beyond to develop larger landscape-scale projects, aligning with regional and national strategies, exploring broader and more diverse funding opportunities.
Helen joined the Trust in February 2019 as the part time Office Administrator. She has a strong secretarial background of knowledge and experience in office procedures and protocols which will aid and enable the Trust office to run efficiently.
Paul joined the Trust in July 2016 as a Project Officer. He has a degree in Environmental Biology and an MSc in Environmental Management. Paul has previously worked at the Tyne Rivers Trust and with the Environment Agency in a number of roles. He has a wealth of previous experience in monitoring freshwater ecology and co-ordinating and delivering habitat improvement projects.
Paul is experienced in tackling INNS through practical activities and the use of volunteer networks through community engagement. Paul has a wealth of experience in stakeholder engagement to raise awareness of the impact of INNS with particular regard to riparian INNS. The Trust maintains a catchment wide database of INNS records and is engaged in the use of Citizen Scientists to map and inform a practical strategy to eradicate INNS. Paul is co-ordinating remote sensing research into the rapid identification of INNS on the Wear with Newcastle and Durham Universities and has a wealth of knowledge to support the regional INNS strategy aims.
SuDS+ Community Engagement Facilitator/Education Team Leader
SuDS+ Community Engagement Facilitator/Education Team Leader
Mark joined the trust in September 2021 to work within an innovative project to develop sustainable drainage solutions (SuDS). A community led approach to SuDS will be created over the next 5 years with hopes it can be scaled up across the sector. Mark has a degree in History and more than twenty five years’ experience in the community and voluntary sector in community buildings, project and event management. Mark has extensive experience working and volunteering within his community which should be very useful in his new role engaging with local residents, groups and businesses. Before working for the trust Mark was a Durham County Councillor from 2013-21 and Stanley Town Councillor 2017-21.
Away from work Mark is a school governor, charity trustee and athletics coach. He also enjoys fell running and cross country.
Michael joined the WRT in November after 35 years working for the Environment Agency, North East. He brings with him a vast fisheries knowledge and a wide range of monitoring techniques in fresh and saline water environments. He has previously volunteered helping out with the INNS management in the Wear catchment and enjoyed it so much that when the opportunity to work for them came along he jumped at the chance. He is a keen angler in a local fishing club and also coaches rugby union referees in his spare time.
Claire has a degree in Geography and taught at secondary school level for nearly 20 years before embarking on a career change and completing an MSc in Hydrogeology and River Management at Newcastle University. Recently Claire has been working with Durham County Council and Groundwork North and South Tyneside as an Education Assistant, delivering environmental education, including Forest School, to Key stage 1 and 2 pupils. Claire's Masters dissertation was conducting research into Natural Flood Management in Upper Weardale.
Jack joined the Trust in January 2023. Whilst completing an Msci degree in Ecology and Conservation at Lancaster University, he undertook various research projects, including working with the IUCN to begin to understand the impact of illegal cacti trade, and using camera traps to assess scavenger assemblage at Creag Meagaidh NNR. Since graduating, Jack has worked and volunteered in various roles within the conservation sector, including designing, delivering and developing the project How to be a Young North East Naturalist for the Natural History Society of Northumbria. Jack is a keen birdwatcher and lover of wildflowers, he also enjoys cooking and playing football in his spare time.
Jade joined us in early August 2023 and has a background of animal care, conservation of urban waterways and working with and supporting vulnerable people in our communities. She is a wildlife enthusiast and a lover of the great outdoors, especially our North East blue and green spaces. She is passionate about protecting our local environment and enjoys open water swimming and spending time with her family. She is proud to be part of the Wear Rivers Trust team
Mike joined the trust in August 2023, Mike has lived on a farm all his life, he has experience in a wide range of agricultural practices . After studying a degree in Economics Mike worked on the farm and was involved with a countryside stewardship and woodland creation scheme. The scheme completely transformed the landscape of the farm which aided the diversification into the equestrian industry. After going back to university to study an MSc in Rural Development and Resource Management, Mike took over the running of the farm and developed the equestrian business. Mike has a keen interest in all aspects of agriculture including especially farm business and agri -environmental schemes. Outside of work Mike spends most of his time with his children taking them to the various activities, especially football. In his spare time Mike enjoys going to the gym and volunteering as a trustee at his local village hall.
Philip joined the trust as an Education Officer in April 2023. He has a degree in Sports Development (BSc.) as well as a PGCE in Primary Education from Durham University. Having been a primary school teacher for over ten years, he will utilise his experience in the development of the trust’s educational outreach. He has taught every KS2 year group, was Head of PE and assisted in effectively curating, and implementing, school improvement strategies through the Middle Leadership Programme. In his spare time, he enjoys living an active and healthy lifestyle, including playing football for a local team. He also loves reading, being amongst nature and travelling.
I have just finished studying a MSc degree in Agroecology at Harper Adams University. I have previously worked on various biodiversity projects on farms where I have gained experience in soil sampling, breeding wader monitoring and pollinator surveys. I am excited to be part of the WRT team and work with farmers in the Wear catchment
Karen joined the trust as an Education Officer in February 2023. Karen has a degree in Geography, a PGCE in Primary Education plus the National SENCO Award (Special Educational Needs). She also works as a Project Officer on the Wild Oyster Project. At weekends, she enjoys outdoor activities with her family in their campervan. Favourite hobbies include mountain biking, fell walking and running. She is throughly enjoying her working days with the Trust and pleased to be part of the team.
James joined us in early August 2023. He has a background in Drainage Engineering and working with vulnerable adults, teaching them gardening and conservation skills. He is a keen birdwatcher and loves nothing more than spending time out in the wilds of the North East with his dog watching wildlife. Having also worked at a SSSI Nature Reserve James is a strong advocate for protecting and restoring the local environment. James is proud to be able to mix his engineering and love for wildlife to help the WRT achieve its commitments to the Wear Catchment