Meet the team

The Steyning Downland Scheme is run pretty well entirely by local volunteers, for the local community. The Trustees oversee the overall development of the scheme and are responsible for charity policy, legal compliance, funding and ensuring the scheme maintains a strong Christian ethos. The Land Management Group oversee the nature conservation aspects of the Scheme, while the People Engagement Group focus on how people use and benefit from the land. And finally, our Project Manager valiantly tries to hold the whole thing together . . .

Richard Goring

Richard is the Chair of the Trustees. His family own the Wiston Estate, which includes the Steyning Downland.

Matthew Thomas

Matthew is our Project Manager. He lives in the office, answering the phone, typing e-mails and pushing pieces of paper around. . .

Andrew Armitage

Trustee. Andrew is a lawyer and has a particular focus on legal compliance, policy development and insurance. He's also a bit of a expert on birds and leads our 'Songs of the Dawn' walks.

Graham Broad

Trustee. Graham has a background in finance and is our Treasurer. He does a great job making sure we don't spend too much!

Revd Canon Nigel Hartley

Trustee. Nigel is a retired Vicar and is responsible for maintaining the Christian ethos of the Scheme

Bob Platt

Bob oversees our data collection and management. Whether it be botany, bird or butterfly surveys, Bob crunches the data and lets us know how wildlife is benefiting from our work

Craig Daters

LMG: We 'borrow' Craig from the South Downs National Park Authority - his day job is Lead Ranger for their Central Area

David Buckett

LMG: David is a grand multi-tasker - He helps to lead the Conservation Volunteers and our Bushcraft Days. He's also a botany surveyor, a Lookerer and lots of other stuff too

Jon Brook

LMG: Jon is the data cruncher for our Butterfly Surveyors and keeps an overall picture of how our butterflies are doing

Lucy Oakley

LMG: Lucy is our Volunteer Tree Inspector. She keeps an eye on the trees growing near our Rights of Way and reports any potential problems

Pete Varkala

LMG: Pete helps to lead our Conservation Volunteers, records butterflies, shoots video, makes music and rides a tractor - sometimes all at the same time

Sarah Quantrill

LMG: Sarah helps to lead our Conservation Volunteers, looks after our Butterfly Surveyors and is leading on our exciting Duke of Burgundy reintroduction project

Susan Smith

LMG: Susan knows a lot about cows - she's one of our Lookerers and helps to make sure our Dexter cattle are on top form

Vernon Hewett

Steering Group. Vernon looks after our Friends scheme, is a member of our Supporter's Group and the Conservation Volunteers

Ann Blakelock

PEG: Ann leads a social dog walking group and knows a lot about dogs and dog walkers

Christine Supiot

PEG: Christine is a keen horse rider and looks after access and Rights of Way issues

Eleanor Gloster

PEG: . Elfie is our go-to ideas person for anything to do with events and fundraising. She also looks after our Facebook page . . . . and Manta rays

Jo Bell

PEG: Jo is the Horsham District Team Manager for Sussex Clubs for Young People and is developing a new SDS Junior Management Board

Justin Russell

PEG. Justin is a professional archaeologist and in his 'spare time' leads the SDS Rifle Range Volunteers

Kate Drake

PEG: Kate is the Health & Wellbeing Officer for the South Downs National Park Authority and makes sure we all stay healthy and well

Paul Tiller

PEG: Paul works with Percy to maintain our mountain biking area and represents biking interests

Percy Parsons

PEG: Percy works with with Paul Tiller, maintaining our mountain bike area and represents biking interests

Sophie Brown

PEG: Sophie is Assistant Ranger for the South Downs National Park Authority and also happens to know a lot about Nightingales