Behind the scenes


Board of Trustees

The charity is overseen by a Board of Trustees, which meets on a quarterly basis. The Board takes strategic decisions on the future priorities and activities of the Trust for Sustainable Living and The Living Rainforest visitor centre.

In carrying out their duties, the Board of Trustees relies on strategic input from Advisors in key areas of activity:

Staff & Consultants

The staff bring together a considerable range and depth of experience, with backgrounds in disciplines ranging from the biological, social and sustainability sciences to education, communications and management. Currently approximately 40 people work for the charity, although this varies seasonally, and an illustrious alumni of former staff and volunteers work at leading education and conservation organisations both nationally and internationally.

  • Will Aitken, Maintenance/Glasshouse Support
  • Fiona Benjamin, Finance Manager
  • Toni Bennett, Shop & Cafe Assistant
  • Melanie Booth, Assistant Education Officer
  • Helen Boyle, Shop & Café Assistant
  • Sharynn Brooks, Shop Assistant
  • Myles Challis, Chief Horticultural Consultant
  • Peter Clark, Senior Horticulturist
  • Lisa Clifforde, Zoological Curator
  • Ashley Coates, Shop & Cafe Assistant
  • Henry Cripps, Shop & Café Assistant
  • Robyn Daniels, Finance and HR Assistant
  • Yvonne Dawson, Tour Guide
  • Aimee Fionda, Shop & Cafe Assistant
  • Isabelle Gillespie, Weekend Shop/Café Assistant
  • Gemma Goss, Shop & Café Assistant
  • Karl Hansen, Director
  • Bob Hook, Tour Guide
  • Gerlinde Hunt, Tour Guide
  • Nick Jowett, Junior Animal Keeper
  • Diane Manwaring, Tour Guide
  • Laura McBride, Shop & Café Assistant
  • Oliver Nunn, Weekend Shop/Café Assistant
  • Simon Pratley, Senior Animal Keeper
  • Pearl Orpin, Shop & Café Assistant
  • Alison Robinson, Front of House Manager
  • Claire Salter, Tour Guide
  • Carey Seymour, Tour Guide
  • Kirsty Shakespeare, Education Development Officer
  • Salena Tobias Ausonio, Tour Guide
  • Karen Thornton Ward, Volunteer Coordinator
  • Rupert West, Operations Manager
  • Evie Young, Shop & Cafe Assistant


The Living Rainforest receives invaluable help from many hard-working volunteers in the following areas: plant and animal care, trail guiding and interpretation, events and activities, marketing and promotion, building and maintenance projects, as well as administrative and other assistance. More about applying to volunteer …

External Partners


An enormous debt of gratitude is owed to the following benefactors for their generosity and support:

  • European Commission (LIFE programme)
  • Millennium Commission
  • National Lottery Charities Board
  • Toby Bromley
  • Alison McGregor
  • Bayer
  • Bing
  • Brunel Microscopes
  • Charles McGregor
  • CHK Charities
  • Chris Tarrant
  • Clore Duffield Foundation
  • Department of Trade and Industry
  • Englefield Charitable Trust
  • Ernest Cook Trust
  • Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust
  • Fresh Del Monte
  • Green Card Trust
  • Greenham Common Trust
  • LEWIS Global PR
  • Linford Christie
  • Margot Walker
  • Nick Taylor
  • OASE
  • Paul Daniels
  • Paul McCartney
  • Prudential Insurance
  • Rufford Foundation
  • South-East England Development Agency
  • Seychelles Ministries of Education, Environment & Energy
  • Smeg UK
  • Lord Timothy Clement-Jones
  • Vodafone UK Foundation
  • WF Southall Trust

Revised February 2014

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