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.

The Trustees and Executive Director rely 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.

  • Karl Hansen, Executive Director
  • William Aitken, Maintenance/Glasshouse Support
  • Kathryn Beechey, Shop & Cafe Assistant
  • Melanie Booth, Assistant Education Officer
  • Helen Boyle, Shop & Café Assistant
  • Sharynn Brooks, Shop Assistant
  • Myles Challis, Senior Horticultural Adviser
  • Peter Clark, Chief Horticulturalist
  • Lisa Clifforde, Zoological Curator
  • Henry Cripps, Shop & Café Assistant
  • Edward Curtis, Tour Guide
  • Yvonne Dawson, Tour Guide
  • Steve Donnelly, Finance Manager
  • Nathan Dudley, Shop & Cafe Assistant
  • Isabelle Gillespie, Shop & Café Assistant
  • Madelaine Gillespie, Shop & Café Assistant
  • Clare Haley, Tour Guide
  • Imogen Hall, Tour Guide
  • Loren, Heap, Shop & Café Assistant
  • Liz Hemphill, Tour Guide
  • Bob Hook, Tour Guide
  • Gerlinde Hunt, Tour Guide
  • Nicholas Jowett, Animal Keeper
  • Andrea King, Shop & Café Assistant
  • Ruth Larkin, Director of Development
  • Diane Manwaring, Tour Guide
  • Amy McBride, Shop & Café Assistant
  • Laura McBride, Shop & Café Assistant
  • Rosie Moore, Shop & Café Assistant
  • Eugene Orpin, Shop & Café Assistant
  • Nerissa Penna, Tour Guide
  • Alison Robinson, Front of House Manager
  • Oliver Rosi, Shop & Café Assistant
  • Kirsty Shakespeare, Education Development Officer
  • Nicola Straffon, Tour Guide
  • Ela Suliga, Finance and HR Assistant
  • Holly Taylor, Tour Guide
  • Rupert West, Operations Manager
  • Evie Young, Shop & Café Assistant


The Living Rainforest receives invaluable help from over 40 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 recent generosity and support:

  • Englefield Charitable Trust
  • Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust
  • Greenham Common Trust
  • Sigrid Shreeve
  • Seychelles Ministries of Education, Environment & Energy
  • WF Southall Trust
  • North Wessex Downs AONB Sustainable Development Fund
  • Swire Charitable Trust

Revised May 2016

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About our charity

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