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
  • Jasmine Betteridge, Front of House Assistant
  • Laura Billings, Front of House Assistant
  • Melanie Booth, Assistant Education Officer
  • Sharynn Brooks, Front of House Assistant
  • Maggie Carr, Tour Guide
  • Peter Clark, Chief Horticulturist
  • Abby Crake, Animal Keeper
  • Henry Cripps, Front of House Assistant
  • Edward Curtis, Tour Guide
  • Yvonne Dawson, Tour Guide
  • Charlotte Duckett, Assistant Horticulturist
  • Grace England, Tour Guide
  • Madelaine Gillespie, Front of House Assistant
  • Kate Goodenough, Tour Guide
  • Beverley Guthrie, Front of House Assistant
  • Clare Haley, Tour Guide
  • Klara Hansen, Front of House Assistant
  • Eleanor Hartley, Education Intern
  • Liz Hemphill, Tour Guide
  • Bob Hook, Tour Guide
  • Lindsay Hubert, Front of House Assistant
  • Gerlinde Hunt, Front of House Assistant
  • Emily Jesson-Smith, Education Development Officer
  • Ruth Larkin, Director of Development
  • Eve Manning, Front of House Assistant
  • Katie Miles, Finance Manager
  • Hannah Norford, Front of House Assistant
  • Nerissa Penna, Tour Guide
  • Lucia Pettifer-Hansen, Tour Guide
  • Eleanor Pinches, Animal Intern
  • Simon Pratley, Animal Curator
  • Abbie Rawlings, Front of House Assistant
  • Paula Rhoads, HR and Finance Administration
  • Rebecca Rhoads, Front of House Assistant
  • Emma Roberts, Front of House Assistant
  • Alison Robinson, Front of House Manager
  • Anna Rowell, Front of House Assistant
  • Claire Salter, Animal Keeper
  • Nicola Straffon, Tour Guide
  • Rupert West, Strategic Operations & Innovations Manager
  • Lindsay Whelband, Tour Guide
  • TJ Wilkins, Front of House 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:

  • Charles TJ Wright
  • 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 and LEADER programme
  • Swire Charitable Trust

Revised September 2017

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