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
  • Ayishi Ali, Shop & Café Assistant
  • Yasmine Ali, Shop & Café Assistant
  • Jasmine Betteridge, Shop & Café Assistant
  • Melanie Booth, Assistant Education Officer
  • Helen Boyle, Shop & Café Assistant
  • Sharynn Brooks, Shop Assistant
  • Oliver Burrows, Education Intern
  • Peter Clark, Chief Horticulturalist
  • Charlotte Coventry, Animal Keeper
  • Abby Crake, Animal Keeper
  • Henry Cripps, Shop & Café Assistant
  • James Couch, Shop & Café Assistant
  • Edward Curtis, Tour Guide
  • Yvonne Dawson, Tour Guide
  • Adam Flack, Shop & Café Assistant
  • Madelaine Gillespie, Shop & Café Assistant
  • Jessica Green, Shop & Café Assistant
  • Clare Haley, Tour Guide
  • Liz Hemphill, Tour Guide
  • Bob Hook, Tour Guide
  • Gerlinde Hunt, Tour Guide
  • Emily Jesson-Smith, Education Development Officer
  • Ruth Larkin, Director of Development
  • Diane Manwaring, Tour Guide
  • Katie Miles, Finance Manager
  • Nerissa Penna, Tour Guide
  • Simon Pratley, Senior Animal Keeper
  • Paula Rhoads, HR and Finance Administration
  • Rebecca Rhoads, Shop & Café Assistant
  • Emma Roberts, Shop & Café Assistant
  • Alison Robinson, Front of House Manager
  • Claire Salter, Animal Keeper
  • Sophie Scoplin, Animal Intern
  • Thomas Smith, Shop & Café Assistant
  • Nicola Straffon, Tour Guide
  • Sophie Studart, Shop & Café Assistant
  • Holly Taylor, Tour Guide
  • Rupert West, Operations Manager


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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