Our people

The National Forest is driven by a passionate group of people who believe that a positive future is possible and want to be part of making positive change happen. 

Our board of trustees

Our board of trustees play an important role in driving forward our vision for the National Forest. They are the champions of our purpose; providing direction and oversight of our ambitions and targets. 

Our staff team

The National Forest is made up of a passionate staff team who are delivering on our ambitions and targets. They drive all of our work. From planting trees to fundraising; each member of our team plays a vital role in creating the Forest and helping to grow a greener, healthier, and more sustainable future. 


This team is responsible for forest creation, urban planting, woodland management, priority habitat management, outdoor learning, recreation, arts and creativity, volunteering, encouraging access, green economy and sustainable tourism. The team also hosts and project manages the Charnwood Forest Landscape Partnership scheme and Midlands Forest Network.

Senior Lead

Louise Driver 
Director of Operations 

Planning, Research, Strategy and Projects

Sam Lattaway
Head of Land Policy & Research

Heather Gilbert
Research & Evidence Manager

Sarah Brown
Grants Officer

Finlay Ratcliffe
Research Support Officer

Philip Metcalfe
Green Infrastructure & Planning Manager

Eilish Gardner
Green Infrastructure & Planning Officer

Jo Gilkes
Heart of the Forest Programme Manager

Julie Attard 
Charnwood Forest Development Manager

Susan Kilby
Charnwood Forest Heritage Education Officer

Alison Brand-Barker
Charnwood Forest Community Engagement Officer

Jack Matthews 
Charnwood Forest Geoheritage Conservation & Interpretation Officer

Helen Smith
Charnwood Forest Finance & Administration Officer

Charlotte Garner
Midlands Forest Network Project Manager

Zita Milwain
Midlands Forest Network Project Coordinator

Community, Education and Wellbeing 

Gill Forrester
Community & Wellbeing Manager

Hollie Davison
Project Officer

Rob Driver
Outdoor Learning Officer

Zoe Sewter
Volunteer & Wellbeing Officer

Tourism Development 

Richard Drakeley 
Tourism Development Manager 

Arts and Creativity 

Jo Maker 
Arts & Creativity Manager

Forestry and Estate 

Stuart Dainton
Head of Land Management & Estates

Rob Cleaver
Forest Creation Manager

Simon Greenhouse 
Forest Estate Officer

Ed Hiorns 
Woodland Manager

Tom Burton
Community Ranger



This team is responsible for fundraising with businesses, grant-making bodies and individual donors, product development, marketing and communications.

Senior Lead 

Carolyn Sankey
Director of Development


Chris Ward
Development Manager

Jim Vickrage
Development Manager

Carla Robinson
Fundraising Officer

Marketing and Communications 

Vicki James
Marketing Manager

Carolyn Bointon
Press Officer

Evie Holmes
Marketing Officer

Corporate Services

This team is responsible for finance, audit and risk, governance, property, human resources, safety, health and wellbeing, information technology and administrative support.

Senior Lead 

Amanda Fletcher 
Director of Corporate Services 
Company Secretary

Corporate Services Team 

Katie Thornley
Head of Finance

Rebecca Donnan
Finance Manager

Louise Insley
Governance Manager

Lucy Warren
Corporate Services Manager

Samantha Hadfield
Systems and Data Officer

Kat James
Corporate Services Officer 

Helen Gravett 
Corporate Services Officer 

Nikki Sheahan
Corporate Services Assistant 


This team is responsible for overseeing the commercial activity and contract delivery of the subsidiary company.

Senior Lead 

Iain Gordon
Commercial Director 

Ways to support us

Make a donation

Any donation, big or small, helps towards growing a greener, healthier and more sustainable future.

Become a Forest Champion

Join our team of Forest Champions and help grow the future together by donating monthly.