An elected Board of Trustees (Council), all members of the Trust, is responsible for the organisation’s governance.  Council ensures that Durham Wildlife Trust legally does well what it should do, within the financial limits available to it. Individual Trustees have a responsibility to help steer, guide and monitor the work of the Trust so that its objectives are appropriately met for the benefit of all members.


The Board of Trustees has up to 15 members, elected at an Annual General Meeting in September. Occasionally, extra Trustees may be co-opted for a limited time.  A Trustee is unpaid and must be at least 16 years old. Each Trustee can serve for a maximum of 4 years, then stand for election again for a further 4 years. After 8 continuous years as a Trustee there must be at least 1 year before that person could be nominated for election again. On an annual basis, Council elects, from its number, 3 officers – Chair, Secretary, Treasurer. The actions of the Board of Trustees are reported upon annually and information is made available in the Trust magazine and on the Trust website. Trustees hold formal meetings each month and may also form small temporary task groups to tackle particular issues.


Effective governance draws upon many skills and attitudes of individual members, working well together as a closely-knit team. Individuals should follow good guidance and be able to offer suitable background experience and expertise.  Council looks to represent the diversity of Trust members, welcomes election of any individual and is bound by the latest Equality Act. 


If you are interested in the role of the Trustee or wish to know more, please email or call 0191 5843112.

Durham Wildlife Trust Council members 2018 


Name: Janice Baker

Position in the Trust: Trustee

Field of expertise: Organic farming and County Organiser for Young Farmers of County Durham.

Reason for being a Trustee: To encourage knowledge of                                      farming and young people in farming.

                                    Area of interest: County Durham.


Name: Peter Bell

Position in the Trust: Trustee

Field of expertise:  Ecology, ornithology, and the planning system.

Reason for being a Trustee: To help protect Durham’s                                           wildlife, and increase the Trust’s presence on ‘my’ patch                                       in South Tyneside.

                                   Area of interest: South Tyne and Wear.


Name: Michael Coates

Position in the Trust: Trustee

Field of expertise: Management consultant and a professor of innovation and change.

Reason for being a Trustee:  I want to help ensure that                                         living landscapes exist within the north east and that                                             wildlife has a fighting chance to survive.

                                   Area of interest: The North East.


Name: Bob Kirton-Darling

Position in the Trust: Trustee and Executive Committee member

Field of expertise: Farming and Wildlife.

Reason for being a Trustee: To help the Trust particularly                                     on farming and land ownership issues.

                                   Area of interest: The whole County.


Name: David Duell

Position in the Trust: Trustee

Field of expertise: Education and training (FE/HE sector).

Reason for being a Trustee: To help support Durham Wildlife Trust in its effort to conserve wildlife in the North                                       East.

                                   Area of interest: All of the ‘old’ County Durham.


Name: Steve Gater

Position in the Trust: Trustee and Chair

Field of expertise: Leadership, management and natural history.

Reason for being a trusteeConserving our magical flora                                     and fauna from Tees to Tyne.

                                   Area of interest: Brightwater project area – River Skerne.


Name: Chris Gormon

Position in the Trust: Trustee

Field of expertise: Business management.

Reason for being a Trustee: I strongly believe that the work DWT does not only benefits wildlife, but also greatly                                     improves the environment for all of us. In supporting                                             DWT as a trustee, I hope to be able to help ensure that                                         the Trust has a strong governance process.

                                   Area of interest: From Tyne to Tees.


Name: Alan Holden

Position in the Trust: Trustee

Field of expertise: Local government and safeguarding issues.

Reason for being a TrusteeAs a former Councillor with                                       remit for environment issues, I appreciate the value of the                                    work the trust does.

                                   Area of interest: Chester-Le-Street area.


Name: Sarah Lister

Position in the Trust: Trustee and Honorary Treasurer

Field of expertiseChartered Accountant.

Reason for being a Trustee: To conserve and protect wildlife for future generations and ensure that my family                                       have access to the wonderful natural world around us.

                                   Area of interest: Sunderland.


Name: Malcolm Shorney

Position in the Trust: Trustee.

Field of expertise: Education, management, training and local government.

Reason for being a Trustee: Interest in conservation and                                     UK protected areas.

                                   Area of interest: Darlington and South West Durham.


Name: Chris Smith

Position in the Trust: Trustee and Executive Committee member

Field of expertise: Finance.

Reason for being a Trustee: to ensure financial stability in                                     a fantastic organisation devoted to wildlife, to allow it to                                         develop and grow for the benefit of wildlife conservation.

                                  Area of interest: Hedleyhope Fell, Milkwellburn Wood.


Name: Ian Thomas

Position in trust: Trustee and Honorary Secretary of Trust Council

Field of expertise: Wildlife Recording, IT and Geographic Information Systems.

                                   Reason for being a Trustee: To help Durham Wildlife                                             Trust to protect and enhance wildlife and habitats in the                                       region.

                                  Area of interest: Durham City.


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