Yorkshire Rewilding Network is a charity governed by a Board of Trustees supported by other committee members.
Community Engagement Officer
Claire will be making connections to extend our reach across Yorkshire, inspiring more people and more places to join the network and help catalyse rewilding throughout the region. She will be involved with making presentations, engaging with communities, landowners and other organisations, coordinating our team of volunteers, developing our online forum and contributing to our newsletter. Inspired by the positive dynamism of rewilding, Claire will bring her considerable experience in environmental community action, media and communications to this exciting new role.
Debbie Davitt (Trustee, Treasurer)
Born and raised in Leeds with a lifelong interest in the natural world. Debbie has a background in accountancy and garden design but it is rewilding that has captured her imagination. Now she is excited to be bringing the idea of a network to life connecting like-minded people to help and respect nature.
Jeff Davitt (Trustee)
A leader with varied board experience allied to strong communication and influencing skills – and his own particular sense of humour. Jeff’s interest in rewilding has grown in recent years, having seen how abundant wildlife can be and how quickly much of it can recover if we allow it to.
Jenny Watson (Trustee, Secretary)
A retired primary school teacher who has lived in the same West Yorkshire market town for almost 40 years. In 1974, Jenny graduated from UEA with a degree in Environmental Science and since then has maintained a lifelong interest in natural history, biodiversity, and sustainable living. Jenny is also a member of the Wharfedale Naturalists’ Society committee.
John Hartshorn (Trustee)
A professional Chartered Geographer and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society with specialisms in geographic information and digital mapping, biodiversity, natural capital and ecosystem services, and sustainability science. John had a very rural upbringing in Northumberland. Various studies, jobs, and travels brought him to North Yorkshire 26 years ago and he now lives in a small village in Nidderdale.
After graduating from Goldsmiths Art College in 2007, Kelly fulfilled her dream of working at a top London advertising agency. However, she soon became disillusioned and felt a deep longing to return to the countryside of her Yorkshire home. She now lives near Skipton where she works on the Broughton Hall Estate, focusing on nature recovery and creating experiences within nature that balance physical, emotional and spiritual health.
Samantha Mennell (Trustee, Chair)
Samantha, a former Londoner, has worked as a teacher and in Edtech startups. She is now a rewilding enthusiast who found her passion when she moved to the Yorkshire Dales four years ago and bought her own small parcel of Yorkshire. She loves to spend time outside with her two young boys watching nature slowly envelope their land.
Steve has worked in the world of strategy and business development for 35 years across a range of professional services firms, including big 4 accountants, and is currently strategy director at Clarion solicitors. Throughout his life he has had a passion for the environment and conservation.
Toni Beardsall (Trustee)
Toni works as a music therapist, helping individuals and communities in Yorkshire reach their full potential through music. Curious about the relationship between human connection, wellbeing and our natural environment, Toni completed an MSc in Applied Wildlife Conservation focussing on the social impacts of rewilding.
[Main image: Broughton Hall Estate]