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Our ambassadors

Our ambassadors help us to stand up for trees.

Our ambassador Dame Judi Dench.

Dame Judi Dench

One of Britain’s most respected film, stage and television actresses, Dame Judi has worked for the National Theatre Company and the Royal Shakespeare Company and won no fewer than eight prestigious Olivier Awards. Known internationally for roles in films including James Bond, Mrs Brown, Shakespeare in Love and Iris.

Our ambassador Dr Nicola Nicholls.

Dr J Nicola Nicholls, LVO

A former Cambridge University inorganic chemist, Nicola worked in private equity for 18 years with City of London firm Charterhouse Capital Partners. Nicola was chair of our Board for six years and pioneered the idea of a Woodland Trust ambassador network. She was awarded an LVO (Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order) in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Honours’ list in 2012 for services to the Jubilee Woods.

Audrey Hoare

Audrey Hoare is family representative at Hoare and Co, a private bank in Fleet Street. Audrey was the fundraising director and is now an ambassador at the charity Nordoff Robbins, as well as serving as an ambassador for the Woodland Trust since 2011.

Our ambassador Clive Aslet.

Clive Aslet

Clive joined Country Life magazine in 1977 as an architectural writer, working his way up to editor. Clive continues to write freelance articles for newspapers such as the Sunday Times and The Daily Telegraph as well as writing books and broadcasting on radio and television. Clive has been an ambassador for the Trust since 2010.

Our ambassador Tracy Chevalier.

Tracy Chevalier

Tracy is the author of nine novels including the international bestseller Girl with a Pearl Earring. As well as working in publishing for several years she is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, president of the Royal Literary Fund, and sits on the Board of the British Library. Tracy coordinated and joint edited Why Willows Weep a collection of short stories produced to support the work of the Woodland Trust.

William Fiennes

William Fiennes is the author of two books, The Snow Geese (2002) and The Music Room (2009). William has also written for Granta, the London Review of Books, The Observer, The Daily Telegraph and The Times Literary Supplement. He is the director and co-founder of the charity First Story, which promotes writing in challenging schools in Great Britain.

Our ambassador Judith Batchelar.

Judith Batchelar

Director of Sainsbury’s Brand for 13 years, Judith also sits on the Board of Trustees for The Marine Stewardship Council, Farm Africa and Grocery Aid and is a member of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST). She is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and sits on the Executive Board of The Prince’s Trust Accounting for Sustainability project.

Our ambassador Adam Shaw.

Adam Shaw

Adam Shaw is an award winning journalist, presenting programs such as BBC’s Panorama, Money Box and ITV’s The Tonight Programme. In addition to his work on television and radio, Adam has written for several newspapers and co-authored a number of books. He has been an ambassador for the Woodland Trust since 2011.

Our ambassador Veronica Pickering.

Veronica Pickering

Veronica Moraa Pickering, deputy lieutenant for Nottinghamshire, has for most of her career worked with children and families from multicultural communities in London as a social worker and a children’s guardian. She also worked in Africa as an international child protection consultant. Veronica now negotiates the needs of diverse communities on behalf of multi-national and global companies, advising them on corporate social responsibility programmes.

Our ambassador Sir David Steel.

Sir David Steel

Sir David joined the Royal Navy in 1979 and, during the course of a career in uniform lasting 36 years, specialised in operational logistics and personnel management. As a barrister, he also held a number of appointments as a legal adviser, as well as being the Royal Navy’s senior judge advocate. He retired from the role of Second Sea Lord in the rank of Vice Admiral in 2015 and in the same year became a Woodland Trust ambassador. He is currently the Chief Executive of the Leeds Castle Foundation and Enterprises Limited, as well as a trustee of a number of other charities.

Our ambassador Elliot Mannis.

Elliott Mannis

A former trustee and chair of the Finance Committee and the Board Affairs Committee at the Woodland Trust, Elliott is chief executive of London Bridge Capital Infrastructure. A chartered accountant by background, Elliott was previously group financial controller at Aegis, group finance director at AWG and chief executive at D1 Oils. In addition to time spent working with young entrepreneurs, Elliott is also the non-executive chairman at Permastore, a non-executive director at Amarenco Infracapital Renewable Energy, and a member of UK Trade and Investment’s Environment and Water Services Advisory Group.

Will Hobhouse

Will is a retail and digital entrepreneur who built up Ties Rack and Whittard and floated both on the London Stock Exchange. Since 2002 he has bought, built and sold equity stakes in a range of businesses. Will has been Chair of Trustees at the Greenhouse Schools Project, High Sheriff of Hertfordshire 2017/18 and a former trustee for the Woodland Trust. He has been an ambassador with us since 2010.

Our ambassador John Lovering.

John Lovering

Previously finance director of Sears plc, a FTSE 100 company, John moved on to be chief operating officer at Tarmac, Homebase, Debenhams and Somerfield. In 2007, he established the Lovering Charitable Foundation to provide bursaries and scholarships for less privileged students to study at university as well as supporting pre-school education, care for the elderly and research by the Centre for Social Justice. John has been an ambassador since 2012.

Our ambassador Jeremy Marshall.

Jeremy Marshall

Jeremy has had a long career in banking and was formerly chief executive of C. Hoare & Co, the UK’s oldest bank. As well as being a non-executive director of Waterlogic PLC he is chair or trustee of various charities – including Allied Schools Trust, Christianity Explored, Stewardship and Pastor Training International. Jeremy owns his own woodland in the North Downs and became our trustee in 2008.

Our ambassador Sue Roe.

Sue Roe, OBE

Sue worked for the Woodland Trust for 19 years and was also the chairman of the Tree Council. An active member of the Royal Horticultural Society’s herbaceous plant committee, a trustee of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust and a member of the National Garden Scheme’s Norfolk committee, Sue continues to be a conservation and horticultural activist.

Our ambassador John Marston.

John Marston MBE

John took over as chief executive of the Marston group of companies in 1994, as well as serving as chairman of Marston Hotels. He was a governor and corporation member of Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College for 35 years and was chair of its Capitals and Estates Committee, organising the funding and £47M rebuilding of Ealing Tertiary College.

Our ambassador Michael Oglesby.

Dr Michael Oglesby

Dr Michael Oglesby CBE, DL, LLD, DSc is the founder of the Bruntwood Group of companies. Michael has since given up executive responsibility in the company, devoting his time to a broad portfolio of work ranging from the arts, philanthropy and civic roles to health and education. Michael is also chair of the Oglesby Charitable Trust.

Our ambassador the Duke of Abercorn.

His Grace, the Duke of Abercorn

His Grace has been a Trust ambassador for over a decade, working for the creation of Trafalgar Wood and helping to promote the Trust’s First World War Centenary Woods Project. In 1999 His Grace was appointed to the Most Noble Order of the Garter and between 2000 and 2008 he was appointed to the Royal Household as Lord Steward.

Our ambassador Kate Adie.

Kate Adie

Kate is an award-winning journalist renowned for her breakthrough work as the first female correspondent reporting from warzones and hotspots such as Iraq, the Balkans and Rwanda. She is the author of five bestselling novels, presents a show on BBC Radio 4 and in 1993 was awarded an OBE.

Our ambassador John Drori.

Jon Drori

A former editorial director and executive producer for the BBC, Jon now works as director of Changing Media. Jon is also a visiting industrial professor at Bristol University and has been with the Woodland Trust since December 2008. He is a trustee at the Eden Project, an ambassador for the World Wide Fund for Nature and author of Around the World in 80 Trees.

Our ambassador Miranda Kendall.

Miranda Kendall

Miranda co-founded communications business Phipps which is now one of the UK's leading food and drink business PR advisors. She also owns an innovative organic farm in Suffolk and is a trustee of Aldeburgh Music and director of Exaudi, Britain’s leading contemporary vocal ensemble.

Our ambassador Simon King.

Simon King

Simon King OBE is a renowned wildlife cameraman and television presenter. Specialising in nature documentaries and programmes such as Springwatch and Big Cat Diary, he has been working in the field of natural history filmmaking for over 30 years. In 2012 he planted 2,000 native trees at his home.

Sandi Toksvig

Sandi is a prolific author, broadcaster, entertainer and historian. Her recent work has made her a household name presenting television shows such as The Great British Bake Off and QI. Sandi has written a number of children’s books as well as many fiction and non-fiction books for adults. Sandi has been an ambassador for the Woodland Trust since 2010.

Charity Wakefield

Established film, television and stage actress Charity Wakefield has starred in a range of critically and commercially acclaimed projects including BBC’s Sense and Sensibility and Wolf Hall, Channel 4’s Any Human Heart, Poliakoff’s Close To The Enemy, The Cherry Orchard (The National) and Nicole Charles’s all-female production of Emilia (The Globe/Vaudeville Theatre).

Cressida Cowell

Cressida Cowell is currently the Waterstones Children’s Laureate (2019-2021). She is the author and the illustrator of the bestselling The Wizards of Once and How to Train Your Dragon book series, and the author of the Emily Brown picture books, illustrated by Neal Layton. Cressida published her first book, Little Bo Peep’s Library Book, in 1999, and since then has written or illustrated over 20 titles. She’s best-known for her How to Train Your Dragon series, which has sold over 11 million books worldwide in 38 languages, and is also an award-winning DreamWorks film series. The Wizards of Once (also signed by DreamWorks), is an award-winning number one bestseller.

Cressida is a passionate believer in the transformative power of books, and a vocal advocate for the need to support creative industries in the UK. She’s an ambassador for the National Literacy Trust and The Reading Agency, a Trustee of World Book Day and a founder patron of the Children's Media Foundation. She grew up in London and on a small, uninhabited island off the west coast of Scotland. She now lives in Hammersmith with her husband, three children and a dog called Pigeon.

David Oakes

David is a prolific stage and screen actor having starred in productions of Venus in Fur at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and Shakespeare In Love at the Noel Coward Theatre. He is best known for his roles as Prince Ernest in ITV’s Victoria, The Duke of Clarence in BBC’s, The White Queen and Juan Borgia in The Borgias. David also presents his own natural history podcast, ‘Trees A Crowd’.

Several of the Woodland Trust's trustees – Baroness Young of Old Scone, Humphrey Battcock and Sally Benthall – also serve as ambassadors. Find out more about our Trustees here.