Our ambassadors help us stand up for trees.
Dame Judi Dench, CH, DBE, FRSA
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.
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 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.
Clive joined Country Life magazine in 1977 as an architectural writer, working his way up to editor. He 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.
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 is the author of two books, The Snow Geese and The Music Room. 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.
Judith Batchelar OBE
Director of Sainsbury’s brand for 15 years, Judith is also a non-executive director of the Environment Agency and The Rugby Players Association, deputy chair of Farm Africa, is on the executive board of The Princes Trust Accounting for Sustainability Project, a fellow of both the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) and the Royal Society of Arts and Manufactures (RSA).
From 2013 – 2018 she co-chaired the Government’s Agri-food Tech Council, and currently sits on Defra's Food and Drink Sector Council.
Adam Shaw is an award-winning journalist, presenting programmes 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.
Veronica Moraa Pickering is a deputy lieutenant for Nottinghamshire and has 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.
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. Sir David retired from the role of Second Sea Lord in the rank of Vice-Admiral in 2015. He is currently Governor of Gibraltar, as well as a trustee of a number of charities.
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.
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 and he also supports pre-school education, care for the elderly and research by the Centre for Social Justice.
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 The Allied Schools Trust, Christianity Explored, Stewardship, and Pastor Training International. Jeremy owns his own woodland in the North Downs.
Sue Roe, OBE
Sue worked for the Woodland Trust for 19 years and was also chairman of the Tree Council. She is 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, and continues to be a conservation and horticultural activist.
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.
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.
Kate Adie, OBE
Kate is an award-winning journalist renowned for her breakthrough work as the first female correspondent to report 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.
Jon Drori CBE
A former editorial director and executive producer for the BBC, Jon now works as director of Changing Media and is a visiting industrial professor at Bristol University. He has been with the Woodland Trust since December 2008, serving as a trustee until March 2017 and ambassador from January 2016. Jon 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 and Around the World in 80 Plants.
Miranda co-founded communications business Phipps which is now one of the UK’s leading PR advisers to the food and drink industry. 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.
Simon King, OBE
Simon King 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 film making for over 30 years. In 2012, he planted 2,000 native trees at his home.
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.
An established film, television, and stage actress, Charity Wakefield has starred in a range of critically and commercially acclaimed projects, including the BBC’s Sense and Sensibility and Wolf Hall, Channel 4’s Any Human Heart and The Great, Poliakoff’s Close To The Enemy, The Cherry Orchard (The National) and Nicole Charles’s all-female production of Emilia (The Globe/Vaudeville Theatre).
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 the BBC’s The White Queen and Juan Borgia in The Borgias. David also presents his own natural history podcast, ‘Trees A Crowd’.
JB Gill rose to fame as a member of JLS – one of the UK’s biggest boybands – after which he set up a farm in the Kent countryside where he produces award-winning KellyBronze turkeys and free-range Tamworth pork. JB has used his success within the entertainment industry to educate children about the origins of their food, presenting the BAFTA-nominated television series, Down On The Farm. JB’s enthusiasm for farming life and knowledge of countryside issues has seen him contribute to the BBC’s Countryfile and Springwatch as well as front programmes such as Springtime On The Farm and Big Week At The Zoo.
Patrick Cregg, MBE
Patrick Cregg worked for the Woodland Trust for over twenty years, during which time he was appointed director of Northern Ireland when the office was established in 2000. In 2015, while in office, Patrick was awarded an MBE for his services for woodland conservation. Outside of his work for the Trust, Patrick was president of the Bangor Horticultural Society and and has recently taken on the role of president of Bangor Rotary. Since stepping down from the Trust in 2019, Patrick continues to support the Trust to ensure a brighter future for our native trees and woodland.
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.
After qualifying as a chartered surveyor in 1988, Ann has worked in commercial property for over 25 years, in both the UK and the US, establishing and running an international commercial investment company.
Now living back in Scotland, Ann has established a bespoke tour business to cater for international travellers seeking a unique Scottish experience, particularly focused around Scotch whisky.
Over the past five years, Ann has sought out rare and limited-edition Scotch whisky for her clients as well as buying and selling private collections on behalf of enthusiasts all over the world. More recently, she has established Golden Decanters with Julia Hall Mackenzie-Gillanders, taking rare bottlings to a network of private clients in North America, Asia, and across Europe.
Katya read chemistry at Oxford University and spent 15 years at Unilever in a number of different roles, from supply chain to marketing. In 2013, she co-founded strategic consultancy Off The Fence Marketing, specialising in strategy, communication and innovation and working with leading brands in food, drinks, beauty and retail. Passionate about investing in future generations and sustainability, Katya is a member of Cambridge University’s Chemistry Department philanthropy group and a long-term supporter of woodland conservation.
Danny is a garden designer and TV presenter, best known for appearing on BBC's Instant Gardener, Channel 5’s Filthy Garden SOS, and as a member of Alan Titchmarsh’s Love Your Garden team. He is well known for transforming gardens into incredible spaces.
Danny founded his own bespoke garden design company in 1997, called The Black Gardener, and co-directs Grow2Know, a charity set up to bring horticulture to a diverse group of young people and disadvantaged communities. Danny believes in building gardens to inspire, educate, empower, and heal.