Meet The Team

Meet The Team

Core Team

  • Alex Stone

    Alex Stone


    Alex is the Trust's Executive Director as of April 2022. Alex joined our team in 2020 after 8 years of charity work across Bristol and the wider region, including with a large nature conservation charity. Alex has previously set up new projects, nurtured partnerships and delivered year round nature activities across the region. Alex has been managing the Trees for Climate scheme as well as taking on the strategic roles within the Trust and day to day management. 

  • David Taylor

    David Taylor

    Finance Director

    David joined the Forest of Avon Trust in March 2023 as Finance Director, where he is responsible for the financial management of the charity including the annual grant programme as well as land acquisition projects, large funding bids and helping steer the strategic direction of the charity.

    David is an experienced Finance Director with a housebuilding background and more recently is a volunteer treasurer at Citizens Advice Bristol. David joined the trust to help give back to the community in a sustainable setting.

    Throughout his life he has recognised the importance of trees for wellbeing generally, their beauty which he constantly captures in his photography and for the importance of trees in biodiversity and their role in mitigating the impact of climate change.

    David is a lover of the great outdoors, being a keen parkrunner, runner, cyclist and hiker, as well a great interest in art history, in particular the work of David Hockney with whom he shares his hometown.

  • Jack McCrickard

    Jack McCrickard

    Woodland Creation Manager

    Jack joined the Forest of Avon Trust in 2021 to plan and deliver our tree planting projects. Jack leads on the Bristol and South Gloucestershire tree planting schemes including Trees for Climate. Jack also delivers the Overscourt woods woodland management and access programme. 

    After gaining a Masters in Wild Animal Biology from the Royal Veterinary College in 2014, Jack spent a year as a trainee with the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, managing nature reserves. After working on several community conservation projects and traditional orchards in London, Jack moved to Bristol to run Bristol City Council’s One Tree Per Child volunteer programme. Jack has a particular passion for orchards and fruit trees and will be running some pruning workshops later in 2022. 

    Outside of work, Jack is a keen cyclist and rock climber, and generally loves being outdoors.

  • Lewis Chisholm

    Lewis Chisholm

    Tree and Woodland Officer

    Lewis is our Tree and Woodland Officer covering the North Somerset and Bath & North East Somerset areas. As part of his role within the trust, Lewis is responsible for planning, designing and delivering woodland creation projects. Lewis is enthusiastic about connecting existing habitats and encouraging public interaction by creating accessible, biodiverse and resilient woodland sites.

    His background is in grants, tree health and horticulture, with a passion for British wildlife, nature restoration and the contribution that woodland provides to these.

    Outside of work, Lewis loves to travel in his campervan and enjoys rock climbing and cycling.

  • Joe Cusworth

    Joe Cusworth

    Woodland Management Officer

    Joe joined us in 2022 as our Woodland Management Officer, providing advice on woodland management and best practice, producing management plans and directing landowners to resources available to them. 

    Having long been interested in working outdoors and protecting the valuable habitats and ecosystems around us, Joe has worked as a woodland manager since finishing his MSc in Environmental Policy in 2018. He has been involved in sites across the Bristol region and also helps run a coppicing project throughout the Wye Valley, aiming to bring as much woodland into active management as possible. 

    Joe is currently adding to his arboricultural qualifications and in his remaining free time he is a keen cycle-tourist and cook, and makes his own music which he describes as 'mediocre' which inspires the team to listen and provide their own review in due course!

  • Rachel Tomlinson

    Rachel Tomlinson

    Health and Wellbeing Officer

    Rachel has been delivering woodland-based health and wellbeing projects for over 10 years, supporting people to build and embrace nature-connection and improve their physical and mental health. Ongoing projects include working with people living with dementia and their carers in Bristol and South Glos.

    Rachel trained as a Forest School leader in 2012. Before this she worked for the BBC Natural History Unit for 10 years. Rachel worked as Community Inclusion Officer at Westonbirt Arboretum and has also worked in health and wellbeing communication with CLIC Sargent, Healthwatch and ForMed Films.

  • Helen Gray

    Helen Gray

    Health and Wellbeing Officer

    Helen joined Forest of Avon Trust in 2023 as a Health and Wellbeing Officer, delivering woodland based wellbeing sessions. Helen loves working outside and connecting people to themselves, each other, and nature. Previously she worked for 10 years at a community farm, as project administrator as well as planning and delivering a wide variety of wellbeing sessions and community focused projects. She has seen the powerful healing effect of people being together outdoors and is very excited to be working with people with dementia and their carers, and people living with mental health issues.

    She has also worked in many people focused roles in social housing, recovery, and child services.

    Helen is forager, camper, gardener, herbalist, and knitter. When not doing any of these, she likes to experiment with historical recipes or going to gigs in town.

  • Safia Gilder-Hodgson

    Safia Gilder-Hodgson

    Forest of Avon Plan Coordinator

    Safia joined the Forest of Avon Trust Team in 2023, and will work to deliver the communication strategy for The Forest of Avon Plan. She will work across the partnership to create campaigns and a new hub that will be used to spread the awareness of the Plan and help everyone across the region connect to their local trees and woodlands and seek to expand their presence in our landscapes.

    Safia has a degree in Geography and has particular interest in how humans and nature can coexist. She has worked in multiple communication roles in forestry both in Scotland and Amsterdam and she has recently completed an Orchard Training course and is excited to be part of the expansion of these edible landscapes across the region.

    Outside of work, Safia is a keen hiker, wild swimmer, forager and loves all things outside! She enjoys cooking all things Ottolenghi and loves to make her own pasta.

  • Emily Dymond

    Emily Dymond

    Communications Assistant

    Emily joined the team in July 2022 and looks after our communications, including social media channels, newsletter and events, as well as providing general administrative support to the team.

    Emily has a degree in illustration and has worked in varied roles in arts, education and social care with a creative/ communications focus. She loves to draw and paint in her spare time, along with spending time outdoors, camping, hiking and taking photos.

  • Peter O'Brien

    Peter O'Brien

    Tree Technician

    Peter is one of our Junior Tree Technicians, working with Bristol City Council and the Forest of Avon Trust team, undertaking various roles in order to highlight successes and barriers, assisting with tree planting in Bristol and supporting Bristol City Council with their tree planting schemes. 

    Peter just finished his degree from Bristol UWE in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Science and prior to that he worked in Norfolk planning and implementing Outdoor Learning Activities and working as a Pastoral Worker. 

    Peter enjoys playing the accordion and supporting the music scene by going to lots of gigs. He loves spending time at home in the Forest of Dean (with his two cats!), baking bread, carving spoons and working on his veg patch!

  • Angus Rankine

    Angus Rankine

    Tree Technician

    Angus joined the team in 2023, working with both the Trust and B&NES council. Angus’s role involves supporting the council with their tree planting needs within their green infrastructure and nature recovery projects.

    Angus’ love of trees blossomed in his previous role working for an Arboricultural Association Approved contractor in the Mendips. Seeing the devastation unfolding from Ash Dieback Disease, Angus wanted to take a more active role in the creation and establishment of new woodland and trees, and the protection of existing woodland to help a struggling landscape for future generations to come.

    Angus is currently working towards his level 2 in arboriculture, which is giving him a greater understanding of the importance of trees in our world. In a previous role, Angus worked as a support worker for the YMCA, working with young people to help them into independent living. This role highlighted the need for places in nature to help bring a positive impact to people’s wellbeing.

    Outside of work and studying, Angus enjoys spending as much time outside with his wife and children. He is lucky enough to live in Wells, where there is no shortage of woodland and parks for them to enjoy!

  • Jette Halling

    Jette Halling

    Tree Technician

    Jette joined the Trust as a Junior Tree Technician in 2023, working in collaboration with South Gloucestershire Council. Her role will help deliver the Council’s objectives of doubling tree canopy cover in the county by supporting the planting of street trees and assisting private landowners to increase their tree and woodland planting.

    Jette has always enjoyed the natural environment, so decided on a career change from administration in the NHS. She has a degree in Geography and went on to complete a Level 4 Diploma in Arboriculture with TreeLife. She has also volunteered with Avon Needs Trees, Forest of Avon Trust's partners, and More Trees B&NES who have created a communiy tree nursery network.

    Outside of work, Jette likes to spend time with her children, making them go on long walks, gardening and watching sci-fi movies.


  • Jon Attwood

    Jon Attwood

    Forest School Level 1 Trainer

    Jon has worked for/ with the Forest of Avon Trust since 2010 running Forest School training and wellbeing activities. He now combines running his own business with delivering our Level 1 Forest School training and school activities. Previously, Jon led a range of conservation groups in the Bristol area.

  • Jackie Roby

    Jackie Roby

    Forest School Leader (Level 3) Trainer

    Jackie is a qualified teacher, forest school leader and trainer, an outdoor first-aider and has a PGDip in Education. Jackie runs Go Wild Education and we have worked with her since 2014 to run our Forest School Level 3 training. Prior to this, Jackie has worked for many of Bristol's green institutions including the Avon Gorge and Downs Wildlife Project, Bristol Zoo and the Wild Place Project.