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Meet the Team


David Diggens

Chief Executive Officer

David has had a life-long interest in the British countryside, its function and conservation. After 10 years in the Army he moved to Norfolk, where he has lived ever since. His business career has involved working with UK-based companies in the bottled water industry. He recently started a Norfolk company with the aim of encouraging more people to take an interest in the natural environment.

Dr Jonah Tosney

Technical Director

Eel Jonah is a river ecologist, with a background in conservation and research. He has previously worked with Wester Ross Fisheries Trust, University of Highlands and Islands, Yorkshire Water and the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Ed Bramham-Jones

Operations Director

Ed *Coming soon*

Marie-Anne Edwards

Finance Manager

Marie-Anne is our Finance Manager. She has a wealth of experience and knowledge in managing the accounts of small businesses and charities.

Ursula Juta

Senior Project Officer

Ursula Ursula coordinates the West Norfolk and North Norfolk CaBA catchments and runs the ‘Fishing for Youngsters’ Fishing School at Bayfield. She has worked with over 1000 children on projects such as the 'HLF Glaven Eel' and 'Hidden Heritage of The River Gaywood' projects, taking tanks of eels and invertebrates into the classroom, as well as coordinating river visits. Ursula has also led GCSE groups on their river study days and has ran several Yellow Fish Campaigns in local schools. With a background in ecology and conservation (as well as outdoor education), Ursula holds a crayfish survey licence and is currently working towards a great crested newt and water vole survey licence.

Georgia Waye-Barker

Evidence and Engagement Coordinator

georgia Georgia oversees the Trust’s communications work, as well as supporting various projects in a reporting, data and mapping capacity. This involves using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to analyse, visualise and identify areas to target measures to improve water quality and habitats. Her academic and work background has been in Environmental Science, Research and Science Communications, with a focus on aquatic ecology, conservation and agriculture.

Alison Smyth

Broadland Farm Advisor

alison Alison is our Farm Advisor working within the Broadland Catchment as part of the Water Sensitive Farming initiative, funded by the WWF & Coca-cola Freshwater Partnership. She has nearly 30 year’s involvement with farming and land management. Alison has previously worked for 10 years as the National Trust’s East of England Regional Farms Advisor and has also undertaken extensive work on agri-environment schemes; with a particular interest in soil and water management. In her current role, she covers the rivers Bure, Wensum, Waveney and Yare (and their tributaries), providing advice to farmers and implementing projects to reduce diffuse pollution from agricultural practices. She has a BASIS Soil and Water qualification.

Rebecca Banks

Senior Project Officer

Crayfish With a background in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management, Becky has 18 years’ experience within the environmental sector providing technical advice, training, surveying, monitoring and management services. She has worked with Wildlife Trusts, the National Trust, local and regional authorities, NGO’s and private landowners to develop, implement and monitor a variety of landscape-scale projects including wetlands, catchment scale Non-Native Invasive Species (NNIS) control and eradication programmes; river walkover surveys and restoration; HLS schemes; white-clawed crayfish monitoring and translocation; and water vole monitoring and mitigation. Becky holds a crayfish survey licence.

Sam Hurst

Cam and Ely Ouse Farm Advisor

sam Sam is our Farm Advisor working in the Cam and Ely Ouse (CamEO) river catchment as part of the Water Sensitive Farming Initiative, funded by the WWF & Coca-Cola Freshwater Partnership. Prior to this, Sam spent the past 5 years working at the Environment Agency in the CamEO Catchment to improve water quality and prevent pollution, with a focus on the water industry and agricultural sectors. In his current role, Sam covers the rivers Cam, Lark, Little Ouse and Thet (and their tributaries), providing advice to farmers and implementing projects to reduce diffuse pollution from agricultural practices.

Zac Battams

Farming and Land Management Team Leader

PHOTO-2020-04-21-17-18-229 Zac is our Farming and Land Management Team Leader. He also works across the Broadland and North Norfolk catchments as part of the Water Sensitive Farming Initiative. Prior to this, Zac worked for Anglian Water in the regulatory sampling team and as a fishery manager for a small sports fishery. His academic background in Environmental Science has a bias for aquatic ecology and catchment water resource management, using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to identify sites at risk of generating diffuse water pollution from agriculture. In his current role, Zac covers the rivers Wensum, Glaven and Stiffkey (and their tributaries) providing advice to farmers and implementing projects to reduce diffuse pollution from agricultural practices.

Ant Gagen

Senior Project Officer

IMG20201022105037-min Ant is an ecologist with a background in landscape ecology, ecosystem services and ecological mitigation. After completing his MSc in Applied Ecology and Conservation, Ant went into consultancy where he worked on a variety of large development schemes. Ant will be helping to deliver a series of river restoration projects, taking place predominantly in the Stiffkey catchment.

Nathalie Harris

River Restoration Project Officer

20211129_144742 Nathalie has an MSc in Water Security and experience working in coastal management and surface water flood investigations and mitigation. Nathalie will be working on delivering a number of river restoration projects with a particular focus on the Stiffkey catchment.

Jonathan Lewis

Director for Rivers Ecology Ltd.

Jon With expertise in the linkages between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, Jonathan leads the ecology team and has experience in delivering a variety of river restoration, wetland creation and rewilding projects. He also runs our consultancy arm, Rivers Ecology Ltd.

Lily Mackie

Senior Project Manager for Rivers Ecology Ltd.

image Lily has a MSc in freshwater management with an expertise in geomorphology. She has previously worked within the Rivers Trust delivering a number of projects, including chalk stream restoration, natural flood management and wetland creation.

Sharon Reeves

River Restoration Project Officer

Sharon has recently completed an Apprenticeship working on the National Trust's Upper Bure Riverlands project. She previously worked as a Countryside Assistant for Epping Forest District Council after completing a Traineeship with the Wildlife Trust at College Lake. Sharon will be helping to deliver the river restoration project at the Hun.

Cassie Chanin

Trees and Meadows Advisor

Cassie is our Trees and Meadows Advisor, working across Norfolk to deliver the Woodlands for Water and Botanica by AirWick projects. She has experience with practical land management and ecology from her previous roles as an assistant ranger and assistant reserves ecologist at Essex Wildlife Trust. Through this experience, Cassie has managed a range of habitats including species-rich flood and hay meadows, fen, riverbanks, ponds, woodland, scrub and hedgerows. She studied Conservation Biology and Ecology with Study Abroad at the University of Exeter and previously helped to manage 34 acres of Culm grassland and ancient woodland in North Devon for a number of years.

Sarah Gelpke

Project Officer

Sarah Sarah has an MSc in Applied Ecology and Conservation with experience in wildlife surveying, protected species recovery and nature-friendly farming for the RSPB, Natural England and ecology companies. Her background in community engagement, citizen science and volunteering as well as organisational development and partnership cooperation stem from 25 years working in Africa, Asia and the UK, working for a range of government, donor and NGO organisations. Sarah will be supporting the Wensum Catchment Partnership and delivery of river restoration projects on the Wensum and Yare catchments.

Tim Fisher

Volunteer and Engagement Officer

Tim co-ordinates the volunteer programme, planning and leading tasks which integrate with many aspects of the Trust’s work. Previously, he worked as a primary school teacher for 16 years, leading outdoor and environmental learning and before that he worked for the National Trust as a countryside and learning warden.


The trust is run by a committee of trustees with a broad range of expertise in conservation, land management, charitable trust, legal and business administration, compliance and accountancy and PR.

Dr Geoff Brighty - Chairman

Geoff grew up in Norfolk where he was fortunate to enjoy the best fisheries and countryside. Having progressed from the early days of fish farming and restocking our rivers in the East of England, he has now been able to lead people at a catchment scale, across all the elements that influence our water environment, in turning back the scale of environmental harm. As well as his passion for Norfolk rivers, Geoff can bring a range of experience and networks, gained from his varied career in the Environment Agency, which will be important for helping to shape a sustainable future for the Norfolk Rivers Trust. Geoff is looking forward to an important journey with the Trustees, and to ultimately secure the Trust’s future for the long term.

Ben Steward

Ben qualified in Land Agency before working within a large national commercial property team. He subsequently worked as a market leader in the regeneration of brownfield land and later as managing partner in a local Commercial Agency. Ben will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the team.

David de Stacpoole

David was born in Ireland into a farming background, where he developed a passion for conservation, wild places and environmental protection. Formerly a soldier, he has been a businessman for the last 18 years or so. He is currently a senior director in a Private Security Company working mainly in London, and has had a family home in Norfolk for over 30 years.

William Barr

William was brought up in the Fens and was a partner in Mills & Reeve LLP solicitors from 1976 until his retirement in 2014. He specialised in Agricultural Law and wrote books on all aspects including farm tenancies and farming agreements. More recently he has written novels and been engaged in fishing and country pursuits.

Sir William Goodenough

William was brought up in the West Sussex countryside where he developed a lifelong love of the country and country pass times. After qualifying as a graphic designer, he has worked in the design branding business since 1978. In 1986 he was a Founding Partner and Managing Director of Design Bridge Limited, becoming Executive Chairman in 2005 to 2018, with offices in London, Amsterdam, Singapore, Shanghai and New York. William has now semi-retired as Chairman, giving him more time to pursue his interests.

Nigel Savory

Nigel Savory is a chartered accountant and, until he retired in 2014, was a partner in Grant Thornton and its predecessor firm in Norwich, KPMG. He specialised in commercial, agricultural and private client work. He is now chairman of AF, the country’s largest co-operative that purchases inputs and supplies for farmers. He is also chairman of RC Snelling and the Snellings Group, a director of Barratt & Cooke; Colleague Software and; Fakenham Racecourse. He is a trustee of the East Anglian Air Ambulance, Music in Country Churches and The Lady Hind Charitable Trust. Nigel was High Sheriff of Norfolk in 2006/7 and is a Deputy Lieutenant. He lives at Thorpland, near Fakenham and is a partner in the family farming business. The River Stiffkey runs through the farm.

Sophie Tremolet

Coming soon

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We recognise that meeting the conservation challenge requires a multi-disciplinary and collaborative approach, bridging political and social realms and engaging relevant partners, as well as the general public.

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