Cormorant stretching wings


Trust Officers

Chair – Sarah Lister

Photo of trustee Sarah Lister

Sarah is a qualified Chartered Accountant and currently works in a senior role at a North East based homelessness charity. Sarah became a trustee in 2013 and previously served as the Trust’s treasurer before taking on the role of Chair in 2019.  

Treasurer – Tony Pensom

Trustee Tony Pensom

Tony has significant experience in a variety of senior roles in the business world and also as a treasurer in the charity sector. Tony joined the Board of Trustees in 2020.

Honorary Secretary – Ian Thomas

Photo of trustee  Ian Thomas

Ian has an IT background but switched to a career in the nature conservation sector following a training placement at Durham Wildlife Trust. Ian went on to become an trustee and joined the board in 2016.

Other members of the Board of Trustees

Janice Baker

Janice Baker holding lamb

Janice has a farming background, running an organic farm in the west of County Durham and acting as County Organiser for Young Farmers. Janice became a trustee in 2015.


Peter Bell

Photo of Trustee Peter Bell

Peter worked in local government for many years as an ecologist and countryside manager, within the planning system. His passion is ornithology and he is a long standing supporter of Durham Wildlife Trust. Peter’s current term as a trustee began in 2016.

Faye Butler

Photo of trustee Faye Butler

Faye has a nursing background, serving at a senior level in the NHS before retirement when she joined the Trust’s volunteer team to keep active and support the Trust’s work. Faye became a trustee in 2018.


Michael Coates

Photo of Trustee Michael Coates

Michael has a background in HR and today runs his own management consultancy; a role he combines with leading the Trust’s annual dragonfly monitoring scheme. 

Chris Gorman

Photo of trustee Chris Gorman

Chris has an engineering background and worked at a senior management level in the utilities sector, supporting the Trust as a corporate member and as a trustee.

Georgina Hand

Photo of trustee Georgina Hand

Georgina has worked in PR and has extensive experience in charity fundraising and management with a number of charitable organisations. Georgina joined the Board of Trustees in 2018.

Alan Holden

Trustee Alan Holden

Alan has extensive experience in local government, both as an officer and a councilor, with a professional background in social care and safeguarding. Alan has been on the Board since 2010.

Dr Vivien Kent

Dr Vivien Kent

Vivien had a successful career in the media before switching careers and studying for a PhD in Conservation Biology and Anthropology at Durham. Vivien worked for a number of years in the DWT conservation team and is now an independent wildlife and conservation biologist. Vivien became a trustee in 2019.

Chris Smith

Photo of trustee Chris Smith

Chris is a qualified chartered accountant who has supported the Trust for many years in a professional capacity and then as a Board member, previously serving as Treasurer and Chair. Chris has been a trustee since 2002.

Amy Sorrell

Photo of trustee Amy Sorrell

Amy has significant experience in the education sector and lectures in animal management and animal behaviour at a further education college in the region. Amy became a member of the Board in 2018.