Our Staff

Jon Shelton – Partnership Manager

Jon Shelton Partnership Manager

Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Geography, Dip C.Mgt, MSc Estuarine & Coastal Zone Management

Background: Originally from Batley in Yorkshire, studied in London before moving to Kent. First job in conservation with BTCV in London. Worked as Countryside Ranger and Community Woodland Officer before joining the KSCP when it first started in 1992. Currently chairs a number of groups including the East Kent Catchment Improvement Partnership.

Interests: Squash, playing football and keeping an eye on the Leeds Utd results, allotment, music, travel, photography, cookery and walking a rather athletic English pointer.


Diane Comley – Senior/Partnership Officer, Ashford

Qualifications: BSc Landscape Management, BA Fine Art (photography)

Background: Originally from Wakefield, I spent many years living in Glasgow, then London and Montreal Canada, before moving to Kent in 1995. After many years as an artist and teacher, I turned from my artistic view to learning about the landscape and studied Landscape Management at Hadlow College. I began working for KSCP as a volunteer – gaining valuable practical conservation experience. Going on to work with the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty as a Living Landscapes Co-ordinator, and eventually starting paid employment with KSCP in 2008.

Interests: Music (singer in a folk band), walking, woodland fungi and pub lunches.

Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Landscape Management


Martin Thomas – Partnership Officer, Canterbury

Qualifications: Countryside Management Foundation Degree, Chemistry MSci.

Background: I grew up in Crawley in Sussex and moved to East Kent straight after university to take up a job in scientific research. After 10 years in this field, I decided to switch career into Countryside Management, leaving a job in London to take a course at Hadlow College. During this time, I was also a trainee warden for Kent Wildlife Trust and a private tutor. My first job in Countryside Management was with Kent Country Parks at Pegwell Bay. I started at KSCP as Park Officer at Sturry Road Park in Canterbury.

Interests: Being a dad to our young son seems to take up all my spare time these days, but I used to enjoy sailing, swimming and travel.


Lauren Baker – Our Stour Officer (P/T)

Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation

Background: Went to Barton Court Grammar School, studied for a degree in Wildlife Conservation at the University of Kent. Qualified Forest School leader.

Interests: Wildlife photography, walks with my dogs in the countryside, visiting nature reserves, trying my hand at many different craft activities, red squirrels and supporting Lakeside Hammers Speedway team.


Annie Thurgarland – Watercourse Officer

Qualifications: MSc Countryside Management

Background: Originally from a farming family in North Nottinghamshire, I gained a Ba ( Hons) in Psychology and qualified as a registered Midwife whilst spending many years volunteering in conservation. I worked for Nottinghamshire County Council as Warden of Daneshill Lakes NNR whilst completing my MSc and spent 2 years in woodland management before joining KSCP.

Interests: Running a mobile, solar powered music stage, walking, chainsaw carving , DIY on my home –  a narrowboat rebuild.

Sarah Harrington-James – Partnership Officer, Ponds

Qualifications: UCert Biological Recording & Species Identification, NCTJ Periodical Journalism, BA (Hons) PR with Art & Design

Background: I’m kentish born and bred with a love of nature and the great outdoors! After 10 years working in the media, I started volunteering for Kent Wildlife Trust and became passionate about planting for pollinators. This coincided with a change of career into conservation with the Forestry Commission, while studying for a UCert. My work at KSCP currently focuses on pond creation and restoration for great crested newts.

Interests: Gardening, badminton, country walks (looking for birds, butterflies and dragonflies) and my menagerie of rescue pets!


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