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. I went 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.
Martin Thomas – Partnership Officer, Canterbury
Qualifications: Countryside Management Foundation Degree, Chemistry MSc.
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.
Emily Davies – Partnership Officer
Qualifications: BSC Zoology and Animal Behaviour.
Background: Raised in the Godinton area of Ashford, studied in Bangor, North Wales, and worked within their Botanic Garden and allotment doing habitat management. Previously young Trustee of North Wales Wildlife Trust, a Conservation Officer and Environmental Technician. Completed Ecological Training Certificate prior to being employed with KSCP, currently working with local landowners to create new connected pond-scapes for great crested newts.
Interests: Gardening, painting illustrations of wildlife and pets, fungus forays and birding!