Meet The Team

The Bulmer Foundation's personnel bring a wide range of skills and practical experience from academia, business, local government and the voluntary sector. Personnel comprise full and part-time employees, Associates working on specific projects, and people on secondment from other organisations. The Foundation is keen to support flexible and sustainable working relationships. 


Associates are consultants contracted by the Foundation to deliver specific projects.  Named individuals operate on behalf of the consultancy companies listed.

Bulmer Foundation Honorary Associates

In 2011 the Foundation introduced a mechanism whereby it could offer support to individuals who are promoting a more sustainable future within Herefordshire. Support can take many forms including publicity, administration, office facilities, meeting rooms etc., and if appropriate limited financial resources to support a specific outcome, such as a lecture series or research for a publication.

Honorary Associate status requires approval from the Foundation’s Trustees who consider a number of criteria, including:

  • The track record and reputation of the individual
  • How they accord with the Foundation’s reputation, objectives and values.
  • How the Foundation might support their activities.

Nick Read - Director & Programme Manager, Land Use

Nick has an M.A. in Agricultural & Forest Sciences and MSc. in Forestry & Land Management. He was formerly a Research Fellow at the Technical Change Centre (1983-88), Research and Food Policy Adviser at the National Farmers Union (NFU) (1988-1991) and a Senior Technical Adviser, also at the NFU (1991-96). Ordained in the Church of England in 1995, in 1996 he became CEO of the Rural Stress Information Network, a charity supporting rural people suffering from stress. From 1998 he combined this with the role of Chaplain for Agriculture & Rural Life in Hereford Diocese, becoming full-time Chaplain in 2000. For his work with the farming community he was awarded the OBE in 1998 and is a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society (FRAgS).  In August 2011 he joined the Bulmer Foundation as Development Manager and remains an Associate Agricultural Chaplain with Hereford Diocese. Nick was appointed Director of the Bulmer Foundation in June 2012.

Mary Burton - Associate

Mary was on secondment to the Bulmer Foundation from April 2011 to October 2013 to coordinate the Ecohere project.  She was part of a team that supported communities across the county with sustainability projects and developed the ‘Steps towards a 21st century sustainable Herefordshire Community’ interactive online poster and accompanying Sustainable Communities Directory.

Mary has a degree in Countryside Management and an MSc in Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, together with a Certificate in Management Development. She has worked for Hereford City Council (1996-1998) and Herefordshire Council (1998-2008) as a Sustainability Officer, integrating sustainability into council policies and working with a wide range of partnership organisations across the County. For two years from 2008 Mary was seconded to the Government Office for the West Midlands (GOWM) as the Regional Sustainable Schools Co-ordinator, working with local authorities and the Department of Education to develop the Sustainable Schools Strategy for the West Midlands.

As an Associate of the Foundation, Mary is now working on the Foundation’s Sustainable Route Map. She also works for Herefordshire Council, supporting corporate policies and projects on carbon reduction.

Averil Clother - Office Manager

Averil has a B.A. in history and an M.A. in Arthurian Literature. She has extensive experience in website development and design, together with the development of training packages for various computer programmes, and has employed these skills with a variety of commercial companies. In 2006 she became Project Officer for the Herefordshire Association of Local Councils (HALC), responsible for legal and administrative support to local councils and undertaking research on behalf of the sector.  She has also been a clerk to a number of parish councils within Herefordshire. Within the Foundation, Averil is responsible for administrative and technical support.

Emily Durrant - Research Manager

Emily spends most of her time working on various research projects, seeking new projects and partnerships and has recently been appointed Communications Manager. She joined the Foundation to manage a Leader funded rural development project (Herefordshire Orchards Network of Excellence) which came to an end in 2012. On successful completion of HONE, Emily secured funding from the cider industry to continue and expand the network, now simply "ONE" (Orchards Network of Excellence). She has a BSc in Environmental Science and an M.A. in Environment, Development & Policy. Her M.A. dissertation was on sustainability in the UK cider industry. She had previously gained experience of project management, research and network development through assorted contract work (clients including Heineken UK Ltd, NACM & Winsor Consult), as well as advocacy, media and fundraising during her time at Compassion in World Farming.  In 2011 Emily was awarded the Fred Beech award for her outstanding contribution to the cider industry. Emily is also a Trustee of Madley Environmental Studies Centre.

Dave Marshall - Associate (Damage Ltd)

Dave is an Associate of the Bulmer Foundation, running programmes under the health and well-being portfolio with a particular interest in the value of orchards, social issues arising from the misue of alcohol and evaluation of the impact of interventions. He has a Doctorate in sustainability accounting, a PGCE for post compulsory education and a BA in accounting. He is a Chartered Accountant, being a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and sits on their Sustainability Committee.  After qualifying with KPMG Thomson McLintock he worked in the City of London as the Team Leader, Enforcement, for the Securities Association and Stock Exchange before joining HP Bulmer Holdings PLC, where he was Group Financial Manager until its takeover.  Since 2004 he has also run his own accountancy business and is a trustee of various local charities.

Peter Norton - Associate (Gannah Ltd)

Peter has qualifications in engineering and design-crafts and worked as an artist-blacksmith before joining Herefordshire Council to support the development of creative industries within the County.  He also has a background in food distribution and retail and has combined these skills and experiences with a passion for developing a more sustainable food sector. He joined the Bulmer Foundation in 2004 as a project manager with responsibility for its sustainable food programme and has played a critical role in the development of the Herefordshire Food Links network and the more recent Sustainable Food Strategy for the County.  He is an Associate of the Foundation and is also a consultant for other organisations for the development of local and community food in the West Midlands region. 

Nancy Oakes - Senior Lecturer, M.A. course

Nancy has extensive experience in lecturing and management in Higher Education & joined the Foundation in 2010 to lecture on the M.A. in Sustainable Development Advocacy course. Nancy has a first degree in Horticultural Science, M.A. in Environmental Policy and Management, PGCE (Adult Education) and a Doctorate in insect pest / crop plant relationships. She is a member of the Institution of Environmental Sciences.  Nancy is part of the Bulmer Foundation Land Use team specialising on sustainable soil management and ecological projects.  Current research interests are in reducing the movement of phosphates from agricultural soils into water courses and no-till cultivation.

Christianne Wakeman - Associate (Kyre Oak), M.A. Programme Leader

Christianne is an educationalist with extensive experience in Higher Education, workforce development and community-based learning as a teacher, course designer and mentor. She also runs her own consultancy and is a Director of a Social Enterprise. She started her career path in retail management and in 1992 she returned to full-time education, obtaining a diploma in Applied Science and Engineering, a degree in Applied Physics and an MSc. in Medical Science. Since 1999 she has taught at FE colleges and with organisations such as the Workers Educational Associations and the Open University. She has designed and delivered courses ranging from science, to business skills, to environment and conservation.  She is also an experienced charity trustee and advocate for the voluntary sector. Within the Foundation she is the Programme Manager for the Master's Degree in Sustainable Development Advocacy, run in partnership with the University of Worcester.

Richard Priestley Honorary Associate

Richard travelled and worked in Africa and Europe before coming to Herefordshire in 1980 to renovate a ruined cottage and run an organic smallholding. He has a BSc in Social Anthropology from London School of Economics and has also studied in several informal and alternative groups and with the Open University, whilst working at a diverse range of occupations. Since 2006 he has been researching, writing, lecturing and teaching on the theme of “Global Problems: Global Solutions”, advocating a positive solution-focused approach to address the complex network of interlinked global problems that range from climate change and habitat destruction to hunger and poverty. Within a crisis is an opportunity - the transition from the "Fossil-Fuel Age" to the "Solar Age" could and should be a chance to build a radically fairer, more inclusive, and more ecologically secure world. He draws on many exciting ideas and examples of best practice from around the world that inspire and indicate paths to a better future.

Cathy Meredith Honorary Associate

Cathy has 30 years experience of working as a tutor/lecturer/trainer/counsellor/mentor for a number of training and business support organisations, which include Lantra, Business Link and the Prince's Trust. Alongside of this she has managed county and regionally based projects that have provided support for farming, rural businesses and rural retailing.  Since 2004 she has co-ordinated Herefordshire Rural Hub. The Hub provides information and sign posting for rural businesses in the Herefordshire area, as well as working with its counterparts in Shropshire and Staffordshire to form the Rural Hubs Partnership, which is now a member of Defra's Rural & Farming Network. Cathy is also a council member for the Institute of Agricultural Secretaries and Administrators (IAgSA) and is a responsible for the development of industry training and at the forefront of the the new IAgSA training programme.  Cathy is a member of the Herefordshire Business Board and is an Associate member of the Royal Agricultural Society (ARAgS).

Edward Bulmer Chair of Trustees

Edward has lived in Herefordshire all his life and his family now have a farm near Pembridge. He runs a number of companies that all embody sustainable principles.

These range from interior design promoting natural paints, to affordable house building and organic farming.

Hugo Spowers Trustee

Hugo Spowers is an entrepreneur who runs Riversimple, a business based just over the Shropshire border in Ludlow.  He spent 15 years in motorsport and then got out for environmental reasons.  He is an expert in sustainable business strategies.  Riversimple is designing and building highly efficient commercially viable hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.  His business rewards resource minimization, energy efficiency and long-term resilience, as opposed to rapid product turnover and short-term gains.

Joanna Bruce, MBE Trustee

Joanna is a nurse practitioner currently in private practice. She has 30 years operational experience developing projects that promote public health and social inclusion in both urban and rural settings. She runs Marches Better Health Services that works directly to improve the health of individuals, organisations and local communities. Currently she is also a board member at Stonewater Housing Association (West) and The Lee Foundation (a new national grant giving CIO being established). Previously she was a founding Director of Project Link Services CIC and a non executive director of two NHS health trusts as well as the University of Worcester. She has been involved in the development of several commercial, public and third sector organisations and chaired NHS and HE Personnel Committees through times of significant expansion and organisational change. Joanna also founded Teme Valley Youth Project for which she was awarded a MBE for services to young people in 2005. She has lived in Herefordshire for 22 years.

Barbara Parkinson Trustee

Barbara has been involved with the third sector in many capacities all her working life, with extensive experience in senior management as Chief Executive of two membership based voluntary organisations. She has been engaged locally and nationally in the strategic leadership of the sector, with a particular focus on support services for voluntary and community organisations.  She also has experience of working in the public sector having worked with Advantage West Midlands developing strategic investment frameworks to support sustainable community assets. 

She has been working as an independent consultant since 2005, working with all sectors specialising in community engagement, organisational development, improving governance and performance management. She has also worked extensively to develop networks and partnerships with various agencies from all sectors undertaking research, evaluation and forward planning.

Barbara has a breadth of experience as a trustee and director of companies, having worked with  many organisations in this capacity both nationally and locally. She is currently also a trustee of the Rural Media Company and Herefordshire's Community Foundation.

Andrew Thorman Trustee

Andrew spent more than 30 years with the BBC as a reporter, producer and editor before taking over responsibility for developing the Corporation's rural strands including Farming Today, the Food Programme and Costing the Earth on Radio 4 and Countryfile on BBC One. He now supports a number of charities alongside the BF including an orphanage in Burma and as Chair of the Board of Trustees at The Rural Media Company