CIOSLNP Board Members

Prof Kevin Gaston

Kevin J. Gaston is Professor of Biodiversity and Conservation, and founding director of the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI), at the University of Exeter. Kevin is amongst the most highly cited research ecologists, has published 13 books and more than 400 science papers, and was elected to the Academia Europaea. His research interests span biodiversity, conservation biology, ecosystem services and urban ecology. He is particularly well known for his work on the factors that determine why some species are very rare and others extraordinarily common, and the diverse consequences, many of profound importance to humanity, that result.

Joining Fifteen Cornwall in April 2012, Matthew was previously Chief Executive of the London Community Resource Network. A Cornishman returning to his roots after 26 years away, Matthew has brought a wealth of experience from the social enterprise, community, environmental, charity sectors as well as the hospitality industry.  Previous roles include Learning Director at the School for Social Entrepreneurs, Development Director at Time Bank and senior management at the National Lottery Charities Board (now BIG Lottery Fund).

Matthew has also held a range of non-executive directorships and advisory positions with several third sector private and public organisations and sits on the Civil Society Advisory Board in the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and in Cornwall on the Local Nature Partnership, Employment and Skills Board and Inclusion Management Group.

In his first 18 months Matthew has overseen the refurbishment of the Fifteen restaurant and the renewal of its parent charity’s strategy and identity under the name Cornwall Food Foundation.

Nick is Regional Director for the RSPB, leading a team of 160 staff and 1,000 volunteers across South West England. He has worked for the RSPB for 15 years, previously in Northern England and London, where he specialised in nature reserve & operational management.

Nick has a particular interest in environmental leadership and aligning partners & the wider public around a common cause.

Nick grew up in Wiltshire, where his family have farmed for many generations. This has given Nick both an affinity with the farming community and a passion to make the farmed environment more nature-friendly. Having been blessed with a childhood in the countryside, Nick is also a strong advocate for providing opportunities to connect young people of all backgrounds with nature.

Laurence has managed the catchment-based projects at the Westcountry Rivers Trust for the past five years, including the development of the Trust’s Payments for Ecosystem Services projects. 

His specialisms include modelling ecosystem services and environmental surveying and he has extensive experience monitoring freshwater habitats, lecturing on riparian and water resource management as well as carrying out catchment research with several research institutes.  

Joyce is the Portfolio Holder for the Environment on Cornwall Council and her responsibilities contained within this role include waste, housing, natural environment (delivery), areas of outstanding natural beauty, Mount Edgcumbe Joint Committee, Clean Cornwall, bereavement services, leisure and archaeology.

She is interested in recycling and providing affordable housing for local people, and feels strongly in the importance of improving the quality of housing in Cornwall which can have such a big impact on the lives of people in Cornwall.

Joyce is the Liberal Democrat member for the Mount Hawke and Portreath electoral division.

Trevor Edwards was born, and still lives in, west Cornwall. He cares passionately for the County and environment and has worked for Cornwall Wildlife Trust for over 30 years. He is currently Chief Executive of the Trust, Managing Director of Cornwall Environmental Consultants and Director of South West Wildlife Trusts.

Raised in Looe, Edwina studied graphic design which led to establishing her own design and marketing business in 1989 which she carried on up until election to Cornwall Council in 2009.

In 1995 Edwina became an active member of Looe and Polperro Chamber of Trade and Commerce and was chair for four years up until election to Caradon District Council in 2003. Whilst at Caradon District Council Edwina served on planning and the local economy scrutiny panel and has served as portfolio holder for the economy.

Edwina has been a Looe Town Councillor since 2003, has worked for Cornwall Towns Association supporting the viability and vibrancy of coastal and market towns and was vice chair of Looe Market and Coastal Towns Initiative which produced the Looe Community Action Plan. She is a firm advocate of bottom up Community planning and currently working on the Looe Neighbourhood Development Plan.

With the change to a Unitary Council Edwina was elected to represent West Looe and Lansallos Parish on 2009 and successfully stood again in 2013 with a change to the boundary to include Lanteglos Parish.

Within Cornwall Council Edwina has previously served on the Economy and Environment Scrutiny panel, the last two years as vice chair and the Lib Dem group has elected Edwina to be shadow economy portfolio holder for the last four years and most recently as Portfolio Holder for the Environment, Heritage and Planning.

Edwina is an avid recycler and is keen to promote the notion of Natural Capital with a recognition that our natural and built environment can promote health and well being, benefit our economy as well as safeguarding bio diversity.

Tom is an independent consultant based in St. Germans. His work focuses on Marine Protected Area planning and management effectiveness; project development and fundraising. He was formerly the Head of Marine Policy at the RSPB. Between 2005 and 2011 he led Finding Sanctuary, a project that brought together stakeholders from across the South West to design Marine Conservation Zones. 

Having been with the National Trust for nearly 30 years operating in Cornwall and the South West, Nick is looking to embed a sustainable future in the work he does with the Trust as well as Cornwall as a whole. 

With a personal passion and commitment to maintaining Cornwall’s special character, landscape and environment, Nick has a track record of making things happen, having set up a large number of major projects across Cornwall working with key statutory agencies.

With extensive experience in estate management Simon has expert knowledge in farming, environmental and biodiversity objectives as well as property and commercial business activities.

Simon has skills in strategic planning, environmental strategies and as well as valuing robust decision-making, a strong stakeholder focus, local awareness, and a desire to achieve the best possible results in all situations.

Esther works as an independent consultant within the field of environmental economics. She uses her background of economics and business to support organisations in assessing the value of ecosystem services and understanding the relationship between the economy and the natural environment. Esther also has over 20 years of professional experience working in service industries (food, technology, health). She has a passion for the natural environment, and has an appreciation of the dynamics of farming through involvement in daily life of her neighbour's mixed farm in West Penwith. Esther combines an MBA from LondonBusinessSchool with an FdSC in Conservation and Countryside Management from Plymouth University.

Paul was appointed to the position of Corporate Director in April 2014 following a significant period as the Interim Chief Executive and Assistant Chief Executive of Cornwall Council, and its predecessors Cornwall County Council and North Cornwall District Council. He is currently the Corporate Director for Economy, Enterprise and Environment.

Paul has extensive experience of the public sector following a long career in Local Government which began in 1984 when he joined North Cornwall District Council as a District Environmental Health Officer, gradually working his way up the ranks.

Paul is a key member of the Council’s Corporate Leadership Team and works at local, regional and national levels to inform the strategic direction of Cornwall Council and to actively influence the development of Government policy from a rural perspective. 

Cllr Gaz O'Neill was born and raised in Cornwall and originally trained and worked as a professional musician before moving into the hospitality industry. He has lived on St Mary's for nearly twenty years where he co owns The Deli and a restaurant named Dibble and Grub. Gaz has been a member of the Council of the Isles of Scilly for five years and is currently the Chair of the Planning and Economic development committee. 

Judy is the Area Environment Manager in Devon and Cornwall with the geographical lead for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and has worked for the Environment Agency for 20 years in a variety of environment protection positions. Within the Area Judy leads work streams concerning the water companies, large industries, and water resources portfolios as well as enforcement. Nationally, Judy is the chair of the water companies’ sector group and is the South West regional lead for biodiversity.

For several years Judy has chaired Environment Kernow, a lively and committed partnership of various environment (biodiversity, waste and resource use and climate change) and health partners. As part of this role, she has represented the environment sector on the European Convergence Programme Local Management Committee.

Hugo took over as chief executive of Surfers Against Sewage in late 2008 and has overseen a sustained period of development, growth and impact for the organisation, which has galvanised its position as one of the UK’s most effective marine conservation charities. He has overseen the transition of the organisation from a single-issue campaign group to a national environmental charity with extensive national and international influence.

Hugo has worked at a senior level with various charities big and small, including the Climate Coalition. For a number of years he also worked with alongside former Prime Minister’s wife, Sarah Brown, helping develop her charity PiggyBankKids (now rebranded Theirworld), set up to help save the lives of premature babies and create opportunities for under privileged young people. Hugo is a member of the Vision Council for World Surfing Reserves and is a former trustee and chairman of the Museum of British Surfing.