Who are we?

Miles King, CEO

Miles has always loved nature and  has worked in nature conservation for 30 years. He has led the conservation work at Plantlife, The Grasslands Trust and Buglife. He has also worked for a number of Wildlife Trusts, Natural England and Dorset AONB. Miles also ran a successful environmental consultancy for 9 years. Miles has been blogging about nature for 6 years, firstly on the Grasslands Trust blog and at a new nature blog, for the past 3 years. He has written a  large number of reports and is the co-author of Arable Plants: a field guide; and The Nature of God’s Acre. Miles lives with his family, a cat and five chickens in Dorset.

Miles is particularly interested in the relationship between people and nature, how and why people value nature; and what inspires people to value nature. He has developed a knowledge of wild plants and their semi-natural communities. Miles is also interested in rewilding, as well as the value of urban nature.

 

Norman Crighton, Trustee and Treasurer.

Norman’s love of nature was fuelled from an early age. Dundee in the early 1970’s still had scores of starlings that would descend on the small back garden when breadcrumbs (!!) were scattered in the morning. After gaining a BA(Hons) in economics, a move to Exeter to study for a postgraduate degree brought the first sightings of buzzards, now seen nationally but still uncommon in 1990. After moving to work in London, crowding his small back garden with camera nest boxes, a myriad of feeders and a small pond bursting with newts and tadpoles, confirmed that he needed more.

Years of work in The Big Smoke allowed Norman to fulfill his long-held dream and he was able to buy a small neglected farm in East Sussex. Reestablishing the wildflower meadows, restoring ponds and hedges, increasing the bird and orchid populations, as well as setting his Belted Galloway cattle loose for conservation grazing amidst the lush Sussex countryside are just a few of the things that now delight him.

 

Keith Datchler OBE, Trustee

Keith has worked in Agriculture for nearly half a century. He attended Plumpton Agricultural College before moving into commercial farming. Most of his working life has been with the Wills family’s Estates in East Sussex. He has steered the 2000-acre Beech Estate through many changes, the most profound being the re-structuring from a commercial mixed farming and forestry enterprise to a conservation based organic system structured around Countryside Stewardship. This work was recognised when he was awarded national winner of Natural England’s “Future of Farming Awards” in 2007. He was further awarded an OBE for “Services to the protection of endangered landscapes” in 2008.

Whilst now retired from Beech Estate Keith continues to run the 1200 acre Brickhouse Estate.

In particular Keith is very interested in our Human place within the Environment. He feels too often the environment is seen as something external to our existence, simply to be observed. “We live within it; we need to reconnect with nature.” This is Keith greatest passion.

Interests and posts held.

  • Co Founder and Trustee of the High Weald Landscape Trust.
  • Partner Weald Meadows Partnership.
  • Former Trustee of the Grassland Trust.
  • Member of the steering committee, Coronation Meadows Project ~ Plantlife
  • Member of the Project Board for  The Nature of Gods Acre