The Ancient Tree Forum is primarily a network organisation, working with and through local groups, trustees and other specialists, who alongside us, are driving the expertise of the protection of ancient trees. The ATF also has a small team of five posts including a CEO, a development and projects manager, a training and technical officer, an administration and a finance manager. We strive to balance the expertise and drive of a wide range of people and organisations in our network with practical support from our small team, therefore all team members seek to facilitate the involvement of knowledge and initiative from others on the management and protection of ancient trees. All team members work part-time.
Laura Alcock-Ferguson, CEO
Laura has led complex change in the not-for-profit sector for twenty years and has a Masters in Business Administration. She has experience of overseeing all functions in an organisation from a number of senior management roles. With posts in campaigning, collaborations and partnerships, project management and fundraising, most recently, Laura led and was the founding director of the Campaign to End Loneliness. From 2010 – 2019, she grew this issue and organisation from an idea on a piece of paper to ultimately leading mass-social change on this now well-recognised subject. She advised government ministers, international bodies, businesses, major charities and health leaders on behaviour change for loneliness and mapped the way for this issue to be better understood and acted upon by thousands of people and organisations. In October 2019, Laura became the first CEO of the Ancient Tree Forum. She loves nature, seen in her volunteering with a range of environmental charities over the last 15 years. She also campaigns on environmental causes as a freelance campaigner alongside her role as CEO of the ATF.
Jim Mullholland, Training & Technical Officer
Jim started his career as an ecologist, with a specialism in bats. Having worked for several years as an ecologist he retrained in arboriculture and now performs several roles that cross ecology and arboriculture. Jim has worked for the Ancient Tree Forum since April 2016 and has overall responsibility for training. He has also helped deliver projects such as VETcert and the City of London self-guided trails. When not working he can be found playing drums, climbing trees or going to gigs.
Clare de Villanueva, Projects & Partnerships Manager
Clare de Villanueva is an independent project consultant in the fields of science and environment. With a MSci in Geological Science, Clare spent two years exploring the wilds of Canada’s Boreal forest for platinum group minerals, before prospecting closer to home for hydropower projects in Scotland and northern England. Then she entered a whole world of trees with Cumbria Woodlands, promoting woodland management, natural flood management and running the Cumbria Ash Project. Clare has worked for Ancient Tree Forum since early 2018 on their Esmee Fairbairn funded work, and now supports ATF's regional groups and concordats. Clare enjoys the occasional foray on her mountain bike and is working on an indoor jungle, with over 70 houseplants!
Tracey Seville, Finance Manager
Julia Nicholas, Administration Manager
Hailing from North Pembrokeshire originally, known for its dearth of trees, Julia lives in the Cotswolds. She has experience of working in education, finance and property and now devotes her spare time to music making and bell ringing.