Senior Leadership Team
Rachael Bice - Chief Executive Officer
Rachael moved to Yorkshire in 2019 from Cornwall to lead the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust team. She brings 20 years of experience across the public sector, mainly focussed on strategic change through partnership and policy development.
She has a deep passion for personal growth, our relationship with animals and the environment, and seeks out the wild whenever she can, now often in the Dales and North York Moors. These passions are reflected in her academic studies of Land Economy, Equine Science and Anthrozoology, and a desire to create mainstream ideas from eco-psychology and deep-ecology.
She is an RSA Fellow and a member of Homeward Bound, an international leadership network for women seeking to create a more sustainable world.
Amanda Spivack - Director of Fundraising and Engagement
Amanda has worked as a fundraising and marketing specialist within the charity sector for a little over 25 years. Her career began in community fundraising with the NSPCC and Scope, before moving into national events and grants management at Deafblind UK and The Wildlife Trusts, and alumni donor development at Robinson College, Cambridge. More recently, she has enjoyed senior management roles with the RSPB, Environment Agency and The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire. Amanda was Chair of the Institute of Fundraising East Anglia for four years, and was awarded Fundraiser of the Year for her dedication and success within the sector in 2016.
With significant experience of managing diverse teams, Amanda provides strategic direction and skilled, practical support to enable and empower Yorkshire Wildlife Trust staff to make a greater and lasting impact for Yorkshire’s wildlife and wild places.
“I truly believe that Yorkshire’s communities can make a difference to what we can achieve as a charity. Yorkshire pride, strength and passion attracted me to this magnificent county of rugged, wild landscapes - with its white, chalky cliff tops; serene wildflower meadows; meandering rivers and gritty, urban landscapes, I know that the people who live here are proud and protective of all that is Yorkshire.
By connecting with them and their and communities, and hearing and amplifying their voice, I think there is still a chance that we can protect and save some of Yorkshire’s most precious wildlife and wild places before they disappear forever. We just need to work together.
Yorkshire has some of the most wonderful landscapes, seascapes and people, and I feel privileged to work here and call it my home.”
Lisa Kerslake - Director of Operations for South and West Yorkshire
Lisa brings to Yorkshire Wildlife Trust a wide range of ecological experience, having worked for the Nature Conservancy Council, Nottinghamshire County Council, Northumberland Wildlife Trust, NEYEDC and her own ecological consultancy, as well as a stint of voluntary work for the Nature Conservancy in the USA.
She has a particular love of grassland, moorland and wetland habitats, and mammals and cares deeply about professionalism, from survey standards to correct use of English.She is a Founder member and Fellow of CIEEM, and a Chartered Ecologist. She would like to see an increase in CIEEM members among the Trust’s staff; this would increase our credibility with partners and in our advocacy work generally, which is an area of our influence she hopes will expand. She would also like to see us actively involved in rewilding discussions, increasing our protection and management of our wildest landscapes, becoming more involved in species recovery, and helping address the disconnect between people and nature, which is, she believes, the biggest threat to life on earth.
"I came to Yorkshire Wildlife Trust because I passionately wanted to return to an organisation whose purpose was first and foremost about conservation; and also because my first ever job was in Yorkshire and, despite being Cornish and having spent nearly 30 years working in many different places in the UK and abroad, I feel as if I have finally come home!
To me, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is special for two reasons. Firstly because it covers the most varied, spectacular, beautiful and generally amazing area of land in England; and secondly because of its committed, enthusiastic, passionate and dedicated staff."
Peter Batchelor - Director of Finance and Central Services
Peter joined Yorkshire Wildlife Trust in 2013 as Director of Finance and Central Services and is responsible for the Trust's finances and central support functions that ensure that the Trust operates smoothly.
A qualified chartered accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, Peter has worked at ‘Big 4 Accounting’ firm Ernst & Young, and British Telecom in senior restructuring and advisory roles.
Peter’s skills include financial restructuring, turnaround, transactions advisory, process improvement, formal insolvency and pensions advisory. He is also a keen sportsman and enjoys both football and golf.
"Having lived in Yorkshire since the age of six, I have both an affinity with, and an abundance of knowledge of, God’s Own County, and its landscapes and its wildlife. My interest in wildlife has led me on various adventures across the UK and internationally, to experience and photograph many iconic species in the natural environment. I don’t go anywhere without my! infrared motion cameras."
Terry Smithson - Director of Operations for North and East Yorkshire
Terry has worked within the nature conservation movement for 25 years, as a volunteer with Tees Valley and Somerset Trusts before carrying out research on pine marten and dormouse through Royal Holloway University.
Terry then worked for The Wildlife Trust for Beds, Cambs and Northants for ten years as Reserves Manager, Conservation Officer and Conservation Manager, before joining Yorkshire Wildlife Trust in 2017. Terry brings considerable ecological knowledge to the Trust alongside nature reserve management and the creation of wildlife-rich greenspaces with communities and other land managers. As an adept project manager and leader, Terry employs skills in project development and fundraising to support others to bring about nature’s recovery.
“Living on a council estate on the edge of Middlesbrough, my escape was exploring the fields and rivers of the North York Moors National Park, chasing grasshoppers, catching butterflies, turning stones and seeking out birds and their nests. The land was full of colour, energy, vibrancy – it was full of life and, like any hunter/gatherer, I would forage constantly, for leaves, shoots, nuts, mushrooms and even brown trout.
Whilst I studied for degrees in Zoology and Ecology, to understand the intricacies of the natural world, I saw these multi-coloured fields turn to dark green wildlife deserts, and the river full of brown trout to one polluted with farm run off. To experience this massive decline in our biodiversity, and to see this continue across the globe, compelled me to act, and I have found Wildlife Trusts to be the best way to make a real difference”.
Tracey Davison-Franks - HR and Training Manager
Tracey has worked at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust for more than 10 years, having previously worked for another very different charity. She is passionate that amazing nature conservation can’t happen without dedicated, supported and ambitious staff, and her role on the Senior Leadership Team enables her to input into discussions that look to align our People Strategy with the Trust’s wider business planning and strategic focus.
Her main areas of experience and long term passions are staff engagement and health and wellbeing. We rightly spend time and energy promoting the value of being involved with nature to people outside the Trust, so it is crucial that we also do our utmost to ensure that we look after the health and wellbeing of our staff teams.
Her ambition for the Trust is to achieve the vision of creating a Yorkshire rich in wildlife for everyone, in a organisation that is diverse and inclusive and reflects the communities we work with. Together, we can make a lasting difference to our local wildlife and their habitats in a way which actively demonstrates that we are Wild About Inclusion!
"This role brings together my interest in wildlife which was piqued by a very enthusiastic primary school teacher and professional interest in supporting and developing people as an organisation’s greatest asset.
Every day is a school day at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and it is a privilege to work for an organisation where you can be involved with people and projects that have so many positive impacts on the wildlife and people of Yorkshire."