James Platts, Chief Executive 

My time working for South West Lakes Trust has been really rewarding, whether teaching a blind lady to sail at Roadford Lake, helping the wardens with fishing competitions at Porth reservoir, managing the installation of new accessible trails at Siblyback Lake or more recently working to improve habitats across our sites. As Chief Executive, I want to support the work of our teams to care for the environment and ensure as many people as possible can benefit from accessing the outdoors. I live on the Devon Cornwall border with my wife and two children and enjoy sailing with my family on the river Tamar and on our lakes. I love the countryside of the South West and believe that protecting the environment needs to be the bedrock of all we do. I am a firm believer that education unlocks the world and I continue to support this as a College Governor and through education projects our charity delivers.

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Diane Bassett FCCA, Strategic Director of Corporate Services

I never thought when I moved back to Cornwall that I would find such a great organisation to work for, especially a charity with such beautiful sites – it’s given me the opportunity to be involved in some wonderful projects. I love visiting the lakes to walk and cycle with my family and enjoy the ‘great outdoors’, especially when followed up with a delicious hot chocolate and carrot cake.

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Colin Vallance, Operations Director, Wheal Martyn

I love the variety of being involved in such a dynamic charity which combines my passion for the countryside with the opportunity to make a difference for people. It is a privilege to head up the Wheal Martyn charity, celebrating and making accessible the heritage of one of Cornwall’s most important industries, in such a special and unique place – I am continually inspired by the dedication and passion of our wonderful volunteers .

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Lisa Tame, Impacts and Engagement Director

I count myself as very lucky to work for such a vibrant charity with a clear passion for protecting our special habitats and wildlife and enabling people to explore and enjoy the lakes we manage. My family and I spend a great deal of time outdoors and I also love trail running (whenever possible), so many happy memories can be made whilst enjoying the great outdoors. I relish the challenge of such a varied role of Impacts and Engagement Director, leading our communications team and being responsible for our fundraising and the development of our charitable projects, which means I get to work across the region and with our fantastic teams at our lakes.  

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Lesley Whitworth, Head of Finance

I love working here. Every day I come into work and learn something new: how to tackle invasive plants in my garden, how to identify different birds and butterflies that visit our lakes, the fascinating history of the clay industry in Cornwall and that there are some big fish lurking at the bottom of our lakes! I have recently purchased two paddleboards, so I am looking forward to spending some quality family time at the lakes, camping and splashing around!

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Ben Smeeth, Head of Angling

I have been an ‘outdoors’ person my whole life and to be able to work within an area for which I have a lifelong passion is amazing. What I love most is seeing people enjoying themselves at the lakes and if I can have a positive impact on our visitors through my work it makes it more rewarding. I take great pride in what I do and enjoy sharing that with my young children who love visiting the lakes and enjoying such special places with me.

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Neil Reeves, Head of Environment and Community

“It’s not a bad office you’ve got!”

You only need to look out over one of our lakes on a sunny day to understand why I do what I do. This, combined with a passion for the natural world and encouraging people of all ages and abilities to enjoy and learn from it fills me with enthusiasm. I love living on Dartmoor with my family and working to deliver Conservation, Access & Recreation across the lakes of the South West with simply “the best” team of staff and volunteers is a real privilege. 

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Emma Scotney, Ecologist

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Nicola Morris, Invasive Species Officer

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Beth Cross, Senior Countryside Warden - Cornwall

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Kit Hancock, Senior Countryside Warden - Devon

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Nick Herbert, Senior Countryside Warden - Exmoor

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Jon Morley, Operations Manager, Bournemouth

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Annabel Underwood, Public Relations and Campaigns Officer

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Jakub Peterson, Recruitment and Training Officer

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