James Platts, Chief Executive FRSA

I believe the environment is key to all we do; we need to value the environment for the societal and economic benefits it gives each and every one of us. Access to a diverse, linked environment helps people from all walks of life grow physically and mentally.  

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 am a firm believer that education unlocks the world and I continue to support this through the education projects our charity delivers.

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Colin Vallance, Heritage and Governance Director

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. I have had the privilege of working in many roles within the Trust since 2000, overseeing the governance, marketing, communications and central support services of the organisation, as well as heading up the subsidiary charity, Wheal Martyn Trust. Wheal Martyn celebrates and makes 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 who help make this happen.

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Lisa Tame, Environment 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 Environment 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, Chief Financial Officer 

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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Neil Reeves, Director of Visitor Experience 

“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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Ben Smeeth, Visitor Experience Manager - North

Head of Coarse Fishing

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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Matt Lennox, Visitor Experience Manager, Central

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Matt Loughlin, Visitor Experience Manager, West

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Luke Hoather, Visitor Experience Manager, Exmoor

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Will Samuels, Hospitality Manager 

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Jon Morley, Visitor Experience Manager, Bournemouth

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Ian Morgan, Head of NCS

I am really happy to be working with such a great charity, full of such enthusiasm for what they do. Bringing NCS into this environment is a great opportunity for me and I am really looking forward to seeing as many programmes as possible get under way here at the Lakes. I have no doubt the young people that take part in the NCS journey we offer, will be back to enjoy our lakes long after their programmes finish.

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Nicola Morris, Head of Environment and Engagement 

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James Fantom, Invasive Species Officer

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Deborah Deveney, Burrator Investigation Officer

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Emma Scotney, Ecologist

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Emily Cannon, I Love Water Project Officer

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Lucy Alford, Environment and Engagement Ranger - East

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Annabel Underwood, Communications and Marketing Manager 

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Kit Hancock, Estates and Contracts Officer

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