A number of people help with the Biodynamic Land Trust’s operation. Key people are those on our Board of volunteer directors which governs the organisation, and our operations manager who assists the Board.
Board of Directors
Ian Nicholson – Chair
Ian Nicholson is an experienced IT professional having spent over 30 years in the UK financial sector and government departments. He brings in-depth experience working in highly-competitive, cost-focused, political and rapidly-changing environments. Ian has also developed and implemented corporate service strategies and delivered effective solutions through process, people and systems innovation. These were to meet both customer and business needs.
A communications consultant and community activist, Stella Parkes has supported the environmental charity Stroud Valleys Project for over thirty years. As the corporate communications manager for South Gloucestershire Council, Stella acted as a spokesperson and wrote the communications strategy. She also briefed and trained council officers and Councillors, and was responsible for reputation management. This ensured a positive profile for the council, its services and policies, locally, regionally, and nationally.
Lucas Schoemaker has been a director of Stroud Common Wealth for over 18 years. This has generated new forms of social, community stewardship of housing, land, finance and resources. He is an experienced organisational developer, building value-driven funding cases and public presence of projects. Lucas achieves this through networking, news items and publicity material. He uses interpersonal, communication and financial skills to ensure financial viability and developmental needs are met. Lucas is also a Town Councillor for Stroud.
Hannah steenbergen – Custodian Trustee representative for the Biodynamic Association
Hannah Steenbergen lives in Somerset and has recently started up a regenerative livestock farm on 100 acres of rented pasture. She is a new entrant farmer and started learning on the job while working as Farm Manager at 42 Acres for 2 years. Previous to this Hannah worked as a Projects Officer for the Sustainable Food Trust for 3 years after graduating with an MA in Sustainable Development from the University of St Andrews. Hannah grew up on a biodynamic farm and has been a trustee of the Biodynamic Association since 2017.
Chris Stockdale is a biodynamic farmer in Herefordshire, where, with his wife, family and neighbourly support, he keeps cattle, sheep and plants trees.. He is former Chair of the Biodynamic Association Council and also Vice Chair of the European Livestock Alliance. Chris brings his long experience of farming, working as a trustee, and in other types of caring organisations. He was formerly the Custodian Trustee representative on the Board for the Biodynamic Association.
Guest Directors attend board meetings over a period of six months with the prospect of becoming full directors. While their input is invaluable and hugely appreciated, they have no vote until co-opted on as full board members.
If you would like to consider becoming a director please read the New Directors Policy.
Gabriel Kaye – Society Secretary
Gabriel Kaye has been an administrator/manager to associations, schools and similar organisations for many years. She has built a wealth of expertise in these areas. Gabriel has also been a trainer and consultant in organisational structures, charity requirements, administration and management for Steiner Schools. She was born on a biodynamic farm and is a keen biodynamic gardener. Gabriel has worked for the Biodynamic Association in Certification and is now its Executive Director. A co-founder of the Biodynamic Land Trust, she has also held a number of executive roles for the organisation. Gabriel stepped down from the Board in November 2020 after serving three terms of three years as a director.
Tom Brenan – Operations Manager
A Biodynamic Land Trust Director between 2011 and 2016, Tom Brenan returned in 2019 as Operations Manager. He is a public interest environmental and planning lawyer with broad experience across the third sector. Tom holds also a keen interest in sustainable agriculture, maintaining one hand in the soil and the other in the law.