Biodynamic Land Trust Board Members
The Biodynamic Land Trust is currently working with a rotating chair system.
Rachel Harries, Director
As previous producer skills manager at the Soil Association, Rachel Harries trained over 75 new organic producers for the Future Growers scheme, and managed the training for the Innovative Farmers programme. Rachel is a co-founder of Access to Land EU including with the Soil Association Land Trust. As the Soil Association’s Community Supported Agriculture co-ordinator, she co-founded a national network to promote community supported agriculture, CSA Network UK, establishing governance, accounting and membership procedures. Rachel was on the council of Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming. A communications and marketing professional and activist, Rachel has worked on social and environmental justice issues for over 20 years, from rural issues to global trade, and from local food to livelihoods and land rights.
Gabriel Kaye, Society Secretary and Director
Gabriel Kaye has been an administrator/manager to associations, schools and other similar organisations for many years, building a wealth of expertise in these areas. She has run her own craft pottery business as well as been a trainer and consultant in organisational structures, charity requirements, administration and management for Steiner Schools. Gabriel has worked with and supported biodynamics all her life. Born on a biodynamic farm and a keen biodynamic gardener, Gabriel has worked for the Biodynamic Association Certification. As Project Director of the Biodynamic Land Trust, Gabriel has recently accepted leadership of the Biodynamic Land Trust.
Chris Stockdale, Director and Custodian Trustee representative for the Biodynamic Association
A biodynamic farmer in Herefordshire, presently Chairman of the Biodynamic Association Council and Vice Chair of the European Livestock Alliance, Chris Stockdale brings his long experience of farming, working as a trustee and in other types of caring organisations. Chris is the Custodian Trustee Director of the Biodynamic Land Trust nominated to the Biodynamic Land Trust Board by the Biodynamic Agricultural 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.
An experienced IT professional with over 30 years of experience in the UK financial sector and government departments, Ian Nicholson brings in-depth experience working in highly-competitive, cost-focused, political and rapidly-changing environments, developing and implementing corporate service strategies and delivering effective solutions through process, people and systems innovation to meet customer and business needs.
Director of Stroud Common Wealth for over 18 years, generating new forms of social, community stewardship of housing, land, finance and resources, Lucas Shoemaker is an experienced organisational developer, building value-driven funding cases and public presence of projects through networking, news items and publicity material, using interpersonal, communication and financial skills to ensure financial viability and developmental needs are met.
Autumn 2017 resignations
Mark is chair of the South Devon Steiner School, and senior partner in The Foresight Group, an international business advisory practice. The Trust is grateful for Mark Drewell’s rigour, warmth and dedication. Thank you, Mark, and good luck with exciting new projects.
Having completed her biodynamic apprenticeship, set up Groundspring Network for farmers and growers, Ella is now restoring community orchards across London with The Orchard Project. The Trust is grateful for Ella’s experience of access-to-land and community share issues. Thank you, Ella, for your expertise, kindness and dedication, and good luck with your continuing work reconnecting communities to the land around them.
Sebastian Parsons (2015 – 2017)
Founder of Stockwood Community Benefit Society, Sebastian Parsons stepped down as the Trust’s business manager in November 2017. Sebastian says: “I have completed what I was taken on to do, and I can now move on, fully-confident the Trust is in capable hands. Over the last two years we have developed a new vision and strategy, new operational systems and a talented and committed team.”
Statement from the Board of the Biodynamic Land Trust:
It is with sadness and gratitude that we announce that Sebastian Parsons is stepping down from his role leading the Biodynamic Land Trust. He has worked tirelessly for two years to further develop the Trust and its work, and produced a six-year business plan with many innovative features that will inspire the Trust in its work for years to come. He leaves a capable team who have agreed to carry the executive work between them and to progress the development of the Trust under the strategic direction of the Board.
The Board of Biodynamic Land Trust Directors, 23 November 2017
Gabriel Kaye, Project Director
Co-founder of the Biodynamic Land Trust, Gabriel has recently stepped up to lead the Trust in its work of stewarding its land, securing more land for biodynamic organic farming, and supporting farmers around farm succession and as entrants seeking land .
Natasha Ramm, Finance and Operations Manager
Recruited in March 2016 as administrator and to develop the operational infrastructure of the Biodynamic Land Trust, Natasha has founded and developed two businesses, and is experienced in business and financial management, monitoring and accounting.
Elisabeth Winkler, Marketing and Communications Manager
Recruited in February 2017 to lead the Biodynamic Land Trust’s communications programme, Elisabeth is a journalist and communications consultant for green and ethical companies and causes. An award-winning campaigning food blogger, Elisabeth is a previous editor of the Soil Association.
Founding Executive Director
After four years of establishing the Biodynamic Land Trust, it was with great gratitude, admiration and fondness that the Biodynamic Land Trust Directors accepted Martin Large’s resignation as founding Executive Director.
A director of Stroud Common Wealth Ltd founded in 1999 to develop co-operatives, small businesses and community land trusts, Martin provided technical assistance to the Fordhall Farm community buyout in 2005/6, helped set up Gloucestershire Land for People CLT, and was chair of the CLT National Demonstration Project 2007/9. Martin is also a Director/founder of Stroud Woodlands Co-op and a director of Stockwood Community Benefit Society Ltd. Martin is a founder publisher/director of Hawthorn Press Ltd, a visiting lecturer at the University of Kent and a long time supporter of biodynamic food and farming.