Forest of Selwood Partnership

Photo by Maxwell Milligan

Photo by Maxwell Milligan

The Forest of Selwood partnership is a forum for people and organisations who support natures recovery in the Forest.

The partnership is an independent forum and a broad network open to all people and organisations who have an interest in improving the environment in the area.

The broad aims are:

  • To promote and champion environmentalism and find consensus on environmental issues, and provide a platform for people to express and debate views on how to achieve better environmental outcomes for the Forest.
  • To highlight work underway in the area
  • To catalyse environmental action within Forest to achieve positive environmental change. 
  • To establish a supportive network and facilitate the development of new networks and projects.  
  • To identify areas where work is being duplicated and explore ways in which knowledge/ resources can be shared and pooled for greater impact

The partnership meets 3 times a year.

Participants include:

Patricia Stainton

Living at Cooks Farm in the heart of Selwood, Patricia has a deep interest in the natural world. She has devoted much of her life to nature conservation both in the way she has managed her own land for over 30 years and her contribution to the work of the Somerset Wildlife Trust as a Trustee and Chairman. Sharing her passion for nature with others, running workshops, open days and Children’s Wildlife Watch clubs at the Farm.

Jill Butler

MSc, MICFor, VetCert Consulting

For at least two decades, I have had a specialist interest in ancient and other veteran trees and ancient Forests, wood pastures and parkland. This interest has led me into understanding the history and structure of past landscapes through ancient trees and in learning about the important ecological aspects of managing open grazed Forests with large herbivores. We still have a lot to learn about how to generate open-grown, ancient, light-demanding trees and shrubs of the future.

I have followed in Frans Vera’s footsteps across Europe to look at the sites he researched for his landmark book “Forest history and grazing ecology” including 4 visits to Bialowieza National Park in Poland. I have also followed in Ted Green’s fungi and ancient tree footsteps to explore the unique tree biodiversity and heritage associated with many species of ancient tree. Together we were involved in the early stages of the Knepp wildland project in West Sussex with Charlie and Issy Burrell and continue to support the project through regular Tree Safaris.

I am a qualified VetCert Consultant through the Arboricultural Association. I am a keen surveyor and verifier for the Ancient Tree Inventory, a citizen science project hosted by the Woodland Trust and run in partnership with the Tree Register of the British Isles and the Ancient Tree Forum. I am a Trustee of the Tree Register of the British Isles. In September 2020 I received the Arboricultural Associations Annual Award in recognition of my significant and positive contribution to the arboricultural industry or profession.

Ewan Jones

Ewan Jones is Co-Founder of both Community River Charity BruCREW, and Forest of Selwood CIC.

BrueCREW was founded to restore the natural balance the river Brue as a haven for wildlife, and to promote our riverside as somewhere relaxing to spend time with nature.

Ewan grew up in West Camel, by the nearby River Cam, and has been Chair of Bruton Town Council and Mayor of Bruton since 2019.

Julian Hight

Julian Hight has travelled widely, camera in hand, to photograph and gather stories of historic ancient trees, documented in his three published books on the subject.

Chair of Wessex Ancient Tree Forum, Julian presents regular talks and is a verifier for the Woodland Trust Ancient Tree Inventory. He is passionate about reviving the ancient Forest of Selwood and promoting ancient trees and woodland.

Sue Everett

MCIEEM (Ret), PG Dip AEES (Arch)

Sue is an independent ecologist and land management adviser, specialising in nature-friendly farming and ecological restoration. She is also the news columnist for British Wildlife magazine. Sue is an active member of Friends of the River Frome, and sits on the Somerset Frome Catchment Partnership Steering Group.

Lulu Urquhart

Passionate re-wilder and ecological restorationist; Lulu has harnessed all the skills of landscape design, tree, soil and plants knowledge over the last 20 years and put that together to help people to connect with and experience more intimately – land – and to help create and support and take the lead from this natural world to harmonise the balance of humans and wildlife within it.

She co-founded the Tree Conference (encompassing climate science and deep ecology to understand the true value of trees) and Urquhart & Hunt Landscape Design & Ecological Restoration.

Simon Clarke

With a passion for the natural world and for connecting people with nature, Simon Clarke is the new Head of Conservation Policy and Biodiversity at Somerset Wildlife Trust.  He has worked in nature conservation for over twenty years across a range of landscapes.  Living and working on the Mendip Hills and Somerset Levels for the last 10 years, he is currently working on delivering a nature recovery network for Somerset, working with others to help create a future landscape whereby nature is thriving and seen as a valued part of society and health and wellbeing.


Simon Nash

Formerly chief executive of Wetlands International and the Somerset Wildlife Trust. Simon now works on a range of environmental projects and policy research in a private capacity. Long distance cyclist and passionate advocate for the reintroduction of keystone species in support of natural regeneration. The Earth is what we all have in common.

Dave Blake

I have worked in forestry, landscape protection, wildlife management and am currently a rural estate manager working on the Defence Training Estate. I have a special interest in ancient and veteran trees that goes back to my early childhood. 

Ann Langdon

Ann has worked with Somerset farmers for over 30 years. She is Senior Farm Environment Adviser for FWAG SW and her experience includes advising on and preparing agri-environment schemes to providing more specialist soil, water and grassland management advice. Recent work includes working on reducing flooding and diffuse pollution in Somerset.


Charles Fattorini

Charlie is a Trustee at Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and is Chairman of their Conservation Management Committee.  In this role, he has led a comprehensive review of all WWT’s Nature Reserves and farming operations to prepare for the introduction of the Government’s Environmental Land Management scheme.  He is currently restoring his small farm, in the River Brue Catchment and Forest of Selwood, to woodland pasture.  He has particular interests in farmland birds and native deer.

Adam Hunt

Passionate ecologist and landscape designer. Early founder of Trees for Cities; the Tree Conference; the Walled Kitchen Garden Network; and Dorset Local Food links; Ambassador for the Princes Foundation for Horticulture.   Adam co-leads Somerset based Urquhart & Hunt Landscape Design and Ecological Restoration Ltd and also lectures at the Irish Academy of Garden Design.

Ed Green

Ed Green manages a grassland livestock family farm on the edge of the Mendips in Chesterblade. The farm is on an agroecological journey guided by regenerative practices with a focus on how a livestock farm can proactively combat climate change, host a thriving and biodiverse habitat, and help people reconnect with the natural world and themselves. To find out more take a look at Chesterblade Hills website htts://

Ed is also a Trustee board member of the Somerset Wildlife Trust.

James Coward

James studied Rural Land Management at Reading and began his career advising agricultural businesses diversifying into tourism. He is also a Chartered Account and set up his own practice based in Brewham working with a wide variety of local businesses and charities. He has a deep love of the countryside and nature and recently he and his wife Cath have purchased a wood near Bruton.

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