Meet the Team
- Olivia French – Communications and Engagement Officer
Olivia loves nature and feels very fortunate to be able to have such a beautiful setting to call her ‘office’.
Whether its local schools, community groups or dog walkers, she’s keen to share her enthusiasm and knowledge of the heath with people of all ages.
With a past in education, she is passionate about nature being a learning space for all and sharing stories from the heath via social media and at events such as the Secrets of the Heath.
If you see her, do stop for a chat, and as a dog owner she’s always got spare dog poo bags to hand!
- Elinor Newman – Assistant Engagement Ranger
Elinor has been learning about, and loving, the various heathland sites for several years, as well as discovering those in her local area more recently during lockdown.
There are some really special species that rely on heathland habitats, and encountering and photographing them, especially the invertebrates, is one of her favourite activities.
She looks forward to sharing her enthusiasm through social media and virtual spaces, and face-to-face when we can.
Why not stop and ask her about her favourite heathland friends?
- Dan Riva – Engagement Ranger
Dan still can’t believe he fortunate enough to patrol such a beautiful dynamic landscape.
As a former ecologist and GIS technician, Dan is a data specialist who loves to understand the ‘bigger picture’ of what’s happening on our heathlands.
‘It’s like putting together the pieces on one massive ecological puzzle’.
He’s also a full-time dog fanatic and usually has a pocket full of treats to hand to win over any four-legged friends.
If you see him wandering about, flag him down and trade some wildlife facts.
- Maddy Matthews – Assistant Engagement Ranger
Maddy is very excited to join the team this summer to help deliver the engagement on our Heathlands.
She is currently studying for a Diploma in Countryside and Environment, and is very passionate about the conservation of protected habitats and species.
For her diploma she has just undertaken 2 years of practical conservation work with the SDNPA Central team doing tasks like hedgelaying, coppicing, scrub clearence mainly on chalk grassland and in woodland, so the chance to learn more about our Heathlands is a fantastic opportunity and she cant wait to get involved.
In her down time Maddy enjoys trail running all over the National Park for fitness but also to enjoy the wonderful scenery and wildlife, she also loves to use the iNaturalist app when out and about to help her with identifying different species and to keep a log of everything she has seen.
Maddy is keen to share her love for Nature to everyone she meets so be sure to come and say hi if you see her wandering on the Heathland.
- Emma Stanbury – Project Officer
Emma has spent the last 5 years working on the Heathlands Reunited Project.
Getting to know the diverse heathland sites of the National Park and engaging communities with their local heaths through events and activities has been a dream job.
With a background in community-led conservation and project work, Emma is excited to be supporting the Wealden Heath SAMM project and looks forward to inspiring people to protect and enjoy this precious habitat on their doorsteps.
- Colin Carré – Team Leader
Colin brings his knowledge of project management to the team and his experience of delivering public focused environmental engagement initiatives.
The most recent of which has been as part of the Heathlands Reunited Partnership which has provided the foundation for this exciting opportunity for us to continue to support the responsible use of this valued and protected landscape.