Mar 13 2020

National Volunteer Panel – South West England

Meet your National Volunteer Panel members from the South West of England…

Bev Knott


I live in Bristol where I’ve been almost all of my life, getting on for 60 years. I’ve been retired for many years after a career as a teacher in Bristol schools.


Trees have always been a love and a comfort; walking in an encompassing wood gives pleasure and calm. Trips to local woods with my parents, especially to our favourite Perridge woods near our home in Exeter, was a happy feature of childhood. Now I see trees and woodlands as a vital ingredient of addressing climate change and of mitigating harmful aspects of city living. I have 10 trees in my garden, and a long diverse hedge.


Although a very long-term member of the Woodland Trust, I did not become active until six years ago when I started a volunteer group to help with looking after Bishops Knoll Wood in Bristol. This fascinating wood, once grounds of a mansion, had many garden features overwhelmed by undergrowth. Revealing these has been exciting work.


Being a founder member of the National Volunteer Panel fulfils an aspiration to give volunteers status in the workings of the Woodland Trust. The Trust’s attitudes towards volunteers has improved hugely in recent years and I think the new panel is a major example of this, enabling all volunteers, if they wish, to have a secure route for their thoughts, criticisms, suggestions, whatever.


As one of two panel members for the South West, I look forward to representing the hundreds of volunteers in the region.

John Greenshields


Now a semi retired Farmer, I have been involved with Woodland projects for over 30 years, with the Forestry Commission and local AONB’s. I was Chairman of a Local Woodland Association for many years and still run woodland Courses in our own Woodland with management, sustainability and Planting as key issues. I have been a volunteer with the WT for over 20 years as a Woodland Creation Advisor, and work closely with land owners as well as local Authorities advising on planning of planting sites in and around housing estates as well as their public Parks. I am a Trustee with the Blackdown Hills Trust which is a conservation body with the remit to administer conservation grazing over 500a with Longhorn Cattle on land belonging  to the Forestry Commission to conserve Butterfly habitat.


I am very keen on linking Volunteers to other parts of the Woodland Trust by using local events and meetings so volunteers have a voice that can be listened to by the national WT team. In the South West we are very lucky to have a fantastic Volunteer team, without which we would be having trouble managing our woodlands.


My hobbies include Hill Walking, Taking my Traction Engine to steam shows and my Grandchildren!


If you would like to contact Bev or John you can email them here:

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