Who we are

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We are a membership-driven NI charity. A Council elected by our membership governs us. Work is carried out by a dedicated staff team, supported by a large number of committed volunteers.

Members

Our members are at the heart of our work. We are dependent upon our individual members and supporters who provide income, influence and practical action to ensure the continuance of our work for nature. Everyone is eligible to become a member of the Ulster Wildlife. Families and young members are very welcome and can avail of our Wildlife Watch membership. See our membership section for further information about how to join.

Council

A 16-member Council directs the work of Ulster Wildlife. Council members take on this role on a voluntary basis. Council members are elected by Ulster Wildlife members.

 

Current Members of the Council

 

Mr Ken Brundle (Chair)  
Ken has over 40 years experience in the Aerospace industry and is currently Chairman of Bombardier Aerospace Shorts. From 1996 - 2000, Ken was Head of Shorts and more recently he was based in Montreal from 2000 - 2004 responsible for all operations at Canadair, de Haviland, Learjet and Shorts. He was founder Chairman of the Northern Ireland 'One Percent Club' and has been actively involved in business support for Northern Ireland charities. He also served previously as both Chairman of Maydown Precision Engineering and Belfast City Airport. Ken is currently Chairman of Praxis, the Northern Ireland Mental Health and Learning Disability Charity and a Trustee of the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children. Ken is Chairman of the Bombardier Aerospace Shorts Foundation and Chairman of the Bombardier Aerospace and Transportation Pension Schemes in the U.K. He is the Canadian Honorary Consul in Northern Ireland. 

 

Ms Doris Noe (Vice Chair)
Since writing ‘Natural Belfast – An Inventory of Important Wildlife Habitats’ (RSPB ’87) Doris has co-founded several natural heritage, education and tourism-related bodies. She is Chairman of Lecale Conservation. Through such voluntary roles and her employment with the British Council, Doris has gained widespread respect for her knowledge and understanding of subjects as diverse as Biodiversity, Climate Change, Cultural Relations, Education, Rural Communities and Tourism.

 

 


Mr Ross Boyd (Honorary Treasurer)
Ross Boyd, chartered accountant, began his working life as an engineer in shipyards. Having worked all over the world, he moved into costings, then accounting and set up his own firm in 2010 in Belfast which currently employs 10 people and plans to expand to 20 within three years.

 

 

 


Gillian Allen
Gillian has worked in the Health and Social Care sector in Northern Ireland for 10 years during which time she has held various positions within acute, community, mental health and disability services. Gillian currently works for the Health and Social Care Board where her role involves leading service improvement projects aimed at changing Northern Ireland’s health and social care system to meet our needs now and into the future.  

                                                                                         

                                 

 

Dr Bob Brown OBE
Bob has been involved with research and wildlife conservation for almost 40 years, and worked with The National Trust on Strangford Lough, and as Director of RSPB's Northern Ireland operations. Bob is a marine biologist with an interest in birds, as well as many other aspects of wildlife. He has previously chaired the Northern Ireland Biodiversity Group (NIBG).                                                                         

                                   

                         

           

Mrs Edith Finlay
Edith is a science teacher at The High School, Ballynahinch. In this role, she teaches all aspects of Science, including horticulture, and coordinates Personal Development within the school.                         

 

 

 

 

Mr Ben Matson
Ben is currently a trainee solicitor in a commercial legal practice in Belfast. He recently completed a Masters degree in Environmental Law & Sustainable Development that included voluntary work with the Trust.

     

 

 

Dr Jim McAdam 
Jim is a Senior Principal Scientific Officer at DARD’s Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute with a specific interest in agri-environment matters. He is also Professor in the School of Biological Sciences at Queen’s and teaches courses on Rural Development, Environmental Management and the History of Land Use in Ireland.

 

 

 

Lorraine McCourt
Lorraine runs her own consultancy practice specialising in project development, change management and mediation. Prior to this, Lorraine was Director of the Joint Secretariat of SEUPB, from 2012- 2016, where she was responsible for operational implementation of the Peace III programme and Interreg IVA programme. Lorraine also has 11 years experience in local government including most recently as Assistant Director of Technical Services for Fermanagh District Council. She has also worked in the charitable sector as Countryside Services Manager for the Mourne Heritage Trust and as the Senior Grants Officer for the Heritage Lottery Fund.  

 

 

Craig McGuicken
Craig McGuicken is Chief Executive Officer of Northern Ireland Environment Link. Craig has worked extensively within the heritage and cultural sectors in Northern Ireland. Most recently he was Operations Director at SS Nomadic in Belfast. He was also Curator and Acting Head of Derry City Council Heritage Service, where he was involved in a range of projects. Recently, he was a Board Member of the Northern Ireland Museums Council and the Walled Towns Network of Ireland.

 

 

 

Fiona McVicker
Fiona has 27 years’ experience as an HR practitioner in Bombardier Aerostructures and Engineering Services (Short Bros plc) where she is Manager of Human Resources Business Partners and Equal Opportunities. She has extensive experience in a large multi-unionised aerospace manufacturer and has faced the varying challenges of the business cycle from significant upturn to significant downsizing. She leads a team of HR Professionals who advise management on the full range of HR activities, and design and implement HR processes that support strategic business aims.


 

Professor Howard Platt
Howard is a zoologist and marine biologist with over 40 years experience in nature conservation. He previously worked at NIEA for 21 years where he was Chief Scientist and prior to that, was Managing Director of Marenco, a private firm of environmental consultants. He is now working as an independent environmental consultant. In addition to his marine biological expertise, he is an expert on environmental legislation, pollution and marine renewable energy. He is also a keen diver and photographer.

 

 

 

Edward Wright

Edward has nearly 20 years’ experience working professionally as an environmentalist, currently within the agri-food sector. Previous to this he was an environmental consultant to both the public and private sector and was Sustainability Director of Business in the Community/ARENA Network. He has a particular interest in supporting business to ensure it makes a positive contribution to protecting and enhancing our natural environment.

 

 

 

 John Witchell

was brought up on his family’s farm in Gloucestershire. He graduated from Trinity Hall, Cambridge, in 1976 having read Geography and Land Economy. He completed a year’s post graduate course in Advanced Farm Management at the Royal Agricultural College before moving to Northern Ireland in 1978 to join the Blakiston Houston Estate Company, for which he still works. He completed an MBA in Construction and Real Estate at the College of Estate Management, Reading, in 2000 and was Chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Northern Ireland, in 2004.

Both his professional and private lives revolve around his love of the countryside. John has always been involved in farming and rural estate management, and is currently managing agent of four estates, including Clandeboye Estate, and consults on others. He has a great interest in conservation and is chairman of The Conservation Volunteers and President of the Ulster Beekeepers Association. He was a member of the Northern Ireland Biodiversity Group for six years, followed by the Council of Conservation and the Countryside for three years.

John has been a member of the Board of Governors of Kilcooley School since 1982 and is currently Chairman. He is a Deputy Lieutenant for Co Down.

 

 Stephen Aston 

Joined the Northern Ireland Civil Service as a senior advisor on environmental matters after completing a commission as a pilot in the Royal Navy and having worked for a number of local authorities as an Environmental Health specialist. He was appointed to establish and lead Land & Resource Management in the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and was subsequently elected as

the national president of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management. He was also nominated as a trustee of CLAIRE - Contaminated Land in Real Environments. He acted as an independent auditor on the DVLA Audit Committee from 2009 – 2015 and was the Director of Strategy & Innovation for the NIEA from 2011- 2015, where he led the review and reform of Regional Operations and produced Northern Ireland’s first State of the Environment report. He is now a Director on the Board of Northern Ireland Environment Link.

 

Joe Furphy - President
Joe Furphy was the first local person to work in nature conservation in Northern Ireland in 1965, and spent 32 years in what is now NIEA. Since retirement, he has been involved in several voluntary organisations, and was awarded both an OBE and the Christopher Cadbury medal for his efforts. He is a founder member of UWT and past chairman. He also served on the Council of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts for four years. For relaxation he participates in choral singing, plays the organ, bird watches and is keen on Irish railway history. Joe was appointed Ulster Wildlife’s first president at the 2015 AGM.

 

Staff

Our staff team is made up of core posts in three departments (Nature Conservation, Development, and Corporate Services) which drive the work of Ulster Wildlife, as well as many project posts where staff deliver projects locally. 

Chief Executive Officer

Jennifer Fulton took up the post of Chief Executive Officer at Ulster Wildlife in Spring 2012. Jennifer has an extensive and relevant background. Having begun her career in the Department of Agriculture on the delivery of agri-environment schemes and associated training programmes, she worked as a consultant on EU interstate projects. Subsequently, she managed a range of voluntary bodies and recently consulted on aspects of the reform of local government for three district councils.

 

 

Volunteers

People volunteer their time to help us deliver our wide-ranging work. We are fortunate to have access to a wide range of skills through our volunteers from practical conservation to data processing. We welcome whatever time commitment those interested in volunteering may have to give, from once off to volunteering on a regular basis.

See our volunteering section to see what positions are currently available.

The Wildlife Trusts

Ulster Wildlife is one of  47 individual Wildlife Trusts covering the whole of the UK and the Isle of Man and Alderney, who work in partnership as The Wildlife Trusts. The Wildlife Trusts is the largest UK voluntary organisation dedicated to protecting wildlife and wild places everywhere – at land and sea. Together, we are supported by more than 800,000 members, 150,000 of which belong to our junior branch - Wildlife Watch. For Ulster Wildlife being a part of The Wildlife Trusts means that our impact stretches beyond NI and that we have a strong input on UK-wide nature conservation issues.