How we are run

About us

How we are run

Alan Price/Gatehouse Studio

Working together for wildlife

Ulster Wildlife is a registered charity set up by volunteers and supporters to help champion native wildlife in Northern Ireland. We believe that, by working together, people can change the natural world for the better.

We are governed by a Board of Trustees, a group of volunteers who direct, guide and support all aspects of our work. Ultimately, they have financial and legal responsibility for everything we do.

The Trustees appoint the CEO who leads the staff towards achieving our vision and strategy. We are supported by around 100 volunteers and 40 members of staff who carry out our day to day work looking after Northern Ireland’s wildlife and wild places and bringing people closer to nature.

Although we are an independent charity, we are one of 46 Wildlife Trusts working together across the UK with a shared vision of people close to nature, with land and seas rich in wildlife.

Meet our Trustees

Our 12 Trustees bring a wide range of professional skills, experience and expertise to the charity in areas including finance, conservation, human resources, farming and business management. 

Ken Brundle (Chair)

Ken Brundle

Ken Brundle

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. 

Doris Noe (Vice Chair)

Doris Noe

Doris Noe

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.

David Hendron (Treasurer)

David Hendron

David Hendron

David is a CIMA member and has worked in finance for over 38 years. He was initially in the shipbuilding sector moving to aerospace in 1988. His last role was leading the finance team in Bombardier Aerospace and Engineering Services which has sites in Montreal, Belfast , Mexico and Morocco. He has served previously on a number of boards most recently Short Brothers plc.

Joe Furphy (Honorary President)

Joe Furphy

Joe Furphy

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 Ulster Wildlife 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.

Gillian Allen

Gillian Allen

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 in the future.                                                                                    

                                 

Stephen Aston

Stephen Aston

Stephen Aston 

Stephen 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.

 

Ian Garner

Ian Garner

Ian has worked professionally in the field of environmental management for most of his career.  

Following a 20-year career in the chemical industry, based in Cambridge, Ian moved to Northern Ireland in 2001 and joined WRAP in 2003 to head WRAP’s Northern Ireland delivery for its funders and partners.  He has led the establishment of WRAP as a key resource efficiency delivery body in Northern Ireland.  He is WRAP’s main point of contact for government and stakeholders.  Ian has also established WRAP’s relationships with the Irish government, EPA, local government, Irish trade bodies and North-South inter-governmental bodies in support of resource efficiency delivery and knowledge development within Ireland and across the island of Ireland.

He has worked in the fields of materials resource management, industrial waste and wastewater treatment, environmental management system development, contaminated land regeneration, chemical manufacturing and production process research and development.

He has a PhD in Applied Microbiology from the University of Strathclyde and is a Chartered Environmentalist, a Chartered Water and Environmental Manager and a Chartered Biologist.

Ben Matson

Ben Matson

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 Ulster Wildlife.

Dr Jim McAdam

Jim McAdam

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 McCourt

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 Senior Grants Officer for the Heritage Lottery Fund.   

Craig McGuicken

Craig McGuicken

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 McVicker

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 a 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 Platt

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.

It is with great sadness that we announce the recent passing of our board member, Howard Platt. A dedicated and passionate environmental champion, his legacy to local wildlife conservation will be significant. We will be detailing more about Howard's incredible contribution in the coming weeks and months.

Kate Thompson

Kate Thompson

Kate Thompson has been Director for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – Northern Ireland for almost ten years.  A Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award holder, she has strategically developed the DofE in Northern Ireland to be more inclusive through the Joint Award Initiative with Gaisce – The President’s Award and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.  

Kate has considerable high-level leadership and senior management experience in the Not-for-Profit, public, voluntary and private sectors.  She has extensive experience in business development, relationship management, stakeholder engagement, managing and developing teams of staff, communications, media, marketing, event management and fundraising. 

She is a former private sector Board Director responsible for managing strategic relations with Veolia Water UK, Thames Water, M&S, Phoenix Gas, Calor Gas, Toyota, BMW and other blue-chip companies. 

In her spare time, Kate is a very keen photographer achieving her Licentiate with both the Royal Photographic Society and the Irish Photographic Federation.  She enjoys travelling, canoeing and hill walking.

Edward Wright

Ed Wright

Ed 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

John Witchell

John Witchell 

Both John’s 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 the 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.

How to become a trustee

Any member of Ulster Wildlife may apply to become a Trustee, provided they are eligible to stand for election under both company and charity law. No fixed qualifications are needed, but a wide range of skills and experience are required in order for our Board of Trustees to be effective. 

If you’re interested in becoming a Trustee please get in touch, we’d love to speak to you. Trustees are elected at our Annual General Meeting, held each autumn.

Meet our Chief Executive

Jennifer Fulton

Jennifer Fulton

Jennifer Fulton 

Jennifer 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.

Annual Reports & Accounts