Meet the team

Essex Wildlife Trust has around 150 permanent employees, split between our main offices (Abbotts Hall Farm outside Colchester), our eleven Nature Discovery Centres and working across the region on nature reserves and other landholdings. 

The senior management team are responsible for both the strategic and operational running of the Trust. Find out more about each member of the team below.

Chief Executive: Andrew Impey

Chief Executive: Andrew Impey
Telephone: 01621 862960

Andrew grew up in Essex and it was Essex Wildlife Trust reserves that first ignited his fascination with wildlife. Watching woodpeckers and squirrels in Danbury as a child, led to a lifetime of studying natural processes and species populations all over the world. He has worked extensively across the UK, on a wide variety of habitat and species management projects, with a range of different organisations.

Three environmental degrees opened further doors, with notable research projects in Norway, Sweden and the Indian Ocean. As the RSPB’s Head of Global Habitats, he was primarily responsible for leading on rainforest preservation in Indonesia and East Africa, plus peatland restoration in Eastern Europe.

In 2015, Andrew returned home to where it all started, with the Essex Wildlife Trust, to drive forward a new era for the county’s leading wildlife conservation charity.

Eliot Lyne - Director of Operations

Director of Operations: Eliot Lyne

Tel: 01621 862960

Eliot has spent the last 15 years in a number of senior interim leadership roles within the charity sector. He is a qualified accountant and also has a Master's degree in Environmental Studies.  He has worked at Greenpeace UK, Amnesty UK, Scope and RNIB to name a few.  His last role was as Interim CEO at RNIB.  Eliot oversees the Visitor and Commercial Operations, Business Development and Finance and Services teams at EWT and is really excited to be using his technical skills in an area he is passionate about and in his home county. 

Lisa Smart - Head of Visitor and Commercial Operations

Head of Visitor and Commercial Operations: Lisa Smart
Telephone: 01621 862994

Lisa joined EWT in 1998 having volunteered and worked for Somerset Wildlife Trust, Natural England and the National Trust after leaving university. She worked in the Reserves Team until 2014, as an Area Manager, when she became the lead for the Trust’s visitor centre and education teams. Lisa oversees a large team of staff that deliver a diverse range of activities including education and community events, reserve management, catering and retail. Lisa has been able to combine her ecological and educational experience with business training, to achieve the delivery of the Trust’s core charitable aims.

If you have a query for Lisa or her team please email:

Outdoor Learning and Forest Schools:
Education and Events at Visitor Centres:
Visitor Centres - Abberton, Fingringhoe and The Naze:
Visitor Centres - Belfairs, Chafford, Langdon and Thurrock Thameside:
Visitor Centres - Bedfords, Hanningfield, Ingrebourne amd Thorndon:


Dave Smart, Head of Landscape Conservation

Head of Landscape Conservation: Dave Smart

Tel: 01621  862981

After a spell working in banking Dave originally joined EWT in 1997 as the inaugural warden at Little Haven reserve before moving on to do the same at Abbotts Hall Farm in 2001.  As reserve manager from 2007 until 2016 Dave was responsible for the Trust’s land management in the north and east of the county before moving to manage the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation for Essex Waterways.  Returning in 2019 as Head of Landscape Conservation, Dave now leads a large team responsible for the delivery of the Trust’s conservation work across Essex.

If you have a query for the team please email:

Richard Yates - Head of Business Development

Head of Business Development: Richard Yates

Telephone: 01621 862960

Rich joined in April 2019 after spending the early part of his career working for the university sector. He leads the Business Development department which focuses on generating support and funding for the Trust by promoting all the great work that it does. He oversees marketing, brand, communications, fundraising, membership, and projects. Collectively, Business Development manage the external profile of the Trust and its relationships with businesses and other stakeholders, including partners, the press and funders. Its fundraising activity covers legacies, donors, major appeals, events, bids, and much more.

If you have a query for the team please email:

Marketing and Communications:
Media and Press:
Gifts in Wills:

Sam Quill - Head of People and Culture

Head of People and Culture: Samantha Quill

Telephone: 01621 862950

Sam has worked in the voluntary sector for over 20 years, in senior management and HR roles in a number of charities.  A Chartered member of CIPD, she also has qualifications in Voluntary Sector management, counselling, and a PGCE.  Her most recent role was Head of HR & Volunteering at a Hospice in Hertfordshire. Born and raised in Eire, since moving to the UK in 1991 she lived and worked in Hertfordshire; she is very excited not only to be joining the Essex Wildlife Trust in support of the excellent work the Trust does, but also to be relocating to live in the gorgeous, thriving county of Essex.

Keen on outdoor activities and adventure, Sam is an enthusiastic road cyclist and hiker, and has been known to kayak on the Grand Union canal.  She embraces challenges which raise funds for charities, having recently completed the London to Paris bike ride, and previously undertaken a 50km Grand Union Walk, and a tandem parachute jump. 

Passionate about people, culture and organisational performance, Sam is delighted at the opportunity to use her skills, knowledge and experience to support those who deliver the work of the Trust in the achievement of its charitable objectives.

If you have a query for the team please email:

Heath & Safety:

Head of Finance and Services: Simon Bass


If you have a query for the team please email:

Business Support: