Who's who at MCS?
The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is a charity, registered with the Charity Commission in England and Wales (Registration Number 1004005) and with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator in Scotland (Registration Number SC037480).
MCS is a non-profit making company limited by Guarantee, registered in England (Number 2550966).
MCS is governed according to charity law by a Board of Trustees, all of whom are unpaid volunteers. The Trustees are also directors of MCS according to company law.
HRH The Prince of Wales KG, KT, GCB
Honorary Vice Presidents
Professor David Bellamy OBE, Phd, FLs, FIBiol
Lord Peter Melchett
Baroness Nicol; Professor David Nichols
MCS Board of Trustees
Chair Hugh Raven
Hugh Raven has lived by the Hebridean Sea for much of his life.
He is a director of his family's business, Ardtornish Estate, a trustee of the John Ellerman Foundation, a director of Corrour Estate, and chair of the Open Seas Trust.
An experienced grant-maker, he chairs the Environmental Funders' Network - the umbrella body for UK trusts and foundations. He formerly directed the Soil Association in Scotland, was a member for Scotland of the UK Sustainable Development Commission, advising the Prime Minister and First Ministers of the devolved nations, and a board member of Scottish Natural Heritage and the RSPB. He divides his time between Argyll and London.
Trustee Tara Aldwin
Tara Aldwin qualified with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) in 1998 and initially worked in a managerial role for a firm of Chartered Accountants in Luton, moving on to Audit & Compliance director in the firm. She looks after the audit, accounting and tax affairs of a portfolio of businesses and individuals ranging from small sole-traders, to medium sized manufacturing and service companies, to charities with assets of ten of millions of pounds. Her current areas of expertise are the preparation of charities financial statements and auditing, including risk analysis of businesses and systems. She is conversant with Charities Commission guidelines and accounting formats, and hopes to apply these skills for the benefit of the MCS.
Tara is passionate about all conservation, both UK and worldwide, but for leisure spends most of her time horse riding. Lucky enough to have her own pony from the age of twelve she still has a horse on loan. Riding & looking after her horse takes up most of Tara's time, but when she gets the opportunity walking, spending time in the garden & generally being outdoors are favourite pastimes.
Tara has always been drawn to the sea; loving being in, on or around the water and the open space of our coasts and the wildlife. In recent years she has become increasingly concerned about how people are treating our seas, the declining fish stocks and related threats to marine wildlife. Tara joined the MCS Board as she wanted to do what she could and to gain more information to enable her to make the right choices.
Trustee Steve Gray
Steve has worked in the conservation sector for 12 years. In his current role of Director of Programmes for Earthwatch, Steve oversees a range of large-scale partnerships with business and government, working to support high quality field research whilst engaging people from various walks of life in hands-on science. Steve has experience of developing and delivering partnerships in the UK, sub-Saharan and West Africa, China, Brazil and – most recently – the Middle East. During his career Steve has also worked in fundraising, most notably as Head of Fundraising at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust based at Slimbridge. With a lifelong interest in the natural world, Steve believes strongly in the benefits of a sustainable environment for society, and having joined the Board in 2013, greatly looks forward to helping MCS in conserving our seas, shores and wildlife for future generations.
Trustee Ed Green
Ed Green is currently the chief executive officer of the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. This role gives Ed valuable insight which he brings to MCS - that of a membership-based conservation organisation, delivering a programme of urgently needed work, supported by the invaluable assistance of hundreds of volunteers.
Ed's work has been varied but always with a marine theme. His early love of diving led to a lifelong interest in the underwater world - he's been a merchant seaman, teacher, conservation and research manager.
Trustee Peter Hiam
After nearly 20 years in investment banking in London, Peter left in the summer of 2012 and is now a full-time financial day trader and value investor. Prior to trading, Peter worked in the City, most recently as a senior risk manager in the Treasury department at Deutsche Bank in London. His main areas of responsibility were capital and balance sheet management as well as structured transactions for EMEA and the UK region .
Apart from an almost obsessive passion for diving, Peter also enjoys sailing, sea swimming, short track as well as long distance road cycling and rock climbing.
Trustee Professor David Kipling
Having originally trained as a zoologist, David is now a Professor at Cardiff University, where his lab investigates how the diversity of the natural world can give insights relevant to human health. He has been a diver for nearly 20 years, initially training in Scotland in order to honeymoon in the Red Sea, and now does all of his UK diving via Seasearch. He has a passion for underwater photography as a way of sharing his experiences with others, and has recorded several new UK species of nudibranch. He is currently co-authoring the upcoming MCS/Seasearch field guide to British sea squirts.
Trustee James Marsden
James studied Town & Country Planning at Newcastle University. He joined the Nature Conservancy Council in 1983 and was appointed Head of Policy at English Nature in 2002.
Shortly after Natural England was established in 2006, James became Director of Policy before being appointed as its first Director of Marine in 2008. In that role he oversaw recommendations to Government for designation of 10 European Marine Sites (8 Special Areas of Conservation and 2 Special Protection Areas), increasing the extent of the Marine Protected Area network to >24% of English waters; and he chaired the Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) project board which delivered advice to Defra on the initial 127 MCZs proposed in July 2012.
James’ passion for the marine environment ‘runs in the family’, as his great grandfather Ebenezer J Mather founded the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen, and his grandfather John Hugh Mather sailed from Cardiff on Terra Nova with Captain Scott’s British Antarctic Expedition.
Trustee Leigh Morris
Leigh is Chief Executive of the National Land Based College (UK), which supports training and development for land based industries (from agriculture to horticulture, and animal care to fisheries). Leigh has a wide biodiversity and education background, previously directing education and learning at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, where he also managed a number of international conservation and capacity building projects. Leigh’s career started in horticulture and he is a Past-President of their Chartered Institute.
Since he was a boy Leigh has had a passion for the marine world, which developed into a love of scuba diving, boats and beach combing! Leigh is convinced of the potential for education and public engagement, in all its forms, to have a greater positive impact on biodiversity conservation. In addition to his Trustee role, Leigh is an active MCS volunteer, Sea Champion and Seasearch Diver.
Trustee Giles Robertson
Giles Robertson's expertise is in marketing and partnerships. He founded Green Banana Marketing, a company which solves marketing challenges in the ethical and sustainable sectors.
Giles has previously worked as Marketing Director for environmental website, Greenvoice and as Head of Marketing and Communications at WWF.
The father of three says he's seeing the world's problems through new eyes and feels strongly that we all have an important role to play in protecting our planet.
Trustee Alex Wilson
Alex is a founding partner of a commercial law firm in the City of London, Powell Gilbert LLP. In his role in establishing the firm and its day-to-day management, he has gained experience of a wide range of legal, commercial and operational issues which face an office of 50. He uses his technical background in biochemistry to advise clients in the Life Sciences industries.
Following a gap of nearly 20 years from active involvement in marine conservation, he joined the MCS board in June 2014. His first exposure to this area was as a volunteer on a turtle conservation project in Kephalonia where he walked the beaches by night counting tracks. He then assisted in setting up the Turtle Conservation Project in Sri Lanka, a community based project which has gone from strength to strength and has made a significant impact on the conservation of important turtle populations on that island and the region.
After many years living in East London, Alex now lives near Battle in East Sussex, a short hop from the coastal towns of Bexhill and Hastings. He spends much of his free time with his wife and young children enjoying the stunning local countryside and coast. He is eagerly awaiting his children being old enough to put on tanks and join him in his enjoyment of diving...in warm water.
Chief Executive Officer
Sandy Luk is excited and proud to lead the Marine Conservation Society. An environmental lawyer by training, she thrives on the challenge of using science and law as tools to bring about change and protect the marine environment. She enjoys trying to make complex issues accessible and relevant to wider audiences and is thrilled to be able to bring many years' experience of doing this to the Marine Conservation Society to help connect people and the ocean and to see our seas be fit for life. She loves that the Marine Conservation Society brings together deep expertise with inspirational numbers of hugely committed volunteers and members to protect the marine environment with minds and hearts!
In her previous roles, Sandy has worked on many marine matters, including fisheries management, seafood sustainability, marine protected areas, whaling and oil drilling. She comes to us from environmental lawyers, ClientEarth, where she was one of two Programme Directors and a key member of the team that built the organisation. Sandy has worked for public interest organisations for many years now, including the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and others, though her career started working in London City law firms in their environmental, corporate and commercial departments and as a regulation/environmental law solicitor at Anglian Water.
Annual Report and Annual Review
MCS uses the funds donated by inividuals and organisations wisely, making good use out of every penny. To find out precisely about how funds are spent, the Report and Financial Statements can be downloaded here.
The Annual Review describes some of the key activities and outcomes of the Marine Conservation Society's (MCS) work during the year and can be downloaded here.
Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is held each year for the purposes of adopting the Annual Accounts and the appointment of auditors. MCS' members, who are the Society's members under company law, are entitled to attend the AGM.
Overross House, Ross Park, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, HR9 7US
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