Our Trustees

You can find out more about who are trustees are and what they do.


Ruth Baber – Trustee / Secretary

Having worked for 12 years in university administration, Ruth took voluntary redundancy in 2005. She is on the steering group of the Phipps Bridge Community Garden project and helps in Sustainable Merton’s office. She is currently completing an MSc in Environmental Management at Birkbeck College, working on a project concerning attitudes to water conservation in Merton. Ruth plays the viola in the Wandsworth Symphony Orchestra.

David Bell – Trustee

Graduating from Warwick University in 1991 Dave worked as a Building Services Engineer for 12 years. Now a local authority Energy Manager responsible for purchasing around £3.5 million of electricity and gas each year and ensuring that it is used wisely. Climate change is important but he is more concerned about how Peak Oil will impact on everyday life. He is a volunteer at several music festivals and enjoys going underground caving.

Rachel Burgess – Trustee

Rachel graduated from Kingston University with a degree in Sustainable Development in the summer of 2012 – a change of direction from a background in graphic design driven by a long-held love and interest in nature and the environment. Now working in the Higher Education sector as a Biodiversity and Landscape Administrator, Rachel is still a keen volunteer with a variety of conservation and sustainability projects and also enjoys homemade arts and crafts.

Harold Forbes – Trustee

Harold became an active climate campaigner with the publication of his book, ‘How to be a Humankind Superhero’, which tries to make sense of why the greatest threat to civilization is barely discussed in polite society. He is also active in the local society of Merton Park, chairing the Merton Park Ward Residents’ Association and developing a John Innes Society initiative to establish a national collection of holly in the area.

Auriel Glanville – Trustee

Auriel is co-ordinator of Merton Friends Of The Earth. She is a club leader for the Wimbledon Common Nature Club (supported by the Wildlife Trust) and an Education Volunteer engaging with children, families and school parties at The National History Museum, The Royal Botanical Gardens Kew and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre in Barnes.

Gillian Leigh – Chair of Trustees

Gillian is a retired doctor who worked part time while bringing up her twin sons. She started a club for mothers of twins and is author of a self-help book All About Twins. She did voluntary work for Home Start Merton, Sustrans Cycling Campaign and the Medical Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons. In 1996 she completed a a BA degree in Fine Art and works from her studio in Merton. She is on the steering group of the Phipps Bridge Community Garden Project.

Caroline Pankhurst – Trustee

Caroline is Greening Business Operations Manager for Merton Chamber of Commerce, supporting businesses in Merton and 5 other London boroughs to become more sustainable. She is on the Steering Group for Transition Town Wimbledon and previously coordinated their Food Group and various community food-growing spaces in Merton. She coordinated the National Trust’s Livinggreen Project at Morden Hall Park and has a background in fundraising, languages, voluntary sector management, sustainable development, ecological science and food security. She enjoys cycling and gardening.

Joyce Pountain – Trustee

Joyce is treasurer and public relations officer of Transition Town Wimbledon and co-ordinator of Abundance Wimbledon. She has an MSc in Environmental Strategy from Surrey University and worked at the Environmental Law Foundation, the Green Party and London Thames Gateway Forum.

Margaret Rogers – Trustee / Treasurer

Margaret a Colliers Wood resident since 1995, mother of 3 school age children, loves the outdoors and joined the SM Phipps Bridge Project in 2008. A qualified Dietician, she works part time as Health Advisor with Live Well Sutton Merton. Other voluntary roles include vice chair Friends of Singlegate PTA and the school’s gardening project.

John White – Trustee

John went to Rutlish school and has lived most of his life in Merton. He is a self-employed businessman. He has served as a director,treasurer and trustee on the boards of several local and national charities.