Thanet Urban Forest is a CIC – A Community Interest Company – and so is governed by a board of directors:
Peter Hasted grew up climbing trees and making camps in Mereworth Woods near his home. He has long understood the need for, and benefits to wildlife and people of open spaces and green urban infrastructure.
He trained in London as a chef, worked in the southwest and London where a nasty bike collision left him incapacitated. His recovery was aided by both horticultural therapy and forest bathing, which rekindling his joy of woods and led to a career change. Shortly after chainsaw and coppicing qualifications in the Blean, he became woodsman for a local wild animal park, during which his focus shifted to horticulture so he studied for a RHS diploma then a Landscape Management BSc Hons.
Dedication and tenacity complement his skills and his very good understanding of ecosystem services in urban environments, while developing a high-quality network of leading professionals. He is dedicated to improving biodiversity and is a tree council volunteer tree warden and volunteer coastal warden. He has sound knowledge on the issues and conflicts surrounding public open spaces and how these spaces provide a host of benefits for residents helping social inclusion, wellbeing and a sense of place, not to mention the environmental benefits.
The Founding Director he joined the Board of the CIC in July 2020. He is also TUF’s senior employee.
Karen McKenzie has spent more than twenty years working in a corporate environment in sales and marketing, business analysis and technical training. She was Head of Business Analysis at BBC Worldwide, responsible for a team of technical analysts working across corporate business systems to streamline and improve business processes.
Previously Karen has worked at ITV, 2Entertain and Kent County Council and has spent ten years as a freelance trainer. Karen is a Chartered Institute of Marketing qualified marketer and has a BSc (Hons) in Psychology. Her passion has always been the environment and she has chosen to retire early from corporate life in order to pursue this love and to actively protect and promote trees in her home town of Broadstairs.
Since 2019 she is the Tree Warden for Broadstairs & St Peter’s Town Council and has recently written the first Tree Strategy for the town, which is a reference for tree policy in the Neighbourhood Plan. She is also a consulting member of the town council’s Environmental Action Group.
She was appointed to the CIC Board as a Director in March 2021
Bo Crombet-Beolens brings to TUF a passion for the wild world along with a determination that it should be accessible to all.
After being awarded his BA (Hons) in Sociology, Psychology and Economics he began an academic career in Scotland researching local government reform and for his PhD. Bo’s temporary secondment to a community action project led to a permanent change of direction and he subsequently pursued a career in community action and went on to spend much of his professional life as the Managing Director of a number of charities connected with community change, homelessness or disability.
However, his life focus has always been nature and its conservation. His leisure time has been spent travelling the world birdwatching or gardening for wildlife and spreading the green message. Twenty years ago, he set up a website bringing birders from all over the world together as a massive resource for the hobby. He has always written for pleasure and started writing articles on his hobby, this eventually led to him writing eight books and a monthly magazine column for the last decade, wherein he has been dubbed Britain’s most controversial birding columnist.
He was appointed to the CIC Board as a Director in March 2021
Sean Cheasley – TUF Finance Director – brings to TUF a wealth of commercial knowledge from over 20 years in the e-commerce space, with experience both in the private and public sectors where he sells, deploys & maintains supply chain software solutions. Client’s range from a national construction company, a high street bank, multiple HMG Departments and local government offices. Sean’s skill sets include communications to all, being a trusted voice representing TUF and our aims to our fundraisers, clients and volunteers and financial planning.
Sean has been a regular visitor to Thanet for over 20 years, and finally took the plunge and moved to Ramsgate 9 years ago with his wife and two children. As a family enjoying the outdoor spaces and contributing to the local area, including supporting TUF since late 2020 with tree planting and caging in Dane Park, and general maintenance in the Sunken Garden in Westgate, and looks forward to doing more both in the open air with plants and supporting the strategic initiatives shaping TUF’s future direction.
Sean was appointed to the CIC Board as a Director in April 2021.