About us

Our team

Our team is based in Kennington Park and Whitacre Mews, Kennington, London. It’s our enthusiasm, passion and commitment for our cause that enable the charity to make our cities greener.

Meet the Senior Management Team

Kate Sheldon

Chief Executive

Kate leads the strategic direction of Trees for Cities and supports the team to deliver inspiring and impactful urban tree work programmes. With a background in social landscape restoration, Kate is driven by her passion for connecting people with their local environment and mobilising them to take action to combat climate change and halt the loss of biodiversity.

Kate joined Trees for Cities in 2004 as Capital Woodlands Project Officer. She is an elected Parent Governor at Southgate School in Enfield, and was formerly a Trustee for Bankside Open Space Trust (BOST). She holds an MPhil in Restoration of Landfill Sites, an MSc (distinction) in Social and Therapeutic Horticulture from Reading University, and a BSc in Biology with Italian from Manchester University.

Carys Alder

Head of Programme Development

Carys is responsible for developing the organisation’s work programmes. Her team sits within the Development and Partnerships department, and works closely with landowners and partners across the UK to initiate and develop new urban forest programmes.

Carys started at Trees for Cities in October 2014, initially growing the charity's School's programme before also working on the Urban Forest programme.

Carys has a BSc in Geography from Liverpool University, a background in programme management and an interest in connection to nature and the inequities and benefits associated with access to nature.

Rory Field

Corporate Partnerships Director

Rory and his team lead on identifying, building and managing mutually beneficial partnerships between Trees for Cities and companies. Rory has worked in senior roles within the charity sector for 18 years.

He is a keen sportsman, and captained and coached South Africa’s blind cricket team to World Cup victory before moving to the UK.

He has served on regional, national and international disability sport governance bodies for 20 years. He has B COM degrees in Business Management and Sport Management.

Suzanne Simmons

Projects Director

Suzanne is responsible for ensuring Trees for Cities’ projects are delivered to the highest standards, on time and to our funders’ and end users’ expectations. Her team covers the full range of Trees for Cities’ services that include community / volunteer consultation and engagement, landscape design and build, and the design and delivery of our urban forest initiatives.

Suzanne joined the team in August 2018 from the Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA) and before that worked for landscape architecture consultants and charitable organisations.

She holds an MSc (distinction) in Sustainable Cities from Kings College London, a Post Graduate Diploma and BA Hons in Landscape Architecture from Manchester Metropolitan University and she is a Chartered Member of the Landscape Institute.

Chris Owens

Head of Marketing, Communications and Individual Giving

Chris and his team are responsible for delivering marketing, communication and individual giving campaigns that celebrate urban trees and the fantastic work of the organisation in the UK and around the world.

He joined Trees for Cities in 2019 and has over twelve years of marketing, communications and fundraising experience gained at both UK and international organisations, including The British Red Cross and Samaritans.

Chris holds a Master of Town & Country Planning from the University of Manchester and loves mountain biking, skateboarding and American Football. He is passionate about positive emotional health and is a Mental Health First Aider.

For any press or media enquires, please contact Chris at christophero@treesforcities.org.

Annabel Kiddle

Director of Finance and Operations

Annabel and her team oversee the finance and IT functions of Trees for Cities, providing support to all levels of the organisation.

She joined Trees for Cities in 2019, having previously worked at the Carbon Trust and the National Audit Office. She has also served on various lacrosse committees, after retiring from playing internationally, including the organising committee for the 2017 Women's World Cup.

Annabel holds a BSc in Human Sciences from University College London and is an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.

Sylvia Linton

Head of HR

Sylvia and her team are responsible for HR processes, staff wellbeing, and ensuring our facilities meet the needs of the charity and our staff.

Sylvia joined Trees for Cities in January 2011. With 20 years+ experience working in HR and Facilities in the not-for-profit sector, Sylvia is also CIPD & IOSH qualified.

Passionate about HR, with the strong belief that people are our greatest asset, Sylvia is committed to maintaining a work environment where all staff at Trees for Cities staff feel valued and respected.

Want to join our team?

Our trustees

Janine Hawkins

Chair of Trustees

Janine is an experienced Board Advisor and CEO and a specialist in business strategy, marketing and international brand building. She was previously Global CEO of WPP’s marketing consultancy Added Value, and now works as a NED, advisor and mentor with a variety of enterprising individuals and businesses. She has worked with Trees for Cities for over 10 years, and was appointed to the Board in 2014, and is the Chair of Trustees.

Bryan Miller

Bryan is marketing and fundraising strategist, specialising in integrated digital strategy. Following 15 years as an agency strategist and planning director, he established the Strategy and Consumer Insight team at Cancer Research UK and since 2010 has worked as an independent consultant for charities and other non-profits world-wide. He is also a visiting lecturer at the University of Bologna and at Cass Business School in London, teaching digital marketing and fundraising strategy.

David Woodbine


David is a Chartered Accountant and has been working with non-profits for over twenty years, particularly within the International Development Sector. Roles have included supporting a global finance system implementation in SE Asia, working with implementing partners in Zambia, leading finance transformation projects as well as leadership roles in the UK – primarily as Finance Director of ActionAid UK. David continues in the sector as a consultant.

Selena Gray

Selena is a public health academic working at the University of the West of England (UWE) and currently holds the position of Deputy Postgraduate Dean in Health Education England South West. She is currently on the Board of Accreditation for APHEA (Agency for Public Health Education Acccreditation).

From 2012-2016 she was a Board Member and Chair of the Education Committee for UKPHR and in the past has held roles as Registrar of the UK Faculty of Public Health and Co-Editor of the Journal of Public Health.

Steve Workman

Steve is a corporate responsibility (CR) and sustainability specialist and set up and headed the CR functions at EDF Energy and ISS. His early career in marketing, strategy and public policy was in the IT and telecoms sector with BT, NCC and Vodafone. Steve is an experienced Board member with strong interests in the environment, housing and mental health.

He is currently studying for a PhD in 'Corporate Responsibility Reporting for the Millennial Generation' at Oxford Brookes Business School and is working with Innovate UK on an entrepreneurship and innovation initiative for disadvantaged millennials.

Steve was appointed to the Board in May 2017.

Alex MacGillivray

Alex is an experienced and creative senior executive / NED in sustainable development, with a strong track record in impact management and impact investing. He is Head of Evaluations at CDC Group, the UK development finance institution. Based in London, he is passionate about trees and climate action.

Julia Thrift

Julia works to improve the way that places are planned, designed and managed so that they support people’s health and wellbeing. As director of healthier place-making at the TCPA (Town & Country Planning Association) she leads the national Green Infrastructure Partnership, a network of more than 2,000 people and organisations that work to raise awareness of the multiple benefits of trees and green spaces. She has extensive experience of influencing and developing urban green space policy and practice at national and local levels. She is a member of the standards advisory board for Building With Nature and an academician at the Academy of Urbanism.

Bella Bardswell

Bella has worked for over twenty years in IT, specialising in IT-enabled transformation, business agility and innovation. She is currently working at Google, where she helps organisations leverage technology to accelerate their business success. Bella is also a visiting lecturer at the ISDI: Digital Business School in Madrid. She lives in the Malvern Hills with her wife and two cats, and loves to get out and about to enjoy the hills and of course the many spectacular and beautiful trees! She was appointed to the Board in 2022.