Francesca Bridgewater – Chair

Francesca has always had a profound love of the natural environment, which has deepened as she has learnt more about the complexity of the biosphere and our role as part of nature. She graduated with a degree in Zoology and gained a PhD doing biological research. Following a move to Yorkshire with her family, she volunteered with Friends of the Earth and was instrumental in the early 1990s in campaigning across the Pennines against extra road building. Once her children were at school, she retrained as a Garden Designer, which allowed her to indulge her enjoyment of the natural world. After working in a Housing Association, she has now retired and is delighted to be able to make her dreams into reality by finding ways of allowing nature its rightful place.

Alison Davies – Vice Chair

A member of the Young Ornithologists Club and WWF from the age of eight, Alison achieved her aim of living nearer to countryside when she moved from London to Yorkshire in order to join the orchestra of Opera North. Having had a career as a performing and teaching musician she is now rekindling her first passion for the natural world by involving herself with local environmental groups. The formation of MANT gives a focus to the desire to take action and to make a positive difference to habitats in the area.

Emma Dalton – Secretary

Emma is a keen grower of plants, edible and otherwise. She has been gardening in some shape or form as long as she can remember and plants trees with local groups. As a primary teacher in Wharfedale schools she has established school gardens with a focus on sustainability, the joy of connecting with Nature and the appreciation that comes with understanding where our food comes from and the micro creatures that we all depend on. She is now keen to use these skills in a different manner by learning to gather wildflower seed to help increase biodiversity in the Menston area. As part of her work with MANT she also hopes to be able to educate children in a ‘wilder’ context.

Andrew Kelly – Membership

Andrew Kelly holds a joint honours degree in Geography and Geology. As an experienced teacher he and Emma Dalton will lead our education work. Ornithology is his area of special interest: he is the Bird Recorder for Wharfedale Naturalists, and has carried out educational and survey work for the RSPB, British Trust for Ornithology and other organisations.

Chris Steele – Treasurer

With happy childhood memories of searching out birds and butterflies on his local fields armed with the Observer’s books for both of these, Chris wants the same opportunities available to future generations.  With the threats of Global Heating and habitat loss, he feels now is the time we can all take action to protect our native wildlife.  A Life Fellow of the RSPB (a posh way of saying life member), Chris is an English graduate and former civil servant who worked as part of the team preparing and publishing finance guidance for NHS Trusts and charities, and consolidating NHS accounts for the Department of Health Annual Report and Accounts. He has lived in Menston for over 21 years.