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After a couple of years of invaluable service our Chair Richard Broderick has retired from our CIO as has Nancy hall doyle. On the 28th of June 2023 we added four  members to the the board. We are still looking for a couple more dynamic, committed, and high achieving applicants, to help us to create an urban biodiversity Noah's Ark in Newcastle upon Tyne and elsewhere. These roles require fundraising, community building, on and offline networking, and active participation in projects, as well as governance.

To apply contact

New board members agreed are

·        Emma Johnson Charity Volunteer and organiser.

·        Roe Baker Rural Environmentalist and advisor Cumbria Action for Sustainability, the leading climate change charity in Cumbria

·        Mark James Thurston Director • Newcastle & North Tyneside Local Improvement Finance Trust Company Ltd. Facilities & Client Relationship Manager • Successful bid Newcastle City Council bid for national and local funding to improve the biodiversity around our library buildings

·        Seirian Sumner Professor of behavioural Ecology at University College London. World expert and author on Eusocial wasps. A tireless wasp and biodiversity evangelist on a mission to destigmatise our invaluable helpers. 

The remaining original Board and Start -up Panel members are:-​

·        Dr Noam Leshem Associate Professor in Political and Cultural Geography Durham University  

·        Nancy Doyle-Hall -  Executive Director, Virgin Money Foundation,

·        Treasurer Geoffrey  Potts treasurer Honorary Entrepreneurial Fellow in Durham University Business School

·        Pax Nindi  FRSA. Artist - Arts council of England Carnival Strategist -  Consultant -  Musician - Photographer -  Filmmaker

Producer Panel members

·        Frank Wilson MBA founder of SIRF

·        Stella Hall Director of The Festival of Thrift 

Science Panel member

·        Paul Heatherington Buglife

The executive at present comprises Paul Miskin with a lot of help from​

Maysie Sharp  on the horticultural side and many wonderful artists and volunteers.


Emma Johnston.jpg


elected 16th August 2023

Emma lives in Summerhill Newcastle upon Tyne with her partner and their two children and is a keen environmentalist. She is a keen supporter of Planet Action Street Arts Aims and outcomes. 

Education MSc in International Business and an MBA in Business Administration


She has been involved in environmental issues in international economic development and fair-trade, working overseas in Guatemala, then in the EU, project managing global and regional corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability projects. and co-devising and implementing  a global campaign called 'The Responsible Purchasing Initiative' - for global businesses and governments to implement UN sustainability goals in trade.


She gained cross-industry work experience in business development and marketing, in USA, UAE, Luxembourg, Germany working with CEOs and C-Suite Managers helping the leadership team implement and refine launches and new lines of service. In addition to this, producing large-scale global, in-person events and exciting online engagements.  


Her present employment is chief of staff for the international agency for the prevention of Blindness.

Mark James Thurston

BSc (Hons) Combined Sciences, Open University
Diploma in Earth Sciences, Open University
PGCE (Maths and Numeracy), Teesside University

Director  Newcastle & North Tyneside Local Improvement Finance Trust
Company Ltd, Facilities & Client Relationship Manager  Newcastle City Council
Manager of Newcastle Libraries Private Finance Initiative contracts as well as Newcastle Council’s Public-Private Partnership contracts. Oversees a network of 13 buildings hosting a range of partners with the public library service.


2019 and 2022  helped manage small public green spaces in Newcastle,  11 historic graveyards and  a Historic England funded project in two graveyards. Gained national and local funding tor biodiversity around library buildings.
2022 working on the City Council’s decarbonisation project, replacing gas boilers with PV panels and heat pumps.

Studies included   Engineering, Geology and Ecology. Dissertations  on investigated control of turbochargers in Formula 1 engines, and  air pollution on lichen in churchyards.
· I’m a member of Monkton Local History Group, an area of South Tyneside with several listed buildings. Currently studying historic building restoration with the Landmark Trust 
· I’ve recently formed Friends of the Slaggie, a group for local residents to enjoy and protect a precious green space on the site of an old slag
heap created by Jarrow ironworks.


Education BA Hons in Creative and Performing Arts and a Diploma in public realm landscaping, Permaculture and Sustainable Land Use.


Roe works for Cumbria Action for Sustainability, the leading climate change charity in Cumbria, including delivery on a Heritage Landscape Partnership Scheme led by the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and supporting low carbon delivery across the scheme, working with partners, including the Farmer Network piloting an calculating whole farm carbon and  a reduction in  greenhouse emissions on farms - carbon, nitrous oxide and methane reducing the impact of climate change and improving soil health and long-term productivity. Also planting trees and mixed hedgerow to improve carbon sequestration and biodiversity.

She manages a community buildings grant fund  which supports communities retrofit their community buildings for energy efficiency.

She sits on Eden District Council’s “Greening Eden” grant panel which supports businesses in Eden reduce their Scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon emissions.

In other work she supports geographical communities map their area solar PV potential and support residents and small businesses to engage in low carbon transition, to calculate carbon footprints and to take practical action to reduce emissions.

She has nineteen years experience in leading low carbon, natural environment and built heritage sustainability projects – from small seed local grassroots initiatives to countywide project management in urban and rural settings.

she is experienced in strategic development and engagement with communities, organisations, educators, small business, farmers and landowners.

she is a pro- active and community minded individual with an ethical and inclusive approach to the development of land, enterprise and social sustainability that can bring experience of community garden and farm management and public green space protection and enhancement.

In her spare time she set up and manages Repair Café’s. and at home is working to bring a derelict allotment plot into a productive space for food growing and biodiversity.


Dr Noam Leshem

Associate Professor in Political and Cultural Geography

 His research addresses concerns of violent conflict, social change and environmental degradation in the Middle East and South America. Leshem’s work extends beyond academia, forging collaborations with cultural institutions and reaching audiences through visual storytelling and immersive technology


Artist - Strategist -  Consultant -  Musician - Photographer -  Filmmaker. He is the founder and Chief Executive of Global Carnivalz Ltd. He wrote the Arts Council Carnival Arts Strategy. He Was National Carnival Advisor for Arts Council of England, South Africa Arts, Sports and Culture, Arts Council of Wales and Ireland.  As a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and an international carnival consultant, Pax is a keen advocate for the carnival art form and lectures at conferences around the world. He has been instrumental in creating opportunities and studentships for diverse artists. His recent work includes developing use of recycled materials for carnival and helping create  carnival opportunities.


Honorary Entrepreneurial Fellow in Durham University Business School. TREASURER

With over 25 years lending experience with a leading Bank, escaped whilst it was still a reputable profession. Geoff joined ‘The Small Business Centre’ at Durham University Business School to pursue his interest in developing innovative approaches to financing growth in the SME sector.
Senior Tutor and Director of Banking, Business Adviser, and SME Programmes at Durham University Business School (1994–2005) co-developed and directed a number of training and development programmes for Bankers, Personal Business Advisers and SME’s which were delivered nationally and internationally. On retiring from the University in 2005, co-founded Durham Enterprise Associates Limited now trading as DEAL Group ( an enterprise consultancy specialising in supporting individuals and organisations that stimulate businesses to grow, develop and change.

seirian sumner.jpg


Professor Seirian Sumner Professor of behavioural ecology at  UCL 

Seirian Sumner - Wikipedia

Giver of this years `Insect Superheroes` lecture at the Curtis Auditorium on destigmatising Wasps. 

A international scientific expert and biodiversity publicist Why I matter | New Internationalist. See Endless Forms: The Secret World of Wasps: Sumner, Seirian: 9780008394479: Books

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