FOUNDER and Cheif Executive
Lesley is a conservationist, ecologist and wildlife photographer, and has led expeditions in East Africa, Europe and the Middle East. She holds a degree in conservation and wildlife management, and like many conservationists she has great concerns about the over exploitation of nature, and the rapid, devastating decline in wildlife populations.
Lesley is the founder of Operation Future Hope, and the creator of the OFH Conservation Schools Award and Rewilding Programme. Her vision is to create a regional and national network of biodiversity havens in schools and in so doing not only restore wildlife to the land, but also restore the relationship between young people and nature.
Through the OFH conservation schools award, Lesley’s aim is empower young people to become leaders and pioneers of change, actively working to regenerate nature and save the world's wildlife from extinction - globally and locally. Her hope is that a generation of young people will emerge, who know their place as co-participators in the community of life, who hold a deep empathy for all species and who can build a new culture - one of collaboration and regeneration, where all parties thrive - individuals, communities and biodiversity.
Director and Trustee
Peter is an educationalist and historian with a keen interest in conservation and the environment. Born and educated in New Zealand, Peter is committed to developing a new curriculum with ethics and values at its heart dealing in particular with environmental issues, sustainability and individual and collective responsibility.
Peter has lived in the United Kingdom for the past twenty years and was Head of Sherborne Preparatory School in Dorset for seventeen years prior to retiring in 2015 to pursue other interests.
He has an MA in History and a post-graduate Diploma in Education and taught in state and independent primary and senior schools in New Zealand before moving to the United Kingdom.
Peter has written several books with a third book on the subject of Thomas Hardy due for publication in early 2018. He writes on education topics for the national press, (mainly Daily Telegraph on-line) as well as education magazines and related publications and has contributed to other books on Littleton Powys and the process of selection in secondary education.
Director and Trustee
Andy was born and educated in Manchester, and since graduating in Zoology from Manchester University has been slowly moving south.
He has worked in practical habitat conservation as conservation officer for the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, and a few years spent looking at bacterial genes and amphibian chromosomes at Leicester University.
From 1990 to the present date, with a four year “sabbatical” in ecological consultancy, Andy has been a lecturer at Sparsholt College, Hampshire teaching ecology and conservation on Sparsholt’s BSc Honours degree.
Wildlife and ecology have been a lifelong interest, especially reptiles and amphibians, but over the years he has become increasingly interested in the human impact on the wider environment at the larger landscape scale. Human activity can devastate whole landscapes, but sometimes has created rich, biodiverse habitats that work for both people and wildlife. It is this “permaculture” approach at the landscape level in which he is most interested.
Andrew Scott George
Artist & Habitat Creation Specialist
I have been designing wildflower meadows since the mid-1990s, after developing my own 3-acre plot in the Mendips, specifically for butterflies. This led to a collaboration with Clive Farrell, where my work on his 100-acre property near Sherborne allowed free-rein for my imagination. During this time my ideas were consolidated in my book, ‘The Butterfly Friendly Garden’, which features my designs for various clients and describes the habitat creation process. The design process is an extension of my work as as an artist, using earth and plants as canvas and paints, each meadow becoming more layered with ideas than the last. I begin first and foremost with habitat creation – making the landscape work for wildlife, then the idea for the design starts by weaving a tale around each project, and soon the story begins to influence the shape and appearance of the meadow. My designs are intended to amuse, intrigue and educate, whilst being grounded in practical environmental science.”
Andrew has a degree in Fine Art from Edinburgh College of Art and been described as a ‘Master of Egg Tempera,’ the medium used for his luminous landscape paintings. His understanding of landscape, often using using multiple perspectives, is in turn applied to his work in the field of habitat creation.
Our Friends and Advisors
Ruth graduated from Edinburgh University with a degree in Geography and completed her PGCE at Moray House Institute of Education (Edinburgh). She holds a Masters in Population and Health and PhD in Non-communicable Epidemiology, which she gained at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is currently Headmistress of Sherborne Girls, the fifth school she has worked in.
As a geographer, geologist and epidemiologist, an experienced traveller and outdoor pursuits enthusiast, Ruth is passionate about all aspects of the environment and human interaction with it. Having been a vegetarian since conception, Ruth certainly dovetails reality with rhetoric. She has embedded this concern throughout her educational career and Operation Future Hope is the most recent manifestation by which she hopes to develop, through practical action, the awareness of the community, in particular the pupils at Sherborne Girls.
As well as being a keen runner and triathlete, Ruth has trekked and cycled through many of the world’s great mountain regions. In her twenty years as an educator she has also led dozens of geography and geology fieldtrips around the planet and numerous extended personal development expeditions, all which have a strong element of environmental and social responsibility. She has led expeditions in Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and South America and has a particular relationship with Nepal and the Himalaya.
Tony is a sustainability strategist and social entrepreneur who has worked internationally for over 25 years with leading companies, governments and non-profit organisations to find solutions across a wide variety of sectors including agriculture, education, facilities management, financial services, foodservice, health, media, science and technology.
Tony is CEO of One Planet Education Networks, which he co-founded with WWF to work with some of the world’s most innovative educators to develop change agents for sustainability.
He is an Honorary Associate Professor of Sustainability Leadership at the University of Nottingham’s School of Geography and is in demand around the world as a speaker on entrepreneurial leadership for sustainability
He is a founding Member of the SDG Transformations Forum, a high-levelcoalition for co-ordinating achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, where he co-leads their work on place-based transformation, pursuing his passion for creating a wellbeing economy based upon regenerative, resilient communities living in harmony with nature.
Tony was previously a Senior Vice President at Sodexo, the world’s largest foodservice company, where he was responsible for the sustainability of its business. He has previously worked with Cabinet Office, Defra, Department of Health, Elior, Fairtrade Foundation, FareShare, HRH Prince of Wales, Jamie Oliver, Lloyds Banking Group plc, Royal Agricultural Society of England, Sainsburys, Sustainable Restaurant Association, WWF and Zac Goldsmith.
Tony holds an MBA from University of Exeter Business School and a degree in land management from University of Reading. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Society of Arts. Tony is also a TEDx organiser and a school trustee in his hometown of Sherborne, as well as a keen offshore sailor and instructor.
Lepidopterist and Founder of the London Butterfly House and the Stratford-on-Avon Butterfly Farm.
Clive is one of Britain’s greatest lepidopterists. He has championed the cause of the butterfly since he first saw one emerge from a chrysalis. Founder of the London Butterfly House and the Stratford-on-Avon Butterfly Farm, Clive has also created an otherworldly kingdom for a huge range of UK butterflies and moths in the grounds of his Dorset home. Here dragons sleep amongst nectar rich plants, and clouds of Adonis Blue butterflies dance above his bramblearium. He also owns an area of Belize rainforest, where he breeds and nurtures some of the World’s more exotic moths and butterflies such as the Blue Morpho, as big as a man’s hand. Clive describes these as “the emissaries of the rainforest” with a very important message: ‘don’t destroy our fast dwindling habitats’. At his home near Sherborne in Dorset Clive keeps three heated glasshouses for tropical butterflies on the wing. This is in addition to 100 acres of sensitively managed SSSI habitat comprising hay meadows, woodland, lakes and chalk banks where native butterflies live, breed and hibernate.
Clive continues to consult on tropical butterfly houses all over the world, from stately homes to state-owned museums. He has created displays in Florida, and sent pupae as far afield as Russia. He supports numerous other micro-finance initiatives in the rearing of tropical butterflies in Thailand, Costa Rica and the Philippines, among others (the closer to the equator, the greater the density and diversity of species). “We help farmers get started, giving them money to build enclosures, and providing them with a market. This gives employment to local people. More importantly, it gives them reason to preserve their natural butterfly habitats.”
Paul is a Hong Kong-based photojournalist and wildlife trade consultant who focuses on global environmental and conservation issues and endeavors to bring about urgent change in the way we treat our surroundings. Presently, he is working on the palm oil issue: documenting deforestation, land clearing, and the wildlife trade in Sumatra’s Leuser Eco-system, Indonesia, in collaboration with Rainforest Action Network (RAN), Wildlife Asia and Forest Nature and Environment Aceh (HAkA).
Previously, Paul followed the manta and mobula ray trade across the world and set up the Manta Ray of Hope project to document, in partnership with WildAid and Manta Trust, the plight of the great rays and investigate the use of gill-rakers in traditional Chinese medicine. He is now an Associate Director with Manta Trust and a WildAid consultant.
Paul’s undercover footage of the illegal wildlife trade features heavily throughout the 2015 film “Racing Extinction”, produced by the Ocean Preservation Society and directed by Oscar winner, Louie Psihoyos, which premiered at the SunDance film festival.
In 2009, Paul became a member of the prestigious International League of Conservation Photographers, and in 2010 launched his first book, Man & Shark, highlighting the global Shark-Finning industry. He has received numerous awards for his conservation photography: in 2012 a World Press Photo award for his body of work on the Shark Fin issue and was also awarded Wildlife Photographer of the Year in 2012, 2014 and 2016; the Asian Geographic Best of the Decade series, and the Ark Trust Award for exposing bear bile farming in China, for Animals Asia Foundation. His photos were published in the book, Black Market, which deals with the wildlife trade in Asia, and included investigative photojournalism in the wild-animal markets and theme parks of China.
Paul has spent that past decade following the shark fin trade across the globe, from the fishing ports of Yemen and the middle East to the high seas of the Pacific and Indian Oceans; documenting life onboard long-lining fleets from Taiwan, China, Philippines, and Indonesia; in the dried seafood markets of Southern China and Hong Kong; documenting a newly-discovered blue whale migration; satellite tagging of humpback whales; and documenting sustainable pole-and-line tuna fisheries worldwide. These projects have been in cooperation with WildAid, Human Society International, Greenpeace International and the Hong Kong Shark Foundation.
Executive Director, The Trust for Sustainable Living
Karl grew up in Canada, Saint Lucia and Costa Rica. Following an undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto, he travelled to rainforests around the world as a freelance environmental journalist. He won a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University, where he earned graduate degrees in forestry, anthropology and resource economics. He has worked in many roles including as a researcher, policy adviser, writer and editor with organisations including the International Institute for Sustainable Development and World Commission on Forests and Sustainable Development. He believes in the power of education to help transform societies and build a more sustainable future.
Daryll joined the Royal Army Veterinary Corps in 1990 and served as a Military Dog Trainer and Specialist Course Instructor. During this time, he undertook various roles including the training of all classifications of military dogs and handled dogs operationally both in the U.K and abroad. In the latter part of his career he was a member of the escape & evasion team instructing Special Operations Units.
On leaving the Army, Daryll worked as a volunteer and in 2013 he was asked by the Ol Pejeta conservancy to form and build an operational Dog Section in an anti-poaching role to serve the reserve and adjoining conservancies. On arrival in Africa, Daryll realised that dogs in the anti-poaching field were under utilised, and they would better serve their cause being trained in a multi role - hence the triple role search/track/attack dog was introduced which proved to be a tremendous success and led to other conservancies requesting the services of this new K9.
After the successful introduction of a further two dog sections, and understanding that there was a greater need for working dogs in the field of anti-poaching, Daryll decided that a more permanent organization was needed. In 2016 he formed Animals Saving Animals with the basis being an organization that would train, supply, and manage working anti-poaching/search dogs to conservancies and national parks throughout the world under the guidance of wildlife charities/local government with a requirement. The organisation has quickly grown and Animals Saving Animals now currently have dogs in Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and have ongoing projects with dogs shortly to be deployed to Botswana and Asia.
Ecologist and land manager
Having turned a childhood interest in wildlife and the outdoors into various volunteer placements with nature conservation charities in his late teens, Wren went on to gain an HND in Landscape Conservation from Bournemouth University and a BSc in Countryside Conservation from the University of Wales Aberystwyth.
After working for Devon Wildlife Trust, Wren started his own nature conservation contracting business, clients included Dorset County Council countryside service, Butterfly Conservation, various ecological and forestry consultancies and many private land owners.
During these years his time was split into winters contracting in Dorset and the summer months in Iceland. Over seven summers he was involved in the establishment and development of Skalanes Nature and Heritage Centre in the East fjords. Wonderful busy summers in perpetual daylight, working with an Icelandic family, he took 1250 ha of land and a farmhouse and began to offer accommodation and tours exploring Icelandic nature, culture and heritage. Time was split between hosting groups, writing management plans, carrying out ecological surveys and leading conservation work parties. The work of the centre continues today with a strong focus on education, sustainable tourism and environmental conservation.
After many summers away from Dorset, the shire began to call. Wren was offered a job on the Lulworth Estate working as part of a team of ecological surveyors tasked with monitoring wildlife of this twenty square mile estate. Here he led the butterfly work – coordinating the walking of 20 transects and studying various populations of downland butterfly including Chalkhill blue and Lulworth skipper.
Currently Wren is the nature reserve manager for Ryewater Nursery – a unique estate in north Dorset with a 40-year history in pioneering habitat creation. On his watch they are taking forward established semi natural habitats, maintaining a range of habitat creations and creating new habitat. Wren’s focus is on creating and maintaining wildflower plant communities, hedgerows, scrub, woodland and wetlands as the foundation stones of a biodiversity hotspot. Ryewater use butterflies and moths as indicators of habitat health and survey these groups regularly and thoroughly.
“As a father to two young children I have an investment in the aims of Operation Future Hope and feel the pressing need to help sow the seeds of intrigue, enjoyment and respect for the natural world.