People Q-Z

Brian Riches

Brian, a retired telecomms engineer, is a regular volunteer with the Cray Riverkeepers team, and a dab hand at mending the mechanisms of our broken litter-pickers. He also made a very nice job of sign-writing the ‘Lady Cray’ on our boat!

Brian Riches at a Thames Road Wetland clean-up event. (Photo: Chris Rose)

Brian Riches at a Thames Road Wetland clean-up event. (Photo: Chris Rose)

Jonathan Rooks 

Jonathan, a Zoologist by first degree is also an Accountant and a lecturer in accounting at London South Bank University, has served in the army, was a Councillor in Bexley and has been involved with a number of local charities. He runs the ‘Greener Bexley’ charity which used to manage Bexley Community Library in Bexley village and Slade Green Community Library in addition to providing the BexleyWildlife.org website and BexleyWildlife Facebook page.

Jonathan Rooks runs the 'Greener Bexley' charity.

Jonathan Rooks runs the ‘Greener Bexley’ charity.

Chris Rose

Chris was brought up in Blackfen, Northumberland Heath and Barnehurst, before going to University in Bristol where he took First Class Honours and then an MSc in zoological sciences at the university. With family still in the Borough, he returned to Barnehurst 30 years later in 2009, partly to get involved in pressing local wildlife issues.

Chris Rose is closely involved with several wildlife and environment groups in the Borough, and can often be found out in the field recording wildlife on and off the beaten track. (Photo: Karen Sutton).

Chris Rose is closely involved with several wildlife and environmental groups in the Borough, and can often be found out in the field recording wildlife both on and off the beaten track. (Photo: Karen Sutton).

He is Vice-chair of Bexley Natural Environment Forum; Site Representative for his allotment site and Bexley Federation of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners Biodiversity Officer; adviser on wildlife matters to the ‘Greener Bexley Charity’, and serves on the committee of Lesnes Abbey Conservation Volunteers as its representative to BNEF.  He is Site Manager (for Thames21) of the Bexley Council-owned Thames Road Wetland site in Barnes Cray and occasionally helps out with river-keeping on the River Cray itself. He is leading a rolling survey of all Bexley allotment sites for reptiles and amphibians, a re-survey of the Cray and Shuttle for Water Voles, a project to remove hybrid Bluebells from Bursted Woods and propagates Marsh Sow-thistles for an ongoing London re-introduction programme for this Species Action Plan plant. His day job is in green politics.

He has written a number of major submissions for BNEF in response to GLA and Bexley strategic planning consultations, on Bexley’s Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation reviews in 2011 and 2013 and on various planning applications. He has contributed much of the early content of this website and the linked facebook page.

As an avid documenter of wildlife across the Borough, he has submitted thousands of records to GiGL (the London biodiversity records centre), mainly from Bexley, and has recorded a number of ‘firsts’ and new sites for species that are rare in London and our Borough.

Mandy Stevens

Mandy was a member of the Friends of the Shuttle Committee, having helped found the group, and also volunteered at Woodlands Farm where she was a member of the board. She has now moved to France.

Mandy Stevens at the summer 2014 FoTS clean-up of the Danson park lake. (Photo: Chris Rose)

Mandy Stevens at the summer 2014 FoTS clean-up of the Danson park lake. (Photo: Chris Rose)

Jane Stout

Jane, who works in the NHS, is a founder member of the Friends of the Shuttle and a member of its Committee.

Jane Stout pictured helping out at Thames Road Wetland

Jane Stout pictured helping out at Thames Road Wetland

Karen Sutton

Karen is employed by Thames Water, originally as Site Manager for Crossness Nature Reserve, one of the best wildlife sites in London. She has more recently been promoted to the role of Biodiversity Team Manager and is responsible for biodiversity matters at a number of Thames Water-owned sites across south-east England Her local ’empire’ includes the fenced (‘protected’)  area adjacent to the sewage works, the land east towards Norman Road and also the southern marsh to the south of Eastern Way, an area amounting to some 50 hectares in total .

Karen Sutton rubbingh shoulders with TV personality David 'The Urban Birder' Lindo at the opening of the new crossness bird hide in 2014.

Karen Sutton, rubbing shoulders with TV personality David ‘The Urban Birder’ Lindo, at the opening of the new Crossness bird hide in 2014.

Karen co-ordinates site management plans, arranges for contractors and volunteers to do the work, organises ongoing recording of the wildlife on the site and runs various school and other community engagement events. Time also has to be spent dealing with other parts of the Thames Water organisation, such as the media team, and liaising with neighbouring landowners.

Having started working at the site in 2004, Karen launched the Friends of Crossness Nature Reserve scheme in 2005, and began producing a quarterly colour newsletter for members that January.  She briefly moved to the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority in August 2009, familiarising herself with the people and wildlife of east London, and along the River Lee corridor up to Hertfordshire, but missed Crossness so much that she returned as Site Manager in May 2010.

Karen getting down and dirty, hand-pulling Reedmace at Crossness.

Karen getting down and dirty, hand-pulling Reedmace at Crossness.

Karen loves her job as Crossness Nature Reserve Site Manager, and strenuously refutes scurrilous rumours that she has time to just sit around in a deckchair soaking up the sun and watching rare birds drift by ……(no this isn't a mud-pack).

Karen loves her job as Crossness Nature Reserve Site Manager, and strenuously refutes scurrilous rumours that she has time to just sit around in a deckchair soaking up the sun and watching rare birds drift by …… (no this isn’t a mud-pack).

Karen began working life as a freelance graphic designer (in the days before it was all done on computer). She then moved into desk-top publishing and says she spent too many years working in the Presentations department of a City investment bank. Working with bankers made Karen realise that corporate life wasn’t for her, but she was allowed time to study and took a BSc in Environmental Conservation, followed by a Masters in Environmental Science, and loved it (even though it nearly killed her both working, and studying, full-time). Following a passion for urban wildlife, and lots of voluntary work, primarily involving mammals (bats, water voles and small mammals particularly), she got the job at Crossness.

Ralph Todd

Ralph has been involved with birding and conservation in the Borough for some 35 years, most notably founding the Bexley Group of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in 1979. He has recently returned as one of the local field and coach trip guides.

Ralph Todd (left), with Karen Sutton and David 'The Urban Birder' Lindo at the opening of the new Crossness bird hide in 2014.

Ralph Todd (left), with Karen Sutton and David ‘The Urban Birder’ Lindo at the opening of the new Crossness bird hide in 2014.

Although travelling and lecturing extensively on birds at home and abroad, Ralph is particularly keen to encourage an increased interest in birds and their habitats within Bexley and, with wife Brenda, is well known as a leader of local bird walks. He also compiles the invaluable six-monthly Bexley Bird Reports, a major piece of work that pulls together the records of a number of contributors from around the Borough to help us better understand the fortunes and site usage of bird species in the Bexley Council area. He also organised a number of volunteers in a project that computerised a very large number of historic Bexley bird records, which have now been submitted to the London biodiversity records centre (GiGL). 

Ralph Todd hard at work on the January - June 2014 issue of the 'Bexley Bird Report'.

Ralph Todd hard at work on the January – June 2014 issue of the ‘Bexley Bird Report’.

Ralph is a former Trustee of Kent Wildlife Trust (19 years) 1991-2010, Chair of their Marketing committee for 9 years, former national Council Member of RSPB (1988-1993) chairing their Membership and Education Committee for two years. A founder member of Bexley Natural Environmental Forum (resigned in 2004 with the then Chairman against Bexley Council’s contempt for environmental issues – primarily their approval of the destruction of Erith Marshes). Ralph sits on the Thames Water Crossness LNR management board representing the Friends of Crossness.

Ralph has led wildlife holidays around the world and continues to lecture extensively on wildlife/travel including on cruise ships.

When not doing any of the above Ralph and his wife are very keen followers of athletics, attending Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth championships over the past 30 plus years – he also follows Ipswich Town FC – his home town.

Ralph with Usain Bolt in Moscow Airport on the way back from the World Championships in August 2013

Ralph with Usain Bolt in Moscow Airport on the way back from the World Championships in August 2013

1 Response to People Q-Z

  1. Sue Brown says:

    My mother read Johnathan Rooks article in the News Shopper about swifts in the local area. She lives in Northumberland Heath and she has swifts nesting yearly in her eaves of the house.

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