Meet the candidates

NT Council members

There are 20 candidates standing for election in this year's Council. Read their profiles below to find out why the National Trust matters to them, and what they could bring to the Council.

You can also download the Election Candidates booklet at the end of the page to find out more.

Sarah Green, a candidate for the National Trust Council

Sarah Green, Northumberland

As the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) Director of Regions, I helped organisations navigate their political and economic context, and wish to support the National Trust in a similar way by managing stakeholders and developing strategic partnerships to help maximise its impact and influence. With rural communities facing dramatic changes post-Brexit, I’m embarking on a PhD, researching the social contribution of rural communities – covering issues of direct relevance to the National Trust. Also, as a passionate northerner, I wish to represent the unique strengths and challenges of the North, within the National Trust Council.

Steve Anderson, a candidate for the National Trust Council

Steve Anderson, West Midlands

I’ve volunteered for the National Trust for approaching 25 years, and I’ve been an elected member of Council for one term. My volunteer experience includes governance roles, habitat conservation and building restoration. So far in my role as a Council member, I’ve contributed to the governance review and nomination committee strands, as well as maintained a 100% attendance record. I have a professional background in public service, completing 30 years’ service as a police officer, retiring as a Chief Superintendent. Most recently, I’ve worked as a criminal justice consultant and for Citizens Advice.

Virginia Llado-Buisan, a candidate for the National Trust Council

Virginia Llado-Buisan, Oxford

I’m fascinated by the remains of our past and the natural world, and as a professional conservator, I’ve focussed on museum and library collections. I’ve worked with National Trust collaboratively on the Sheldon Tapestry Maps Conservation project, which I manage for Bodleian Libraries. I believe in the benefits of volunteering, as a giving experience, and as a way for institutions to achieve their goals involving communities. I set up two successful volunteer programmes at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, and at Bodleian Libraries.

Raymond Williams, a candidate for the National Trust Council

Raymond Williams, Buckinghamshire

I love the National Trust, its members and what it stands for, and I wish to play my part in protecting our heritage for future generations. I have extensive experience in strategic management, with 30 years’ experience as Managing Director for leading companies. Over my career, I’ve won several awards, including the National Marketing Award for Outstanding Achievement in British Marketing, and the Government Certificate for Excellence in Business Advisory Work. From my experience, I can offer the council expertise in fundraising, investment priorities, strategic planning and marketing.

Leigh McManus, a candidate for National Trust Council

Leigh McManus, Leicestershire

My experience as an Operations Director in the customer service and IT sector has given me a broad range of skills, which I could bring to the Council, such as the ability to quickly assimilate information and rank the significance, as well as communication skills. While the National Trust looks back to the history of its buildings and estates, I think we have to design better ways for visitors of all ages and cultures to engage with these stories, which is something I can contribute to. Also, having lived in the Midlands all my life, I feel that I can bring a different perspective to the Council.

Guy Trehane, a candidate for the National Trust 2017 Council

Guy Trehane, Dorset

I'm a ‘hands on’ dairy farmer, and a life member of the National Trust, since 1982. For over ten years, I’ve given practical and strategic advice to the National Trust, as a specialist volunteer, on the Land Use, Access and Rural Enterprise Panels. I'm privileged to have visited and advised properties in every region of the organisation. I want to help the National Trust to engage and communicate with the tenant farmers that manage much of the organisation's land. I’m unwavering in my passion for the National Trust and believe that I'm well-equipped to help the Council understand farming and rural issues at a time of challenging changes post-Brexit.

Emma Mee, a candidate for the National Trust Council

Emma Mee, Cambridge

I’ve spent the last 12 years working on sustainability issues with business, government and leading experts. I have delved into the complex policies of energy and climate change, helped companies understand the value of natural resources and promoted sustainable ventures. The National Trust, as a large and diverse organisation, faces the same critical challenges as many, but it has a clear vision, and I already see it as a great success. As a younger candidate, I want to support the current modernisation and ensure the legacy can continue and help to drive the National Trust ever forward.

Michael Tavener, a Candidate for the National Trust Council

Michael Tavener, West Midlands

As a Chartered Secretary with 10 years’ multi-sector experience, I can provide independent and objective governance insight, coupled with a pragmatic and strategic approach. My membership of the National Trust was initially through my childhood family and has transitioned to personal membership in my adult years. Now a father myself, I would like to volunteer my professional skills and experiences to the National Trust, to safeguard this vital institution and the ideals that it stands for, for my son and future generations.

Elizabeth Staples, a candidate for the National Trust 2017 Council

Elizabeth Staples, Staffordshire

I've been a member of the National Trust for over 20 years, and I’d like to join the Council to play my part in ensuring the National Trust continues to grow, and to be there for future generations to enjoy. My previous experience includes being a Trustee of a local charity and a Cabinet Member at both the County and Borough Councils in Staffordshire. As a Council member, I look forward to being part of a team, who are there to ensure the dynamic strategy the Board has put forward is being implemented, and that any risks to the National Trust are managed.

Inga Grimsey, a candidate for the National Trust Council

Inga Grimsey, Suffolk

I’ve worked for the National Trust for nearly 10 years, as Commercial Director, and then Operations Director, responsible for a third of the National Trust’s properties and land. As a result, I have an excellent understanding of how the organisation functions, and a passion for the cause. As a volunteer, I chair the National Trust’s East of England Regional Advisory Board. I am Trustee of four schools and recently chaired the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the East of England. With substantial experience of effective charity governance, I can help the National Trust to face its future, as it grows, yet remains sustainable.

Christopher Caitling, a candidate for the National Trust Council

Christopher Catling, Wales

My aim in life is to inspire people to engage with natural and the cultural heritage. I’m the Chief Executive of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (and a life member of the National Trust), and have led a variety of projects, including work to secure World Heritage Site status for the Welsh slate industry, and working with young people to explore aspects of their community history. As a member of the Council, I’d like to help shape the strategies that will make volunteering as appealing as possible to present and future generations, as well as promoting a distinctively Welsh strand within the National Trust’s affairs.

Edel Trainor, a candidate for the National Trust Council

Edel Trainor, Northern Ireland

I’m passionate about the National Trust, and in the last year, I’ve volunteered over 200 hours of my time at my local property, Castle Ward. My current role is a Planning Officer for my local authority, but I’ve had a varied career – from delivering the waste management infrastructure across Northern Ireland, to working for Invest Northern Ireland’s Sustainable Development team, and working for the Department of Agriculture to map land use. Based on my experience of dealing with multiple stakeholders to reach balanced decisions, my presence on committees and my knowledge of the National Trust in my capacity as a volunteer, I believe that I can be an effective member of the Council.

Stephen Cox, a candidate for the National Trust Council

Stephen Cox, Merseyside

I’ve been a life member of the National Trust since I was 18, a gift from my parents, who also passed the same wonderful gift to my children. I’m a GP by background and have held NHS Trust/CCG Board membership for over 15 years, with resultant experience of corporate governance and maintaining standards in public life. I’ve been an NHS Clinical Chief Executive responsible for a budget of £330m and therefore have experience that may help the National Trust in delivering its corporate objectives. I wish to offer my candidacy, to support the National Trust in protecting its assets for future generations and hopefully to broaden the reach of the organisation’s work.

Bella Mezger, a candidate for the National Trust Council

Bella Mezger, London

I've been a member of the Council for almost three years, and would love to spend another term serving the National Trust’s members. My background in management consulting and education means that I contribute a strategic and practical voice to the ways in which we move, teach and inspire. I will consistently challenge the National Trust to innovate how they do this, and allow everyone, regardless of background, to experience the delight of its places and spaces. My expertise in digital culture and multi-generational workforces would contribute to developing the National Trust’s digital capability, and pioneering ways to serve members and build its youth agenda.

Joff Whitten, a candidate for the National Trust Council

Joff Whitten, Suffolk

I've been working in the cultural sector for over 20 years and have significant experience of working alongside the education sector throughout my career. I'm a passionate believer that arts, culture, heritage and amazing places are for everyone – no matter what their age, background or interests. I'd love to be able to help the National Trust to continue doing the good work it does, but also to ensure it reacts and changes appropriately with the current trends affecting us all. From my experience, I can offer many skills and knowledge to the Council, such as organisational development, partnership building, events management and how to engage with younger people.

Caroline Kay, a candidate for the National Trust Council

Caroline Kay, Wiltshire

I’ve been a member of the National Trust since I was in my twenties. From a volunteering holiday on the Golden Cap, to planting a conker at Dyrham Park, with my then four-year-old, I’ve long understood the sense of ownership that hands-on involvement in conservation can bring. I’m currently the Chief Executive of Bath Preservation Trust, which is an organisation responsible for listed buildings and museums, so have knowledge and experience in this sector. I’ve also held a variety of non-executive positions, including my current term on the Regional Advisory Board South West.

Duncan Mackay, a candidate for the 2017 National Trust Council

Duncan Mackay, Berkshire

I have 40 years’ experience across all sectors of environmental conservation – from working as Deputy Secretary of Commons, Open Spaces and Footpaths Preservation Society to managing forestry, archelogy, listed buildings and landscapes for Berkshire County Council, and most recently, I led the Access to Nature policy, among other policies for Nature England. I want to give my ‘head, heart and hands’ to an organisation that has always been a part of my life, and which I regard to be the best land manager in the world.

Grevel Lindop, a candidate for the National Trust Council

Grevel Lindop, Manchester

As a keen walker, poet, writer, father and grandfather, I’m aware of how the National Trust has benefited the UK’s culture and environment – without its work over the past 120 years, Britain would be unrecognisable. I also understand how charities work: I’ve been a Trustee of The Wordsworth Trust, and I’m now a Trustee of an educational charity. The loss of EU farm subsidies, pressures from house building and transport, mean the National Trust must more than ever advocate sustainable land use, the spiritual value of landscape, and the importance of lively cultural education. As a writer, speaker, former academic and enthusiast, I want to help the National Trust meet that challenge.

Caroline Jarrold, a candidate for the National Trust Council

Caroline Jarrold, Norfolk

I’ve been a member of the National Trust for over 30 years. I recently stepped down as Chairman of Visit Norwich, where I worked closely with a variety of organisations to champion the heritage and landscape of the area. During that period, I was also Chairman of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival, which collaborated with local stately homes (including Felbrigg) and landscapes, such as the Holkham estate. With a strong tourism background, dogged determination to develop effective partnerships, and a passion for heritage and landscape, I think I could support the National Trust’s work, as part of the Council.

Read the candidates' full profiles 

Find out more about the candidates' interests, experience and vision for the National Trust. Download the Election Candidates booklet to read their full profiles.