New trustees join the board - The Heart of England Forest


Trustees volunteer their time and share their expertise to help charities succeed. Trustees’ Week 2020 is the perfect time to shine a spotlight on the important role that our trustees play in helping us grow the Forest.

The role of trustees

There are just over 1 million trustees in the UK* who choose to give their time to make a difference. Trustees are collectively responsible for governing the charity, ensuring that the charity is following its strategy and achieving its objectives.

Our trustee board, headed by Chairman Jon Snow, provide direction and support to Beth, our Chief Executive, who has day-to-day operational responsibility for the work of the charity along with her team.

Introducing our newest trustees

This year, two new trustees joined our board bringing knowledge and experience to complement our existing trustee team.

Asa Gurden

Asa is currently the Head of Scout Adventures at the Scouts, a network of outdoor centres that works with over 160,000 people a year.  He has spent over 20 years working in the outdoor sector across commercial and charity sector organisations in a wide range of roles from instructing, product design, training and management.

His passion for the outdoors comes from early engagement with Scouts, a place that so often starts people’s interest in sharing adventures, appreciating nature as well as teaching a myriad of skills for life. Having read about the aspirations of the Heart of England Forest it was a perfect alignment with his core belief that everyone should have access to the natural environment and at least a little bit of adventure.

It’s not always about climbing mountains or shooting rapids on a river, the most important thing for me as an outdoor practitioner is that people, whatever their abilities or skills, get to experience nature and the great outdoors. 

All the evidence tells us that being outdoors is good for you both physically and mentally – with this in mind the Heart of England Forest is in a great position to enable more people to access the outdoors now and for many generations to come.”

Doreen Massey

A chartered accountant experienced in both financial and management accounting at a senior level, Doreen has extensive experience in charity finance and governance having worked for The Royal Shakespeare Company for the past 11 years.

Currently Head of Risk and Change Management Projects at the RSC, Doreen has responsibility for the organisational risk process and project lead for as significant £9m capital project. Prior to this, she was Head of Finance, managing the 20-person team and responsible for delivering all aspects of the financial activity of the organisation.

I am delighted to be a Trustee of the Heart of England Forest, helping to deliver Felix Dennis’s dream of establishing a 30,000 acre forest here in the heart of the country.

I am drawn to the aims of the Heart of England Forest on two levels: one a very personal, community level which provides a fantastic natural resource and environment for local people to enjoy; and secondly on a more strategic level whereby the expanded forest will help to counteract the devastating effects of climate change”.

Meet our board of trustees

It is thanks to the leadership and dedication of our trustees that we continue to grow England’s largest new native broadleaf woodland, with all the benefits that brings for wildlife and people. Meet our trustee team.


The Heart of England Forest