Who’s Who

Below you’ll find details of the current Unstead Nature Community Group Committee. In addition to the committee, the group is supported by a growing band of volunteers. Come along and find out how you can get involved.

John Maris

John Mairs, Chairman

John volunteers with SWT on their conservation and grazing tasks.

He is the current chair of UNCG, having been part of the group since it’s inception.

Retirement in 2018 allows John to devote more time to pursuing a life long interest in the natural world.

Email: chair@unstead-reserve.org

Chris Kirton

Chris Kirton, Treasurer

Chris is a retired Chartered Accountant who has been involved in wildlife conservation volunteering with the National Trust for 40 years, and more recently with SWT as well.

He says he is unskilled, but he seems to like digging out tree stumps!

Chris lives in Godalming with his wife Fiona who is also a UNCG volunteer.

Email: treasurer@unstead-reserve.org

Keith Lightfoot

Keith Lightfoot, Warden

Keith is our warden and currently volunteers for RSPB at Farnham Heath, Surrey Wildlife Trust and Surrey Hedge Laying Group as well as UNCG.

He has been a keen birder since childhood and since retirement has become an enthusiastic Wildlife photographer.

Keith’s long suffering wife Heather is very understanding and supports him in all these activities.

Email: warden@unstead-reserve.org

Richard Acton, Group Secretary

Richard recently retired from a thoroughly enjoyable 38 year career in manufacturing and engineering and is now keen to pursue his lifelong interest in all things science and nature. He holds a very old degree in biological sciences and recently completed his Merrist Wood diploma in Practical Habitat Management. 

A regular volunteer with the RSPB and at Unstead, Richard loves the great variety of habitat we have and is equally happy using traditional skills and tools in our practical task work as well as participating in all forms of survey work.

One thing Richard would especially like to help achieve at Unstead is to drive engagement with younger conservation minded volunteers to secure the future of the reserve.

Email: richard@unstead-reserve.org or secretary@unstead-reserve.org

Stuart Smith

Stuart Smith, Trustee

A self confessed “enthusiastic novice” when it comes to wildlife conservation.

Stuart is a very keen Trout and Salmon angler, a wizard at Carpentry and our very own “Mr fixer”.

Peter Cornish

Peter Cornish, Trustee

Peter is a retired music publisher and is now getting tremendous satisfaction from being part of the project to regenerate the Unstead reserve and is enjoying the companionship of working with a growing group of like minded people.

As well as his work for UNCG Peter is also a keen volunteer for SWT and RSPB Farnham Heath.

Email: datarecorder@unstead-reserve.org

Deborah Simmons, Trustee

Deborah spent many years in the deathly dull world of pensions. When circumstances changed she decided a life outdoors suited far better. She currently volunteers with Surrey Wildlife Trust, Butterfly Conservation, and hedgehog surveys for the Surrey Hills Society.

Deborah’s main joy on the Reserve is the wildflower meadow and all-things butterfly, including weekly surveys at Unstead (hence the photo).  By her own admission, she hasn’t got a clue on birds!