Meet the Team

The knowledge of the team gives us the experience to succeed


Peter King

Position: Director

Pete has spent the last ten years developing and delivering projects to enhance the Ouse & Adur for people and wildlife. From small scale interventions to large engineering projects, fish passage improvements to mitigating water quality issues, he is focused on ensuring a catchment based, integrated, approach is at the heart of everything we do.  An advocate of community participation and partnership working, Pete is also the Chair of the Adur & Ouse Catchment Partnership.

Rachel Paget

Position: Senior Project Officer

Rachel has worked for the Ouse & Adur Rivers Trust since 2014 and now takes charge of project delivery across the catchment. Specialising in both urban and rural natural flood management Rachel also has a wide range of experience in delivering fish passage and associated habitat enhancements. She also produces our newsletters, organises events and assists with the administration of the Adur & Ouse Catchment partnership. 


Alistair Whitby

Position: Project Officer

Before joining OART in 2019, Alistair worked for many years in international development policy, conservation and environmental education for a range of NGOs. Currently focused on the EPIC project Alistair is co-ordinating the site development along with campaigns to raise awareness of the water environment and has developed projects to link urban wildlife to project sites. Alistair also runs all our social media via Twitter and Facebook.


Tara Dawson

Position: Natural Flood Management Project Officer (River Adur)

Tara is dedicated and passionate about preserving and enhancing the local biodiversity and landscape. Having achieved an FdSc in Countryside Management she is now working towards a BSc (Hons) in Ecology. With experience in ecological surveying and having volunteered with numerous charities to help protected local species, Tara also brings a broad knowledge and skill-set in project implementation, engagement, and communication to the role. Over the next 2 years Tara will be looking to identify opportunities for Natural Flood Management in the Adur catchment to help reduce the risk of flooding and deliver multiple benefits for the water environment.

Our Board of Trustees

OART Chairman Dr Hew Prendergast

Dr Hew Prendergast

Position: Chairman

Dr Hew Prendergast trained in plant biology. He worked as a nature reserve warden and marine ornithologist before becoming the first Overseas Collector for the precursor of the Millennium Seed Bank at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Wakehurst Place.  He then moved to Kew as leader of the Centre for Economic Botany.  From 2003-2011 he ran Ashdown Forest and in 2013, after many years as a member of OART, was elected its Chairman.

OART Vice Chairman Sam St.Pierre

John “Sam” St Pierre

Position: Vice Chairman

John is better known by his nickname “Sam”. Sam is a retired dental surgeon who has always had an interest in freshwater biology since he was at school. His primary interests are water chemistry and the study of freshwater invertebrates. He is involved in both the water testing and invertebrate monitoring activities of OART and is currently the Trust’s Vice Chairman. He is also Water Resources Officer for the Sussex Branch of the Salmon & Trout Association. 

OART Membership Secretary Neil Pringle

Philip Evans

Position: Trustee

Philip is currently a Senior Director in Acoustics for RPS Planning and Environment, a multi-disciplinary international consultancy, where he manages a team of acoustics, noise and vibration consultants across the UK. Philip started his career as a geologist working on exploration oil and gas rigs  –  a perfect background to assist at OART with their water sampling analysis, which he has done for many years. He is a keen fisherman, conservationist and supports various local and international wildlife groups.

Simon Turner

Position: Trustee

Simon is director of Lewes based technology company NTD Internet. He has been fascinated by rivers and streams and the natural life they support since he was a lad. He provides IT and business services for OART. He is an active member of the task force and also served as OART Pollution Officer. His leisure time is mostly spent managing his land in Barcombe for native wildlife and biodiversity.

OART Trustee Dave Brown

Dave Brown

Position: Trustee

Dave is an environmental scientist and the retired head of a university unit, having previously worked in the environmental consultancy sector. He is the Vice-Chairman of the Rivers Trust, the national organisation which represents over 60 individual river trusts, and Hon. Secretary of the Ouse Angling Preservation Society. While a general environmental scientist, with particular experience in fields of environmental impact assessment and environmental auditing, he has a strong interest in the aquatic environment and has worked in a professional capacity on many river systems.

OART Trustee Dr James Ebdon

Dr James Ebdon

Position: Trustee

Dr James Ebdon is a Reader in Environmental Microbiology and a lecturer within the School of Environment and Technology at the University of Brighton. He has 15 years’ experience developing and applying novel, low-cost methods for determining sources of contamination in surface waters. He is also interested in safe water and sanitation provision in low-resource settings and has worked on water quality projects in Africa (UNICEF), India, and South America. He has authored 33 publications, including 1 book chapter, and has presented his work to academics, students, engineers, MPs, the general public and water professionals in 18 countries.

Brian Clark

Position: Trustee

Brian’s professional background and career was in the Probation Service, mainly as a manager and also as Chief Officer of Sussex Probation. He has a broad experience of leadership and governance and was Chair of Mind in Brighton and East Sussex. A keen angler Brian has always valued the natural and marine environment and he is a member of a wide range of related organisations, such as the Salmon and Trout Conservation Society and the Angling Trust.

OART Pollution Monitor and Task Force Leader Mick Deacon

Mike Deacon

Position: Pollution Monitor

Mike is a lifelong resident of Lewes and a very keen angler which, combined, have seen him fish the River Ouse for over 50 years. This has led to Mike being passionate about the overall ecology of the river with a specific emphasis on water quality and working to make improvements through liaising with regulators and working with landowners. 


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