Meet the Team

The knowledge of the team gives us the experience to succeed


Peter King

Position: Director

Pete has spent the last thirteen 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.

Peter King. OART Director
Rachel Paget. OART Senior Project Officer

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. 

Alistair Whitby. OART Project Officer
Tara Dawson. OART Natural Flood Management Project Officer

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.

Jo Owens

Position: Catchment Officer (River Ouse)

Jo has been passionate about the environment since she was a child, and focused her zoology degree on freshwater ecology after witnessing the effects of an algal bloom. She is committed to protecting and restoring aquatic and riparian ecosystems, whilst preserving or enhancing their associated ecosystem services. Jo is working with a range of partners to deliver the River Ouse Invasive Non-Native Species strategy across its three strands of monitoring, biosecurity and control. She is also coordinating OART’s citizen science monitoring projects, including water quality testing and the annual sea trout watch.

Jo Owens. Catchment Officer (River Ouse)
Jessica Duggan. Trust administrator

Jessica Duggan

Position: Trust Administrator

With many years experience in Charity Administration, Jess is excited to use these skills for her passion for nature conservation.  

Being fortunate to live near the Bevern Stream, her love for wildlife has grown from an interest and passion to the goal of her professional life. She is encouraged by the renewed enthusiasm and movement to nature regeneration and is determined to focus her energies, both professionally and personally, in effecting change for the better.   Working with the brilliant OART team is enlightening and inspiring.

Our Board of Trustees

OART Vice Chairman Sam St.Pierre

John “Sam” St Pierre

Position: Chair

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 Chair. He is also Water Resources Officer for the Sussex Branch of the Salmon & Trout Association. 

Robin Akers - OART Vice Chairman

Robin Akers

Position: Vice Chair

Robin has been a Trustee of OART for fifteen years. He ran the OART Task Force for nearly ten. He is currently OART Vice Chair and an award winning life-saver.

Philip Evans - OART Trustee

Philip Evans

Position: Trustee

Philip is currently a Director at Savills, a multi-disciplinary international estates and planning 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, deer manager and supports various local and international wildlife groups.

OART Trustee Simon Turner

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 young. Simon provides IT and business services for OART. He is an active member of the task force and also served as OART Pollution Officer. Much of his leisure time is spent managing his land in Barcombe for native wildlife and biodiversity.

Ruth Wallis. OART Trustee

Ruth Wallis

Position: Trustee

​Ruth was brought up on the Norfolk Broads. Her family farmed around Barton Broad, a Ramsar site. She gained a First Class Honours Degree (BSc) in Rural Enterprise and Land Management from Harper Adams Agricultural College and subsequently managed Estates in Somerset and Suffolk, becoming involved in farmer based projects to create groups to deal with water resource management.  

Ruth is now Estate Manager for the Newick and Sutton Hall Estates. The Estate has three dairy herds and eight miles of the River Ouse running through it, including the Longford Stream. The Estate is sensitive to the environmental impact of farming and cognisant of the pressures farmers face trying to deal with caring for the environment. The Estate has worked with OART on a number of projects to improve the river and the Longford Stream.  Ruth has a love of rivers, the sea and the environment supporting them.  

OART Trustee Dr James Ebdon

Dr James Ebdon

Position: Trustee

Dr James Ebdon is a Professor of 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.

Rod Yuill - OART Trustee

Roderick Yuill

Position: Trustee

Roderick is a retired Dental Surgeon and was introduced to Game fishing by “Sam” St Pierre over twenty years ago, since when he has been a keen angler, developing an interest in the maintenance and quality of our lakes and rivers. Rod joined the Salmon & Trout Association (now called “Wildfish”) and was Chairman of the Sussex Branch for the last 13 years. Rod was also Chairman of the Cinder Hill Fly Fishing Syndicate for a similar length of time. Rod has been a member of OART for over 10 years.

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 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.