Meet the Team

Matthew Wind-Team Leader

The Watchtree Wheelers

Matt has been heavily involved in bikes since he was 3 years old. He is a trained Cytec bike mechanic and for many years working with young people in an outdoor adventure environment on land and water. Matt most importantly encourages health and well being through his passion…bikes and strives to make sure that with his strong team of volunteers cycling at watchtree is accessible to everyone in a completely unbiased environment.

Sarah Gibson-Team Leader

Watchtree Cafe

Becki Stott

Watchtree Cafe Assistant

Becki has worked in various roles within catering over the last twenty years. She worked for several years as a baker so is now using her skills to create lots of homemade cakes in our kitchen.  Becki has 5 children so is also a frequent visitor to the reserve.

David Hall-Team Leader

Estates and Habitats

David has a keen interest in wildlife and the environment. He was a Police Wildlife Crime Officer for many years and has also worked as an Environment Officer and a Fisheries Officer with the Environment Agency. He has many years of experience in this field. His expertise will be fundamental in the maintenance and upkeep of Watchtree and the health and safety of all our volunteers. 

Caroline Salkled-Team Leader


Caroline Trained at Lancaster University to be a Primary School teacher. She has over 12 years of experience in primary schools in Cumbria and has helped lead our kid’s club holiday sessions for the last two years. Watchtree won £50,000 in the Peoples Projects funding competition in 2019 to improve our educational facilities and fund an education officer at Watchtree, now thanks to this fund Caroline is creating a fantastic educational experience for schools and groups who are passionate about the great outdoors.

Senga Grave Team Leader

Social Media and Marketing

Senga graduated in 2009 from Manchester Metropolitan University after studying Contemporary Art specialising in film and photography. She has been with Watchtree since 2012 originally as a volunteer covering various roles. As of 2019, she became our team leader for social media and marketing. Senga encourages going out into the great outdoors, seeing wildlife and nature in a safe environment and improve their health and wellbeing through an array of sport and nature events that we put on throughout the year.

Ryan Dobson

Watchtree Nature Reserve Manager

Ryan Dobson – Nature Reserve Manager

Ryan started at Watchtree in 2009 and took on the responsibility of the Watchtree Wheelers. Since then the project has developed considerably.

Before joining the Team at Watchtree Ryan worked in management positions for various hotels in the Lake District. He has lived in Cumbria all of his life apart from a stint in Lancashire where he studied for his Foundation Degree in Animal Welfare and Behaviour.

Outside of work Ryan enjoys mountain biking, rugby and most importantly walking and training Ralph.

Frank Mawby – Director (Volunteer)

Retired. Formerly a National Nature Reserve Manager. Naturalist, Self-employed Wildlife Consultant, Main interests Habitat Management, Birds and experienced Bird Ringer, but keen interest in any aspect of wildlife, species and habitat management.

Bob Bushby – Director (Volunteer)

Bob has lived in the local area all his life and became involved with reserve through the Watchtree liaison committee, set up during the 2001 Foot and Mouth disease outbreak. As a Volunteer Director he has continued to be involved with the development, running and management of the site.


Patricia Macdonald – Director (Volunteer)

Patricia has been involved with the site since 2002; she was Chairman of the Local community group who secured the future of the site as a nature reserve and was an Aikton Parish Councillor. Since that time she has remained involved with the running and management of the site as a Director and as a volunteer.

William Little – Director (Volunteer)

A retired local farmer. William became involved with Watchtree Nature Reserve through the Watchtree local liaison committee as Chairman of Great Orton Parish Council during Foot and Mouth.

Brian Bowe – Director (Volunteer)

Farmer at Wiggonby who became involved in Watchtree through the local liaison committee.

Clive Tinker – Director and Treasurer (Volunteer)

Often spends time fixing the Lakeland fells through the ‘fix the fells’ project. Clive is a retired pension’s adviser with Pirelli based in Derby.

Robert Timmins – Director (Volunteer)

Although not a native Cumbrian I have been associated with the site since 1975. In 2001 when the site was a Foot and mouth Mass burial site I was the Defra site manager so know a lot about how the site was managed during that period.

Richard Speirs – Director (Volunteer)

Richard has lived in the local area for over 30 years and was involved with the establishment of the Foot and Mouth burials at Watchtree in 2001 through his work with the local authorities.