NHSN is grateful to our Trustees, who share their time and considerable expertise to oversee the strategic direction of NHSN.

Jonathan Hewitt


As Chair of NHSN, Jonathan chairs and facilitates Council meetings. He is also a member of the General Purposes Committee, the Investment Committee and Gosforth Nature Reserve Management Committee. He brings experience and expertise as a former solicitor and his interests include general natural history, botany and ornithology.

Brian Kram


Brian is Treasurer, who leads on overseeing financial matters of NHSN. He is also a member of the General Purposes Committee. Brian is a qualified accountant with designations of ACMA CGMA. Spending his time equally between finance, IT and project implementations, he is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems Manager for a manufacturing company. His interests include general natural history and ornithology.

Dr Gordon Port


Gordon is a trustee and Vice-chair. Gordon is also NHSN’s invertebrate section coordinator, leading popular invertebrate events and bringing expertise to reserve Open Days. Gordon also plays an active role in supporting NHSN’s citizen science scheme, the North East Bee Hunt, and is a contributing author of Bumblebees of North East England. His interests include general natural history and entomology, with a specialist interest in Hemiptera. Gordon is a lecturer at Newcastle University and is Honorary Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society.

Chris Metherell

Chris is a trustee and member of NHSN’s botany section. Chris is a former lighting designer in professional theatre and retired solicitor. His interests include general natural history with a specialist interest in botany. Chris is a former President of the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI) and since 2006, has held the role of vice-county recorder for North Northumberland. He also leads local botany walks and is author of BSBI’s Handbook Eyebrights of Britain and Ireland.

Dr Chris Redfern

Chris is a trustee and past Chair of NHSN. He leads the NHSN Bird Ringing Group and is a member of the Gosforth Nature Reserve Management Committee. Chris is also lead editor of NHSN’s Northumbrian Naturalist and a former editor of the British Trust for Ornithology’s (BTO) journal Ringing & Migration. Chris’ interests include ornithology, bird-ringing and ornithological data analysis, and represents NHSN on the Coquet Island Advisory Committee. He also is an academic in molecular and cellular biology at Newcastle University.

Cain Scrimgeour

Cain brings experience and expertise from a variety of roles including media production, business management, eco-tourism and academia. He is Media Director and Expedition Leader of Wild Intrigue, an eco-tourism social enterprise with an aim to inspire, educate and rewild everyone. He lectures at University of Cumbria as part of the BA (Hons) Wildlife Media team, developing and delivering media- and wildlife-based modules. Cain is a naturalist and is passionate about sharing the wonders of the natural world through events, media and teaching.

Dr Janet Simkin

Janet is a trustee and member of the General Purposes Committee. Janet represents NHSN on the Environmental Records Information Centre (ERIC) North East board. Janet’s interests include botany, lichens and biological recording. She a Committee member of the NHSN botany section and teaches NHSN’s popular botany classes. A former president of the British Lichen Society, she continues as a trustee, recorder and webmaster. She currently teaches plant ecology and identification at Newcastle University and has held roles as an Ecological Consultant for regional and national projects.

Derek Teasdale

Derek is a trustee, NHSN’s Earth Sciences section coordinator and teaches our popular Earth Sciences course. A Committee member of the North East Geological Society, Derek is a naturalist with specialist interests in geology and landscape history. His professional experience also includes leading excursions, Research Associate at Durham University, as well as specialist IT roles.

Dr Annie Tindley

An academic at Newcastle University, Annie is Head of the School of History, Classics and Archaeology and Professor of British and Irish Rural History. She is experienced in leadership and strategic direction, including consortium directorship of the AHRC Northern Bridge Consortium. She is also Honorary Advisor on land management plans for National Trust Scotland and runs archival and publication masterclasses for the Scottish History Society. Using the NHSN Library and Archive, Annie has carried out research on John Hancock and his taxidermy.

Michael Turner

Michael is a trustee, a member of the Library Committee and a library volunteer. He is also a Director of the Tyne and Wear Heritage Forum and a former Chairman of Friends of Saltwell Park. A passionate local ornithologist with an interest in the history of natural history, he produced the paper in the Northumbrian Naturalist titled ‘Thomas Robson – The Forgotten Bird Man’ and leads guided bird walks for local organisations, groups and the community.

Dr Rinke Vinkenoog

Rinke works at Northumbria University as the Programme Leader for MSc Biotechnology. Rinke is a STEM ambassador and active in public outreach, working with schools, societies and groups to encourage outdoor learning and engage with natural history. Over the years, he has presented his research at NHSN’s talks, supported NHSN’s public outreach work and is a contributing author of Bumblebees of North East England.

More information

Meet our Trustees ›
Founded in 1829 by a small group of passionate, North East naturalists, NHSN has a rich history dating back over…
Meet our Trustees ›
NHSN is a voluntary organisation run by its membership. With your support, volunteers make a difference for nature, from the…