The Board

Meet The Board

The board are responsible for making key financial decisions and prioritising the direction in which the River Nene Regional Park goes in terms of its future delivery. 

Sharn Matthews - Chair

Formerly a museum curator and  Director at East Northamptonshire Council, The river Nene has flowed through Sharn's life for fifty years from attending school on its banks in Wisbech to more recent lockdown walks. Sharn has learnt so much about the history and ecology of the Nene Valley over this period.  As Chair of RNRP, her mission to help current and future generations make it part of their lives

Nicholas Hammond

Having worked for both the RSPB and the Wildlife Trusts, Nicholas Hammond has been able to continue his boyhood passions for wildlife and art in a career that included being editor of Birds, head of publications and director of communications with the RSPB before becoming director of the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, where he was involved in getting the Great Fen Project underway. Subsequently he worked as a consultant with Wildlife Trusts in Wales and Birmingham & the Black Country. He has written more than 15 books and has travelled widely. Nick Hammond was one of the original members of the RNRP Board having joined in 2007 and Chair since 2016.

Simon Toseland


Simon started his commercial property career with commercial property consultants Wilson & Partners in 1986. He stayed with the company through its evolution into Connell Wilson, working in London Docklands between 1991 and 1993 and then later (as a Director) heading up the North Northamptonshire region for Lambert Smith Hampton. He joined Underwoods as a Partner in 1998 subsequently founding Prop-search in 2008.


Simon has Chaired the Wellingborough Town Centre Partnership for a number of years and was instrumental in establishing the Wellingborough Town Centre BID. He is a Director and former President of  Wellingborough & East Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce, a Board Director of River Nene Regional Park CiC and an Envoy for SEMLEP. 

Simon specialises in advising on commercial property development, renewable energy solutions, investment and agency.

Ben Smith

Private Sector

Ben Smith is a Chartered Landscape Architect and a Fellow of the Landscape Institute. He is currently Mayor of Brightlingsea in Essex. He is also an Associate of the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE). Previously he was an IDeA/LGA Peer Member and Peer Mentor and has undertaken consultancy work at a number of councils in England and Wales as well as mentoring to Environment Cabinet Members. He was a County Councillor from 1987 to 2013 at Northamptonshire County Council. During this time he was the Deputy Leader of the Council from 2005 to 2009 and Chairman of the Development Control Committee from 2009 to 2010. He was also the Deputy Chair of the Northamptonshire Police Authority from 2007 to 2012 and a member of the Environment Agency's Anglian (Northern) Flood Defence Committee for over twenty years. From 2005 to 2010 he was appointed by DEFRA as a Board Member of the West Northamptonshire Development Corporation. After training as a landscape architect Ben returned to university to obtain an MSc in Environmental Resources. He was from 1985 to 2009 principal of Benjamin Smith Design Associates, a registered practice of the Landscape Institute. He has over thirty years experience in landscape planning and environment. In 2002 he attended the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg and was the only councillor on the official UK delegation.

Cllr Clive Hallam

Borough Council of Wellingborough

After 11 years in Local Government finance Clive took great interest in the introduction of personal computers in business and went on to spend the next 30+ years in IT, much of it at Hewlett Packard. He was an early member of HP’s move into Network infrastructure which went on to become the No.2 vendor worldwide in this market. A great deal of Clive’s work has been public sector based, developing partners as well as managing larger accounts, especially in Local Government and Healthcare. In addition to this he has an interest in boating and can be seen on his cruiser “ Merlot” on the Nene or out to sea off the Norfolk coast and is a member of FOTRN so can give a boaters view of the Nene Valley and the work we do at RNRP. Clive is also a Councillor on The Borough Council of Wellingborough and as well as looking after his rural Ward in the North of the Borough has a focus on the development of the Nene Valley and was appointed BCW’s representative on the board of RNRP in 2017

Oliver Burke

Head of Operations, Nene Park Trust

Oliver Burke is Head of Operations at Nene Park Trust, responsible for the day to day management of Nene Park, one of the most visited country parks in the country.  Oliver joined the Board of River Nene Regional Park in 2013 while still working at the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire as Director of Living Landscapes, responsible for the management of over 120 nature reserves and nine Living Landscape projects including the Great Fen.  Oliver is also chair of the Nene Valley Nature Improvement Area, having been part of the successful partnership behind achieving one of the first 15 Nature Improvement Areas awarded nationally by central government.  He sits on the Local Nature Partnerships for Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire.  Oliver studied Marine Biology at the University of Liverpool and went on to do research on coral ecology with the Australian Institute of Marine Science and James Cook University. Oliver has worked in the conservation, sustainability and environmental education sectors for over 20 years both within charities and public bodies. He is passionate about grassroots nature conservation and peoples connectedness with the natural environment. 

Debbie Skinner

Private Sector

Debbie has lived with husband John, a farmer in Grendon for 36 years; they have three sons. The youngest of five girls, Debbie was born in Sharnbrook and brought up in Rushden, her parents John and Mary Wills created Skew Bridge Ski Club, now known as Rushden Lakes, where Debbie lived until it was sold in the early 1970’s. 

Debbie’s working life has been within the Journalism and PR industry both in London and in Northamptonshire.  Most recently, John and Debbie opened 141 berth White Mills Marina on the River Nene at Earls Barton which opened on 1st April, 2016.  The marina can accommodate narrowboats, widebeams and cruisers and is also the home of the increasingly popular boathouse café which opened for business in December 2017.  Hobbies include gardening, walking the dogs, photography, eating out,  theatre, socialising, and upcycling.

Cllr Glenvil Greenwood-Smith

East Northamptonshire Council

*Awaiting Info*

Marian Cameron

Environmental Consultant

Marian is a self-employed environmental consultant, specialising in environmental impact assessment project management, with over 16 years of environmental consultancy experience in both the public and private sectors, having worked on major road and rail schemes, urban regeneration, mixed use development, retail, oil, gas, energy from waste and wind energy schemes within the UK.  Her work over the last 10 years has led her to becoming knowledgeable on environmental issues and enthusiastic about creating enhancements to the Nene Valley particularly north of Rushden.  In her spare time Marian is also a trustee of Lindfield Arts Festival and an education volunteer for the Sussex Wildlife Trust.

Mark Felton

After university Mark worked overseas for the UK Aid programme in rural development including work on sugar cane and banana farming in the Caribbean and on the benefits of veterinary programmes aimed at nomadic cattle keeping in Nigeria and the Yemen.  This period concluded with work at Edinburgh University in the Centre for Tropical Veterinary Medicine teaching economics and statistics to post-graduate vets as well as working on short contracts for the Government including on the development of agriculture in the Falkland Islands and of the beef sector in Vanuatu.

 Mark has worked for the Nature Conservancy Council based in Peterborough, initially as their first economist and the leading the work on integrating environmental issues into agriculture and forestry.  This included chairing a partnership of similar organisations across Europe to pool resources for research to support changes in European policies for agriculture and the environment.  My final role was leading the monitoring and development of the agri-environment schemes in England including special programmes such as Catchment Sensitive Farming.

 Since retiring Mark was the Chair of Buglife for six years as well as following a range of interests locally.

Kathryn Hardcastle

Edwina Turner
RNRP Company Secretary, Anthony Collins LLP.

 Denise Horn


River Nene Regional Park


June 21 2022

Nenescape launches new mooring on River Nene

A new £300k mooring was officially opened at The Chester House Estate at Irchester, near Wellingborough on Friday 10th June by the Nenescape Landscape Partnership.

February 23 2022

NOTICE: We are Moving!

RNRP is moving offices this week and, until further notice, all enquiries will be via email to 
We will not have access to voicemail on the landlines, but staff will still be contactable via their mobile phones.