Following 12 years of service in the Marine Branch of the Royal Air Force, John Duncan spent a very happy three months at Bicton Agricultural College under a job resettlement scheme for personnel leaving the armed forces.
Reality and the price of farmland at the time meant that he then joined the marine geophysical industry working in all parts of the globe searching for offshore oil and gas.
This experience led John to set up Westland GeoProjects Limited in Bude in 1990. The WGP Group of companies moved to Kilkhampton in in 2008. Since selling one of the major parts of the WGP operation to a company based in Wiltshire, John has had more time to concentrate upon his interests in agriculture, the environment and wildlife conservation.
Westland Barton Limited is now the company that runs the specialised rare-breed farming operation while Westland Countryside Stewards, the charity that John established in 2011, is very active in a number of wildlife conservation and species reintroduction projects.
Having officially “retired”, John now has very little spare time and is out and about his parcels of land tending to the many tasks that the day-to-day agricultural and wildlife projects demand. When the time does allow, John enjoys walking, cycling, photography and beekeeping.
Dennis needs no introduction, if you live in Kilkhampton you probably know him. Usually found with a spade in his hand, he’s been instrumental in the hard landscaping and progress of all our projects.
In addition to John, he’s also a bee-keeper. With a number of hives both John and Dennis collectively seek to improve their numbers and thus help with the pollination and ecosystem we all rely upon for our daily food.
Neil has a varied background, having been a keen volunteer with the Princes Trust, and a long-term civil servant. Now though he’s building up his own hypnotherapy business in Bude.
He has been a trustee for the charity from its inception. Playing a pivotal role, he ensured the Bude water vole re-introduction project was properly funded and managed.
Kelly has lived most of her life in North Cornwall. By becoming a Trustee she is fulfilling her ambitions in learning and being actively involved in local conservation projects. As a mother to two young children, she understands the importance of protecting and supporting our local habitats for future generations to both enjoy and learn from.
With over 10 years of experience with horses, Kelly is currently involved with rehoming ponies onto the Kilkhampton commons.
Core Team Members
Teagen Hill – Wildlife and Conservation Officer
Teagen is a keen environmentalist, who completed a National Diploma in Countryside Management, followed by a Foundation Degree of Science in Rural Environmental Management and a Bachelor Degree of Science in Rural Business Management. During this course, Teagen has obtained a large amount of knowledge on the importance of environmental conservation, wildlife and the practical skills associated with countryside management. Teagen has been working as a wildlife and conservation officer for the past three years, being employed immediately after completing her degree. She has overseen the first stages of the Bude water vole project and continues to work on the water vole surveys, mink management and educational activities alongside day to day management.
Emma Cox – Administrator
Emma has nearly twenty years’ experience in office administration, throughout a wide range of industries such as agriculture, and construction. Predominantly her background is in the energy industry and her responsibilities include financial management, marketing, procurement, project management and for multi-million dollar business contracts. She has a keen interest in the natural environment and combines it with her photography, walks and creative writing.