Meet the team

Here are some of the people who work at Bore Place.  We also have great support from teams of tutors and volunteers. In total the voluntary and paid working community comprises approximately 90 people.

Abbi Caliandro

Education and Community Director & Designated Safeguarding Lead

I joined Bore Place in November 2021 to take on the new Education and Community Director role. 

Previously I have worked for Hadlow College for over 12 years, most recently as the Group Head of Faculty role working with local schools and other organisations to plan, establish and deliver inclusive and supportive programmes to the local community.  Alongside this I managed the SEN provision across West Kent and Hadlow colleges, the NEET (not in education and employment) learners and the adult social care provision at Princess Christian Farm. 

There is nothing I enjoy more than working as part of a team watching young people learn and gain new skills in an alternative environment to that of the classroom.  I am driven by making a difference to those that face challenges on a daily basis and supporting them in reaching their full potential, I believe that ‘not all classrooms have walls’ and ‘you have to inspire young people to educate them’. 

As a family we are passionate about lessening our impact on the environment and we do this by running our house on renewable energy, growing our own fruit and vegetables at our allotment and buying any other consumables from local farms and farm shops. 

Alison Boyce

Outdoor Learning Tutor

I have been so lucky to spend the last 20 years mixing my passion for our environment with my work roles. Since working in environmental education at the start of my career, I have now come full circle by joining the amazing team at Bore Place. 

With fantastic experiences along the way including managing habitats with volunteers as a countryside ranger, teaching land-based courses as an FE tutor and leading Forest School sessions, young people have always been at the centre. I love learning from them and having my views challenged.

At home you will often find me out of an evening with a bat detector or covered in mud from some new gardening project! 

Ana Roxburgh

Events and Wedding Coordinator

I live locally and have been coordinating events for the parish churches of Hever, Mark Beech and Four Elms including weddings, funerals, baptisms, as well as commercial events such as team buildings, meetings, seminars, and charity events such as treks for Sense International, the Hever Christmas Fair at Hever Castle and the Barn Dance in Hever.

I also bring with me extensive sales and marketing experience and I am looking forward to helping grow the corporate/other nonprofit visitors to Bore Place, as well as helping with our local profile.

I am a trained forest school leader, and enjoy sailing, foraging and swimming.

Anna Bullen

Chief Executive

I joined Bore Place in 2024 to lead the organisation through its next stage of fulfilling its mission to enhance the planet in all that we do and to inspire people to live sustainable, happy and fulfilling lives.

I am a values-based leader with extensive experience in the sustainability arena and have a strong track record of leading organisations to create systemic change and address the climate and nature crisis in a regenerative and fair manner, whilst raising awareness and affecting behaviour change within and beyond those organisations.

A strong commitment to a sustainable future for people and planet has been an integral part of my life, both personally and professionally, since my younger years, when I first learned of the environmental crisis. Through my degree in Environmental Management and Sustainable Development, Masters in Space, Place and Politics, and PhD in Sustainable Citizenship, I developed a good understanding of environmental processes and issues, before going on to explore the relationship between people and planet in more depth.

Since then, I have worked in a variety of settings, including private, public and third sector, but always with a mission to address the climate and nature crisis in innovative, transformational and systemic ways. I have worked with a wide range of organisations including government bodies, local authorities, businesses, land managers, NGOs and community groups across the UK, Europe and even as far afield as Mongolia (travelling by train of course!).

I am now using my cumulative knowledge, experience and skills to lead Bore Place through these challenging times and inspire the next generation of Earth’s citizens to create a healthy, happy and sustainable future for all.

Becky Baldock

Community and Education Programmes Manager

Becky is our Community and Education Programmes Manager, and has been working at Bore Place since 2012. She arranges school visits and coordinates our programme of community events, including walks, talks, courses and family days, all designed to inspire people to engage with nature, food, and farming. Becky studied psychology at university and is interested in human behaviour. She works on our evaluation measurement to help us understand the impact of our work. 

Becky Harris

Sessional SEND Tutor

Becky is an experienced special needs teacher. She supports our programmes for young people with SEN, which provide a fun and safe environment for young people with addtional needs to explore the farm and develop a love of the natural world, whislt increasing social interaction and independence.

Ben Lucas

Facilities, Grounds and Health & Safety Manager

Caroll Long

SEN Tutor

Previously I was at Communigrow in East Malling working in the education team supporting SEN and home educated students and leading the outreach project in schools and community venues. Specialising in Horticulture, especially food growing, conservation and nature, I enjoyed building habitats at the Communigrow field.

My background includes 10 years as the horticulture trainer for the London Borough of Bromley adult learning disability service followed by a secondment to LBB parks and greenspaces to deliver support to community groups, from sports and recreation, Friends and volunteers groups and setting up wellbeing projects in allotments and schools.

For a period of 3 years during this time I owned and ran my own café, which I loved and has given me the skills to follow a ‘fork to fork’ lifestyle to pass on to my students.  Enabling people of all different ages, ability and backgrounds to achieve new skills and to inspire people to include growing and eating their own food is a massive buzz for me.  My mantra is “everyone can achieve everything; we just need to give them the right amount of support”.

Spare time sees me and my partner in our shed upcycling and repurposing furniture and vintage tat. I hate waste and see a purpose in everything, and I look forward to bringing these skills to Bore Place.

Catharine Smith

Sessional SEND Tutor

I joined Bore Place in September 2019. I trained firstly as a Conductor (specialist in Conductive Education) and secondly a specialist teacher for children with SEN, and I’ve worked across a range of school settings including the charity and public sectors. I also recently worked for a year in a refugee camp in Greece where I ran a school that was based in the camp, and this experience has been invaluable to me both professionally and personally.

I have a strong belief that everyone has the ability to learn and progress, given the correct amount of support and time to embed skills and experiences. I am a devoted professional and strive to ensure that all learning is purposeful and that all young people have opportunities to share their opinions. I firmly believe that education is about the whole personality, not just academic activities. My aim within a session is that every young person feels valued, respected and secure, and then the activities become a source of happiness and learning.

I have a keen eye for identifying areas that can be improved for wheelchair users especially, with regard to access and opportunities for them to be as independent as possible. I also have a lot of experience working with young people who are non-verbal, and I try to ensure that communication can be two way, that their voices are heard, and they can independently share ideas with the group through a range of alternative communication pathways such as Makaton/signing, symbols or high-tech communication devices. 

Being brought up in the gorgeous Kent countryside as part of a farming family, I have a strong passion for nature and getting young people outside and engaging with the most beautifully sensory environment. It is key for future generations that we educate young people about reducing the impact we have on our natural world and helping them access interests in the natural world.

Charlotte Hillier

Housekeeper

My role is to help host our guests to ensure they have an enjoyable, comfortable stay. We endevour to use environmentally friendly products and natural alternatives to harsh chemicals to minimise our impact on the environment.

Chris Allwood

Bore Place Businesses Representative

Having been fortunate enough to spend the last 20 years developing commercial ventures for charities, I love working and being at Bore Place . Entrepreneurialism for social and environmental ends is where my heart lies. I’ve had a varied career, including being a tutor and course leader for the School for Social Entrepreneurs, setting up social enterprises for Community Links and running Product Development at the Charities Aid Foundation.

I now run Free Range Glamping, a glamping business at Bore Place, and project manage the visitor facilities programme here. I am also co-founding a start-up that enables charities to collect donations from contactless bank cards - CollecTin.com.

I’m married with two children, and love spending time outside as a family – camping, canoeing, cycling, walking, or just having a picnic. I briefly served as a trustee in 2017, before leaving the board, so that I could set-up Free Range Glamping.

Dan Burdett

Contract Dairy Farmer

I am the contract dairy farmer, working in partnership with Bore Place to build a successful dairy farm which integrates with the other enterprises on the site.

I have been an organic dairy farmer near Haywards Heath in West Sussex for the last 11 years, having previously worked in sales and marketing roles in London. My passion is to enhance the triple bottom line of dairy farming - social, environmental and financial. By working with Bore Place we can build on the work done at home, with school visits and other special interest groups, to build a picture for the our customers of where their food comes from. The bedrock of organic farming is in the soil and the biodiversity of the farm. I love to build diversity into everything we grow in order to benefit the farm ecology.

David Hawkes

Maintenance Manager

I started at Bore Place in April 1982 when Neil and Jenifer Wates, founders of the Commonwork Trust, owned the site. I was employed by them as an Assistant Farm Fitter and I worked on the research and development of the, then new, methane digester. I carried out plant growth trials and formulated the mixes for the compost range "Supernatural" which was produced at Bore Place as a bi-product from the methane digester.

From 2001 I have been responsible for maintenance of the whole site at Bore Place, including our renewable energy installations.

Fiona Abraham

Assistant Housekeeping Manager

My role is to help host our guests to ensure they have an enjoyable, comfortable stay. We endevour to use environmentally friendly products and natural alternatives to harsh chemicals to minimise our impact on the environment.

Florence Clark

Venue and Marketing Director

I joined Bore Place in 2017, initially working on marketing and varied projects. More recently, my role has evolved to also have oversight of venue revenue and delivery, as well as marketing and communications. 

Prior to joining Bore Place, I had spent most of my career working in radio, producing breakfast and drivetime shows as well as the weekly arts programme on LBC. I then moved into the commercial arm working on sponsorship and promotions for Guardian Media Group in their first in-house radio division growing the revenue significantly. I have also worked in publicity and marketing as a book publicist and in various agencies working on a range of accounts including Guinness World Records, Nature’s Path, Cawston Press and Berry Bros.  

I am married with two children. I enjoy walking, running, the outdoors and sea swimming. I am a passionate cook and foodie, committed to eating local and sustainable food.  

Heather Dickie

Farming, Nature, and People Together - Programme Manager

After working in a veterinary clinic, Heather studied Wildlife and Conservation at university and worked in ecological consultancy for 5 years. She has worked at Bore Place since November 2021 on our citizen science and nature programmes. These programmes aim to engage people with nature and to help protect, enhance, and monitor the habitats and species on site. Her role has since expanded to include working on a landscape scale with local farms and other land managers to use our experience to help in protecting wildlife and supporting sustainable and restorative land management.

Heather Hadley

Sessional Tutor

I first became involved with Bore Place in 2011 through the Education department's link with school gardens, one of which I led at the time. I joined the education team soon after, drawing on years of arts and amateur gardening experience. Beyond Bore Place, I am also a Level 3 Forest School leader, which draws together all my outdoor passions and lends itself well to the work we do here.

Jake Masters

Lead SEND Teacher & Designated Safeguarding Lead

I joined Bore Place in August 2021 as one of the SEN teachers, after working at Hadlow College (based at Princess Christians Farm) for 5 years. In my previous role as a foundation lecturer, my job was to help young people develop work and life skills in a land-based setting, whilst working with animals, plants and the great outdoors. Prior to working at Hadlow, I studied there for 5 years too, obtaining a degree in animal behavioural science and welfare.

In my current role, I work with various school groups that attend Bore Place, supporting them to access the outdoor spaces that we have here, as well as teaching them about sustainability, wildlife and anything nature related!

Jane Whittington

Citizen Science and Nature Officer

My ultimate goal is to help save the planet, so to be part of a project which helps protect, restore and create natural habitats whilst educating others is an exciting opportunity. My wildlife experience started in 2015 where I began volunteering for conservation charities such as Kent Wildlife Trust. This involved woodland management tasks alongside the Ranger and other volunteers including coppicing the woodland, cutting back bramble scrub to create openings within the woodlands and grassland management. This is where my passion and love for wildlife ignited and grew. I knew then that this is what I wanted to do; to help protect nature, restore, and rebuild habitats and in some way, help save the planet.

Jennifer Goodall

Sales and Marketing Co-ordinator

Before joining the Bore Place team in June 2021 I worked in the Horticultural sector for several years and was also a volunteer at Kent Wildlife Trust. Here at the Commonwork Trust my role is to help share the Bore Place experience with others through our venue and accommodation and to welcome all visitors and assist with enquiries.

I’m passionate about wildlife and keen to encourage everyone to engage with nature in positive ways both for their wellbeing and in order to help protect our wonderful natural environment.

Jess Wood

SEN Tutor

Before joining Bore Place in the Spring of 2023, I worked as a Science teacher. I worked in a special school, teaching a broad Science curriculum to girls with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Prior to that, I worked in inner-London schools, as Head of Department and Assistant Principal, with a focus on developing the Science curriculum to take into account the needs of our pupils.

I am passionate about the power of the outdoors to inspire and educate; the countryside is a special place to be and I am excited to teach and learn from the young people who come to Bore Place.

In my spare time, I grow cut flowers using regenerative farming methods, as I believe it is so important to put back more than we take out of our soils. I also love running, long walks with my dog and curling up with a good book (usually about gardening or nature!).

 

Jo Levett

Housekeeping Manager

John Waller

Underwoodsman

I started my working life as a voluntary conservationist for Trees for Kent, and began volunteering at Bore Place in the early 1990s.  I subsequently took over running the Green Wood Workshop here and also set up my own business in 1998.  As well as running courses at the Green Wood Workshop, I also make and sell baskets, living willow work, continuous fencing and hurdles.  I'm also a tree surgeon and am currently responsible for maintaining the woods at Bore Place. I am primarily a traditional craftsman, using the "underwood” or “coppice-wood” not only to make a living and promote the health and viability of our woodlands but to spread knowledge and enthusiasm for a traditional rural skill.

Karen Holmes

Housekeeper

Kate Oprava

Finance Director

I joined Bore Place as its Finance Director in May 2022, having trained in London as a Chartered Accountant with one of the Big Four accountancy firms, before moving to Cardiff and working in corporate finance  - helping businesses and start-ups obtain grants from the then-regional development funds. Since then, I have had a varied career, working in industry, the public sector and academia, but have chosen to specialise in working for third-sector organisations, and have worked for a number of national and regional charities. I am a passionate environmentalist and an active member and Chair of Cardiff Rivers Group, a charity that cleans up the three rivers of Cardiff and am also a Non-Executive Director of Green Squirrel CIC, a company that helps people live more sustainably.

Luke Williamson

Farm Manager

I started my farming career at the age of 11 working for a local dairy farm weekends and holidays, from there I went to Plumpton College and spent 3 years on a national diploma course, part of this was a year working so I spent 6 months in the UK and 7 months in Australia. 

After finishing college I spent 5 years on an organic dairy farm in Petworth as a herdsman learning all aspects of organic farming. 

The travel bug was calling again and I went out to New Zealand for a year working on various farms all around the country. 

After returning I was really keen to work on an organic farm again and got a job working with Dan Burdett on his farm in Haywards Heath, I spent 6 years there progressing to herd manager. From there Dan gave me the opportunity to manage Bore Place which I have been doing since January 2020. 

I am really keen on farming in a sustainable way which is good for the animals, environment and business. I love the challenges that organic farming brings and I look forward to achieving all the goals that we have set over the coming years.

Lynne Flower

Bough Beech Volunteer Task Leader

I first joined at Bore Place in 1997 to work, part-time, with the Education Team, to share my experience in outdoor natural history teaching with primary and secondary students. I have always been passionate about wildlife, and have worked for Kent Wildlife Trust in outdoor education, and at other Field Centres.  I have also been involved, for over 30 years, as a volunteer helping to manage wildlife habitats, and leading conservation tasks. I am a licensed 'bat advisor', involved in amphibian monitoring, and with husband Peter, involved in a project to monitor and help barn owls.

Metske van der Laan

Organic Market Gardener

I joined the Bore Place team in November 2017 as the Organic Market Gardener. I have been working in the world of organic vegetables all my life. I started by cooking with veg in a vegan restaurant and later moved onto becoming a market trader in organic fruit and veg in the Netherlands for 10 years. By doing courses and placements I acquired the skills to grow and I found work in the south of England as head grower for 2 seasons. In 2005 I rented a farm near Hastings and I have been growing organic vegetables since then. Bore Place has offered me the opportunity to mould the Market Garden into a commercially viable business that also offers young adults facing challenges a place to grow and learn.

Michelle Kingston

Laundry Assistant

Michelle is a member of the housekeeping team, using eco products to launder our linens and towels.

Natalie Harris

Chef

I have been a chef for 15 years, having started my career working in local pubs and hotels. I am self-taught with a passion for eating and cooking for other people and a solid commitment to sustainability and local produce. I am really excited to be part of the Bore Place team, working with neighbouring farms and producers to ensure the menu at Bore Place is seasonal and reflects Kent.

I also run an event company hosting supper clubs and pop-up events called The Dinner Table. 

Neil Barry

Caretaker

I was a teacher of Geography and SEN who moved on to work for three decades in international humanitarian response to natural disasters and armed conflict for the Red Cross, UN and British Government teams. I have seen first-hand, the devastating impact that climate change inflicts on people’s lives and the conflicts that it drives. I was awarded the O.B.E. for “Services to Humanitarian Aid” in 2009.

All my working life, I have taught, mentored and encouraged young people to work to prevent and mitigate the effects of climate change, environmental destruction, conflict and famine. My new role at Bore Place provides the immense privilege to help take care of this beautiful site and to support the inspiring work of my colleagues

I lively locally, I am married, and we have two grown up daughters. In my spare time, I have many and varied interests; from walking and canoeing through to building my own car from reused and recycled parts.

Niki Campbell

Art Tutor

I am the new Arts Award tutor and I am excited to work here at Bore place with students in a fantastic, inspiring environment to achieve their Arts Award. I hope to facilitate their journey into working as an artist and explore using recycled materials and working sustainably to produce some interesting, thoughtful and beautiful artworks for their Arts Award.  

I am a multimedia artist that loves experimenting with materials and different processes. Photography is always at the base of documenting, as is drawing and observing my surroundings. My current practice is painting landscapes. I love to walk and cycle in the local surrounding areas to gain inspiration.

For the past decade, I have been teaching Art and Design at local colleges and secondary schools, that have been SEND-specific. I have worked with a wide range of students that at times have found it difficult to access education. I found the time spent working at West Kent College and Broomhill Bank School valuable experiences, as this enabled me to gain a greater understanding of the difficulties and hurdles that a student can experience and how to better engage students individually and to differentiate their learning experiences.     

Pete Flower

Bough Beech Volunteer Task Leader

I am a Volunteer Task Leader at Bough Beech along with my wife, Lynne. 

Ryan Nalder

Herdsperson

Sophie Davis

Accounts Administrator

I joined Bore Place in 2022 as the Accounts AdministratorBefore joining Bore Place I worked as a bookkeeper for an online coaching company whilst studying for my AAT bookkeeping certificates. Outside of work, I am married with three children and enjoy practising yoga, family walks and camping in the local Kent countryside.  

Wendy Stevenson

Executive Assistant

I studied German and Italian at Leeds Metropolitan University, and spent my early working life in London, Frankfurt and New York in the financial services sector. After starting a family, I then worked for the education training division of a local authority, which is where my passion for learning, and the difference it can make to children, came alive. 

With experience in a variety of industries, I have always enjoyed seeing the positive impact of education on young lives and I’m now delighted to have joined Bore Place to support the team in making the Strategic Plan a reality. 

When I’m not working, I’m a big fan of the outdoors and love to spend time walking in the countryside with my Labradoodle.  

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