Meet the team
Our Visitor Centre is run in partnership with the Parks Foundation and volunteers
The North Bournemouth Reserves are managed by an enthusiastic team of rangers and their volunteers. They carry out various tasks to maintain and enrich the important habitats on these sites for both wildlife and visitors alike.
Tom Bennett (Senior Ranger)
Tom has a Diploma in Forestry and a National Diploma in Countryside Management, he is also an NVQ assessor in Environmental Conservation and has worked within the industry for the last 15 years.
He started working for Bournemouth Borough Council at Stour Valley Local Nature Reserve in August 2014, where he manages the North Countryside Team. He loves the outside and enjoys playing football and cricket in his spare time.
Yanina Stockings (Heathland Mitigation Ranger)
Nina has a BSc in Conservation Biology focusing on heathland conservation. She grew up in the Highlands of Scotland where her love of the outdoors and nature developed. Nina spent 5 years working for the Urban Heath Partnership (UHP), firstly as an Education Assistant then as a Conservation Grazing and Heathland Mitigation Ranger. Nina started in September 2014 with Bournemouth Borough Council and her role involves projects to reduce human and dog impact on SSSI areas. Nina has headed several of these projects at the Stour and SSSI sites such as the perennial wildflower area, new heathland interpretation boards, reptile monitoring and re-vamping the Gulliver’s Trail.
Her interests include gardening, bonsai, modern classic cars and hiking.
James Boyland (Ranger)
James has been part of the team at Stour Valley for several years, years beginning his career with Bournemouth Borough Council as a greenkeeper at the age of 17 in 1998 and gradually worked up to his current role as Ranger.
Alongside the day to day running of the different nature reserves, his main responsibilities are the induction and management of the fantastic teams of volunteers, organisation of cattle on our various sites and taking a leading role when Tom, our Senior Ranger, is not around. When not working, James enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 young children as well as taking an active role in his local church and playing sport when he finds the time!
Melissa Howell (Assistant Ranger)
Mel joned us from our sister site, Hengistbury Head, in 2019 where she volunteerd and worked for 8 years. Mel has a BSc (Hons) in Ecology and Wildlife Conservation. Alongside running our practical volunteer groups and managing the North Bournemouth reserves, Mel also heads up the student placement scheme. She has a keen interest in dragonflies and damselflies and in her spare time loves to BMX.
Becky King (Heathland Mitigation Ranger)
Becky holds a BSc Applied Geography and MSc Biodiversity Conservation. She began as a volunteer in October 2013 and undertook our traineeship in 2016. Becky is now a Ranger working with the team to help manage the nature reserves across Bournemouth, run events at the visitor centre and work on projects to reduce the impacts on our heathlands. She has a vast interest in the biodiversity and ecology of Heathland wildlife, along with a keen love of butterflies and orchids within our sites.
Steve Charnley (Assistant Heathland Mitigation Ranger)
Steve has always had a keen interest in nature & especially the Stour Valley having lived in the area for 25 years. Steve started volunteering at the Kingfisher Barn visitor centre in 2016. Having previously worked in office management for many years he decided to change direction when he was given the opportunity to work as a Trainee Ranger in 2017. He is now employed as a Ranger and enjoys working alongside his colleagues and our teams of amazing volunteers in maintaining and improving the Stour Valley and our other North Bournemouth nature reserves.
Steve is a keen countryside rambler, walking every day and especially enjoys long weekend hikes with country pub pitstops en-route!
Lisa Clayton (Assistant Heathland Mitigation Ranger)
Lisa has a BSc (Hons) in Ecology which focussed on survey work and conservation. She taught A level Biology for 12 years, where she specialised in teaching Environmental Biology and led many residential fieldtrips for her students to the Purbecks. She started at Kingfisher barn in 2018 where she runs the Nature Tots sessions. Her hobbies include yoga, running and gardening.