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Meet our charity Patrons and Ambassadors

Our Patrons and Ambassadors serve as positive role models through their work and represent the Trust through a number of initiatives to support the UK’s bumblebees.

A group of Buff-tailed bumblebee males huddled together asleep on a flower.
Head shot of patron Olly Smith

Olly Smith – Patron

Olly Smith is a multi award-winning broadcaster & wine expert, TV personality, author and columnist. He is the weekly drinks columnist for The Mail on Sunday, regular drinks expert on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen, presenter on BBC Radio 2 and host of his own drinks podcast ‘A Glass With’ featuring a dazzling array of celebrity guests.

A keen beekeeper himself, Olly is honoured to be a patron of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.
“While beekeeping I’ve made friends with a fair number of honeybees over the years. I’m now thrilled to be getting to know our bumblebees better and look forward to sharing my adventures with the Trust. I warmly invite you to join in.”

Head shot of patron Kate Bradbury

Kate Bradbury – Patron

Kate Bradbury is an award-winning author and journalist, specialising in wildlife gardening. She edits the wildlife pages of ‘Gardeners World Magazine’ and regularly writes articles for the ‘Daily and Sunday Telegraph’, ‘The Guardian’, ‘RHS magazine The Garden’ and ‘BBC Wildlife’ and ‘BBC Countryfile’ magazines.

Kate is passionate about organic, wildlife-friendly gardening and has released several fantastic books. Kate is delighted to be a patron of the Trust. In her own words ‘it’s a dream come true!’.

Head shot of patron Lolo Williams

Iolo Williams – Patron

Iolo Williams is a Welsh naturalist, broadcaster, public speaker and writer who’s worked in conservation for over 30 years and is most widely known as a popular member of the Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Winterwatch presenting team.

As someone who is utterly dedicated to conservation, Iolo has used his knowledge and experience to address the Welsh Assembly and is patron of several Welsh conservation organisations.

 

Head shot of patron Jasmine Qureshi

Jasmine Qureshi – Patron

Jasmine Qureshi is a Wildlife Film-Maker, Writer, Freelance Journalist, Photographer, Artist, Podcast-host, and Activist. Jasmine has a passion for wildlife and conservation and speaking about issues such as diversity and politics.

“For as long as I can remember, I have always had a passion for storytelling and writing; I believe it’s the most powerful form of communication, and by telling stories I wish to raise awareness and push change by crafting narratives and sharing others’ stories. This need to tell stories has pushed me to become a wildlife filmmaker as well as a journalist, and a communicator”.

Head shot of volunteer ambassador Emil Durbal

Emiel Durbal – Ambassador

Emiel Durbal is London based designer, creative & environmentalist, who since a young age has embraced creativity and design with a passion for the natural world. Emiel already has an established client base both nationally and internationally.

Emiel has always been inspired by the natural world, spending hours foraging in the wilderness. Nature is the greatest designer, and always will be. The organic materials surrounding us include life-sustaining trees, plant life, rivers, streams and the open sky, all of which were perfectly designed to play an individual role in the eco-system. Emiel takes great pride and passion in conserving it and is proud to represent the Trust as a volunteer ambassador to help raise awareness and inspire his generation to take action for these amazing creatures. Emiel has a growing Instagram following and uses this as a platform to reach a wider audience and influence change through design.

Head shot of volunteer ambassador Katrina Thuis

Katrina Thuis – Ambassador

Katrina, known as Tree to us all, fell in love with bumblebees in recent years, despite her teaching degree specialising in Science in the Environment. In the last few years, she has turned her industrial concrete balcony into a bumblebee haven, and has made it her mission to help educate and encourage, through her entry-level bee blog www.hypnorum.com.

After having joined the Trust herself, she then set about encouraging her employer to do the same. Tree volunteers for us on a project called Pollinating London Together, running the website and social media for the initiative. In addition to her personal social media campaign to promote the Trust and bumblebees and correct misinformation where she can, she is an admin of the Facebook group ‘Bumble Bee Conservation Enthusiasts’, which although is not directly affiliated with the Trust, shares many members and a vision of raising the profile of bumblebees and wanting to support them and educate. Tree is very much of the opinion that anyone can make a difference.

Tree admits she suffers from sometimes crippling social anxiety and that her determination to help bumblebees helps her push past it. Having bumped into Olly Smith in 2019, she says she took a deep breath and just awkwardly blurted out ‘bees!’ at him, thinking he could be a fantastic supporter of the Trust, and the rest they say, is history.

Head shot of volunteer ambassador Rachel Platt

Rachel Platt – Ambassador

Rachel studied Garden Design at the Oxford College of Garden Design, graduating with distinction before setting up her own design practice. She also freelances for Manoj Malde and The Garden Design Company.

Rachel specialises in creating luxury designs tailored to individual requirements, for residential gardens of all shapes and sizes in and around Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, and Oxfordshire. In 2022, she won a silver-gilt medal at RHS Tatton Park, as well as Best Construction, Peoples Choice and runner-up Young Designer of the Year. She is a pre-registered member of the Society of Garden Design.

Head shot of volunteer ambassador Adrian Warwick

Adrian Warwick – Ambassador

Adrian Warwick is a creative and passionate song writer, lyricist, musician, singer, children’s story writer and poet. Adrian has achieved four consecutive number ones in The Classical I Tunes charts and chart successes in the UK I Tunes Country chart. Adrian co-wrote the official International War Animal Remembrance Day song ‘A Million Tears’ and was appointed Celebrity Ambassador for the War Horse Memorial in January 2022.

Adrian is also an experienced life coach and mentor with a large number of corporate contacts, specialising in executive and leadership coaching and often described as a bundle of energy with lots of enthusiasm. Much of Adrian’s social media activity champions the importance of nature and he often promotes the importance of bees. Hugely personable, ‘energetic’ and an easy conversationalist, he has shown great interest and enthusiasm to learn about the plight of the bumblebees and is keen to help raise awareness of the Trust.

Head shot of volunteer ambassador Matt Orme

Matt Orme – Ambassador

Matt works as head gardener at the Montagu Arms Hotel in Beaulieu, in the heart of the New Forest. His passion for gardening and love of bumblebees initially took off after transforming the garden of his first house into a wildlife haven, now bursting with colour from pollinator friendly plants.

Diagnosed with ADHD, Matt can find day to day life challenging and for many years has struggled with anxiety and depression. Completing the new garden was the lifeline that he needed. He decided that gardening was something he wanted to do for a living. Good fortune presented itself in the position of the head gardener role, where he now manages the 1.5 acre hotel grounds. Matt increasingly grows as many bumblebee friendly flowers as possible whilst finding new and creative ways to provide spaces for nature to enjoy the garden as much as the hotel guests do. Being completely self taught, Matt encourages everyone to try gardening, in the hope they will enjoy it as much as he does. His mental health is currently the best it has been for years and he finds much happiness in watching the bumblebees each day.