Our Staff

Tyne Rivers Trust’s staff is a carefully selected team devoted to the health of the Tyne catchment.  We are scientists with unique specialist knowledge of the catchment, its hydrology and biology.

Danielle Anderson-Walker our Farms Liaison Officer, is currently working on the Ouseburn Rural Diffuse Pollution Project alongside the Environment Agency, Northumberland Wildlife Trust and Northumbrian Water with farmers and land owners to reduce  agricultural pollution going into local water courses. Danielle studied for five years at Kirkley Hall Agricultural College in Ponteland, she has a National Diploma in Countryside Management and a National Diploma in Agriculture. Danielle has worked on upland, lowland and inner city farms throughout Northumberland and Newcastle gaining experience in all aspects of farming. Since leaving Kirkley Hall College she has gained experience with  the Environment Agency, the RSPB  and E3 Ecology. She has a great interest in conservation and agriculture and ties both of these subjects together in working for Tyne Rivers Trust. In her spare time she works on the ‘Incredible Edible Project’ for her home town of Whitley Bay, the aim of this project is grow edible foods in unwanted/unloved space for all of the community to use for free. 01434 636909 07939 317760


Jack Bloomer is a Project Manager and works on river and catchment improvement schemes. He is currently working on a project with the Environment Agency to reduce the impacts of historic metal mining in the South Tyne catchment on river water quality. Jack has a degree in Marine Biology from Newcastle University, a Masters in Aquatic Resource Management from King’s College London and recently completed his PhD at the University of Southampton where he was studying the effects of groundwater upwelling on salmon incubation success.   01434 636908    07939 317874


Lynne Farquhar is a Project Manager and works on river and catchment improvement schemes. She is currently working on a project to improve fish passage on the River Derwent with the Environment Agency and River Catchment Services. Lynne has eighteen years’ professional and practical experience in countryside management, agri-environment, planning, biodiversity and partnership working gained from various conservation roles in government agencies across the UK. Before taking up the post Lynne worked for Natural England as a Conservation Advisor and in 2016 played an integral role in a partnership project led by the Severn Rivers Trust which secured £19 million European LIFE and Heritage Lottery Funding, the largest of its kind in Europe, to re-open the River Severn and one of its largest tributaries to all fish species and wildlife.  Lynne has a HND in Countryside Management from the Welsh Agricultural College, Aberystwyth and a BSc Honours Degree in The Rural Environment from University of Wales, Trinity Saint David. 01434 636909 07939 318021


Graham Holyoak, River Projects Manager, specialises in woodland and forestry management. His work includes assessing watercourses in forested areas, and then identifying and implementing improvements to minimise forestry impacts on rivers.  He has a wealth of practical skills, including woodland management and tackling invasive plants.  Graham has a degree in Natural Sciences, Earth Sciences & Geography from Durham University and a Masters degree in Environmental Resource Assessment from Newcastle University.     01434 636905    07854 795626


Susan Mackirdy is the Trust Director and oversees the management of all of the Trust’s work and staff.  Before taking up the directorship, Susan was a project manager with considerable experience in developing and implementing river improvement plans.  In 2012 she delivered the Tyne Catchment Pilot, a Defra-funded initiative to develop a catchment-wide plan to improve the River Tyne.  Susan has a degree in Geology from Durham University and a Masters degree in Environmental Science from Macquarie University in Sydney.   01434 636903     07718 605323


Kirsty McNaught is the Trust’s Communications Officer and is responsible for spreading the word on all that we do from getting us coverage in the media to updating the website and producing the newsletter. She has more than ten years experience in the communications industry and a degree in English Language from Newcastle University.

Kirsty is currently on maternity leave.


Malcolm Newson is employed by River Catchment Services, the Trust’s consultancy arm. Malcolm is internationally respected for his expertise in river systems, and has over 40 years’ experience in research and applications in hydrology, river processes, and freshwater and wetland conservation.  As Professor of Physical Geography at Newcastle University (1986-2008) he helped establish the Centre for Land Use and Water Resources Research and the development and national adoption of river process techniques to aid flood management, ecosystem conservation and river restoration.   01434 636900     07719 643927


Douglas Phillips, is the Trust’s Operations Director. Douglas brings considerable business experience to the trust having run his own international haulage company for 15 years before going back to educational studies in 2007, where as a mature student he undertook a degree in agriculture followed by a Masters degree from the Department of Land Economy at the University of Cambridge. He subsequently became Head of the National Centre for the Uplands based at Newton Rigg College in 2013 before moving to his current role with the Trust.  01434 634923   07506 842912


Aidan Pollard works for the Trust as Fisheries Manager.  He has lived, and fished, in the North-East all his life and has an unsurpassed knowledge of the Tyne’s fishery.  He advises the Trust on any work that might affect fish, including how to make in-stream barriers passable for fish.  Aidan provides a vital link between the Trust and the angling communities throughout the Tyne catchment.          01434 636906     07753 729192

Simone Price
 is our Volunteer Coordinator. She organises and helps our team of volunteers to carry out practical tasks to improve the river and generally makes volunteering with the Trust fun. Before joining the Trust, Simone worked with volunteers at Durham Wildlife Trust to maintain its nature reserves. Simone has a degree in Art and Design from York University.    01434 636902       07817238455


Kim Storey is our Finance Manager and handles all of the Trust’s financial matters, including working with our external accountant and the Trust’s Finance & Risk Committee.  She studied Accountancy at Northumbria University, is a Certified Accountant and a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants.   01434 636900


Liz Walters, Projects Manager, delivers catchment  improvement projects.  She is currently working on a partnership project to improve the heritage of the River Don and is acting as Communications Officer during Kirsty’s maternity leave. Liz has fifteen years experience of site management and has recently worked as Funding and Communications Officer for the Northumberland Coast AONB. She has a degree in Geography BSc from Leeds University and a Postgraduate diploma in Countryside Management from Bangor University.   01434 636904     07792 901636