Meet the Team

We need helpers to help us reform the land

Derek Gow
Derek is a farmer turned nature conservationist. He wants to make a difference and therefore is in the process of rewilding some of his 300 acre farm. Derek has played a significant role in the reintroduction of the Eurasian beaver, the water vole and the white stork to England.  He is currently working on a reintroduction project for the wildcat.


 Emma Hankinson- Project Manager
Emma is an ecologist and conservationist, with over 20 years’ experience in nature conservation, ecology and research in the UK, Africa and Indonesia. Her interests are broadly centred around conservation, in particular the protection of ecosystems and biodiversity. Emma is responsible for the management of the site, including looking after our guests, arranging and leading our tours and workshops and the ongoing re-wilding plans and reintroductions to the area. As well as her role at Coombeshead, she is also undertaking her PhD on the conservation of the critically endangered Sumatran elephant and their tropical forests.

Karen Bartlett – Assistant Project Manager
Karen is an ecologist with over 15 years’ experience in nature conservation and ecology in the U.K. Whilst studying for her MSc in Biological Recording Karen gained an insight into a range of conservation schemes and as such has become a passionate advocate of rewilding as the best way forward to conserve British Wildlife. Karen will be assisting Emma with looking after our guests, and arranging tours and workshops. She will also be setting up monitoring programmes to gain some idea of the current baseline ecology at Coombeshead, so that the progress of the project can be measured over the long term.

Peter Cooper – Ecologist
Pete is an ecologist and conservationist with 4 years professional experience based in the UK, fuelled by a lifetime as a naturalist as long as he can remember. He first started volunteering with the animal care team in 2015 while studying a BSc in Zoology and then an MSc in Biodiversity & Conservation, before becoming part of the team working on native species reintroductions. When Pete isn’t assisting tours and workshops, he is working on restoration projects such as wildcat feasibility, harvest mouse reintroduction and managing the new captive breeding and release programme for glow-worms.


Derek Gow


Upcott Grange
Lifton  Devon
PL16 0JS.

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+44 (0)7714 767 522