About Us Meet the Team Meet the Team Ben Pearce - Director Ben joined the West Horsley Place Trust in September 2020. He has a background in visual arts, heritage and development. He was previously Director of Paintings in Hospitals, a national arts-in-health charity, and Project Director at the Royal Academy of Arts (RA), where he led the 'Reveal, Celebrate, Explore' programme and oversaw the start of the RA250 redevelopments. Prior to this, Ben led a ‘London 2012’ Olympics host-boroughs project which led to the conservation of over 100 historic commercial buildings. Ben has a BA Hons in English Literature & Film from the University of Warwick and an MSc in Housing & Regeneration from the LSE. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts; a Trustee of GEM (Group for Education in Museums) and the BGI, and a Non-Executive Director of the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance. He also serves on the Advocacy Committee for the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB). Clare Clinton - Arts, Heritage & Learning Manager Clare studied History and History of Art at the University of St. Andrews before going to work in the art world at Christie’s auction house and various art dealers in London, including CCA Galleries. She is a freelance writer and joined the West Horsley Place Trust in 2017 as Operations Manager. Clare has overseen numerous filming projects, building works and community events and now looks forward to building West Horsley Place's Art, Heritage & Learning programmes. Matt Link - Estate & Gardens Manager They say if a man is from Yorkshire you do not need to ask, as he will already have told you. Matt is from Yorkshire. Matt first arrived at West Horsley Place in 2016 and has been looking after the gardens and estate ever since. Matt took the well-trodden route of a management studies degree at Brunel University followed by seven years in publishing, seven years at Chatham House as production manager, before turning full time professional freelance photographer running his own company Matt Link Photography. This led him to photograph many of the world’s most famous faces throughout the UK and overseas. His role at West Horsley Place has grown along with the Trust and he has continued his professional development to accompany his passion for the estate and gardens. His latest course focuses on habitat management within the countryside. His intrinsic naturalistic style and photographers aesthetic eye chimes perfectly with today’s essential movement towards embracing and encouraging biodiversity. Matt aims to continue blurring the edges between the formal walled garden and the wider estate and believes the 21st century will see many more classic gardens focus on a sustainable future for all of nature rather than solely harking back to practices and styles of the past. Yendle Barwise - Environment and Sustainability Manager Yendle has come to us from the University of Surrey (where he is also completing his PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering) and has an MSc in Conservation and Land Management from Bangor University. He has previously worked as a craftsperson for the Forestry Commission in Lincolnshire, as a community forester in Merseyside, and as a ranger in North Wales, where he is from. Working with our Environment & Sustainability Steering Group, with Matt and all our colleagues, Yendle’s role is to develop a land management plan for the estate and facilitate the trust’s work towards net zero by 2030. This will include monitoring and supporting biodiversity, establishing new woodland, bringing existing woodland into formal management, creating a net zero roadmap, and taking forward related action on behalf of the trust, such as our sustainable energy and heating strategy. Suzie Winters - Executive Assistant Suzie joined the West Horsley Place Trust in August 2019. Prior to joining the team, she was PA to the CEO of a Country House Hotel and private members club. Before taking a career break to bring up her two children, she worked in London at The Art Fund and Sotheby's. Returning to the world of arts and heritage, close to her home in Surrey, is a wonderful opportunity and she is excited to be part of the evolving future of West Horsley Place. Carolyn Farrell - Operations & Events Coordinator Over the years, Carolyn has worked in interior design, graphic design and her early working life was spent as a Court Stenographer which was an education in itself! For the past 10 years, she has worked in the events industry mainly focusing on weddings and other celebrations. She has seen more than 500 weddings now and marvels at how each one is unique. She loves the excitement during the planning process and the sense of exhilaration in the air on the Big Day. Caroline Leary - Administrator Caroline joined the team in September 2021 as our Team Administrator. Caroline lives locally and has spent many of the past 15 years working in Surrey schools supporting them with finance and general administration. After a spell working in central London for an Academy Trust as their Business Accounting Partner, she is now excited to be able to use her skills and experience to support the Trust. Caroline has been a volunteer at many events including being a Gamesmaker at the London 2012 Olympics, a wonderful experience she says changed her life. You may have also seen her helping out at the Clandon Park Run. She is very much looking forward to meeting our growing team of volunteers at West Horsley Place. Jo Ellison - Community Engagement Projects Coordinator Jo joined the team at West Horsley Place Trust in June 2021 to deliver the National Heritage Lottery Funded project, Heritage without Barriers. She has a background in visual arts having freelanced as a Community Artist in London and loves to create opportunities for people to discover their passion and grow in confidence. Jo has BA Hons in Fine Art from London Metropolitan University and an MA in Applied Anthropology and Community Art from Goldsmiths University. Having run numerous community engagement projects in London, Jo is looking forward to putting her skills into action at West Horsley Place to bring people alongside us as we discover more about our heritage with the help of our wonderful volunteers. Robin James - House Officer Robin has worked in historic houses since 2017. Having developed an interest in the preservation of historic objects, he studied for a Masters degree in preventive conservation at UCL alongside working for English Heritage. Starting his career at Apsley House, he went on to care for historic collections at Kenwood and Chiswick House. In his previous role he was also involved with projects at Ranger's House and Marble Hill. He has a particular interest in the management of insect pest species that threaten organic historic material, and his postgraduate thesis researched the relationship between climate change and the development and distribution of insects. In his new role at West Horsley Place, he is very keen to study the house’s resident insect populations, and implement best practices for the preservation of our unique objects and building fabric. Victoria Speirs - Marketing and Communications Officer Victoria has experience working with a number of charities both as staff and as a volunteer, most recently with Action for Carers Surrey, a charity supporting unpaid carers of all ages. She worked in publishing for many years and joining West Horsley Place chimes well with her background, with a degree in history. She's keen to bring West Horsley Place to a wider audience, and illustrate the variety of what we have to offer.