About Us | Staff

  • Dr Kate McAney – Mammal Development Manager (Ireland)

    Kate has worked for the Trust in Ireland since 1991. She manages 13 lesser horseshoe bat reserves located along the west coast, from Mayo in the north to Kerry in the south. Since 2010, she has run pilot studies on the Irish stoat in County Galway. She promotes mammal conservation and research through lectures, bat walks and publications. Kate completed her PhD at University College, Galway, on the summer activity of the lesser horseshoe bat. She has a particular interest in the diet of insectivorous bats; her most recent study was on Bechstein’s bat. Kate was a founder member of the Galway Bat Group and is a committee member of Bat Conservation Ireland. Office: Headford, County Galway.

  • Ruth Hanniffy – Ireland Projects Support Officer

    Ruth studied Zoology at the National University of Ireland Galway, undertaking a dietary analysis of the lesser horseshoe bats at Dromore Stables in County Clare. She then completed a Masters in Wildlife Management and Conservation at the University of Reading, carrying out analysis of the density and habitat preference of small mammals on Paxton Pits Nature Reserve in Cambridgeshire. Following this she joined the Environment Agency for 8 years as a Biodiversity Officer working on river enhancement and restoration on the River Thames and its Tributaries. Upon returning to Ireland Ruth worked with Inland Fisheries Ireland as a fisheries assistant carrying out National Water Framework Directive fish surveys of lakes and rivers throughout Ireland. Ruth is a wildlife, landscape and conservation photographer. Office: Oranmore, County Galway.

  • Natalie Buttriss – Chief Executive

    Natalie was appointed as the Trust’s first CEO in 2007, bringing to the Trust extensive business, marketing and fundraising skills. Her responsibilities include working with the Board of Trustees in leading the strategic direction of the Trust, developing policies and managing the staff, finances and resources.  She is directly involved in developing key partnerships and funding bids and ensuring the work of the Trust is promoted to relevant audiences.  Prior to the VWT, Natalie worked in the not-for-profit sector for over 20 years primarily for environmental charities. Office: Ledbury.

  • Dr Henry Schofield – Conservation Programme Manager

    Henry has worked for the Trust since 1990. After studying for a PhD in the ecology and conservation biology of lesser horseshoe bats, he set up the Trust’s first bat reserves for this species. This was followed by further projects on rare tree bats. His role is to have an overview of the Trust’s conservation and research projects and to develop and oversee the Trust’s conservation policy. Henry has a long-term interest in bats but enjoys working on all mammals. He is a keen amateur photographer and a trustee of BatLife Europe. Office: Presteigne, Wales.

  • Hilary Macmillan – Communications Manager

    Hilary has worked part-time for the Trust since 2000. She leads on media relations and the editing and production of Trust publications. Hilary has a background in conservation education and is a qualified teacher. After a number of years in mainstream teaching, she became Head of Education for a Wildlife Trust. This was followed with the setting up of a successful Environmental Education Consultancy. She currently teaches in the UK independent sector alongside her role with the Trust. Office: Herefordshire, England.