Nature is the most important member of our team.

She has a seat at all of our management meetings.

All the human members of the team are encouraged to ask “What would Nature say?”

This helps us to make sure that all of our decisions are made with biodiversity, wildlife and Nature in mind.


Christopher Neave Co-Founder and Director

What do you do for Make it Wild?

Helen and I set up Make It Wild together. I love being outside on the nature reserves, doing the stuff that needs doing. When at my desk, I get stuck into the detail e.g. planning and organising projects, like tree planting, and doing the admin that comes with running a business.

Make it Wild is our response to the ecological crisis. I could not stand by and just watch nature’s continual decline. I had to get out there and do something.

Helen Neave Co-Founder and Director

What do you do for Make it Wild?

I set up Make it Wild with my husband, Christopher. I manage our website, products, events, social media and the creative side of things.

Why is the work of Make it Wild important to you? Make it Wild was set up with one fundamental aim – to address biodiversity loss. We couldn’t stand by, we had to do something. Alongside this, it is crucial for us to spread our passion and enthusiasm for nature. We are delighted that so many volunteers get involved in our work, and people enjoy our woodland experiences.

“I’ve got a soft spot for Barn Owls, and it is very special to observe broods fledging at Bank Woods. If I’m ever distracted in a meeting, forgive me – I’ve probably seen a Barn Owl through the window!” Helen Neave

“Before joining Make It Wild, I was already inspired by the incredible work of the team. However, having seen the impact first-hand, heard it, smelt it, felt it, and tasted it, I now appreciate how special our sites are. Being able to regularly see barn owls, woodpeckers, and more is incredible. I’m lucky to have found a job with such purpose.” John Burgess

John Burgess Partnership Manager

What do you do for Make it Wild? I help to manage our partnerships with both companies and individuals. The support we receive from our partners has a huge impact on the amount of conservation work that we can do. We try our best to accommodate the different needs of each of our partners. If you’ve got any special requests, please do send them my way and I’ll aim to say “yes”!

Why is the work of Make it Wild important to you? Having had a keen interest in the natural world from a young age, I decided it was time to give it a helping hand. One of my favourite phrases is “be the change you want to see in the world” and I think that perfectly encapsulates why I joined the Make It Wild team. I want to help nature directly, and I’m also keen to help influence others to see the beauty of the world we’ve been lucky enough to inherit.

If you’d like to contact John:

Neil Swain Estate Manager (P/T)

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“I’ve hiked all over the north of England, and I have never seen so much wildlife in one place as I see when I arrive at work at Bank Woods. Astonishing!” Pete Conley

Peter Conley Facilities and Land Officer (P/T)

I’ve been in the construction industry for over 30 years now, so to be given the opportunity to use my existing skills in property maintenance and, at the same time, learn about conservation and land management has been like a breath of fresh air for me – even if it does mean being up to my armpits in mud from time to time!

In the short time I’ve been with the company I’ve come to appreciate the huge effort everyone has put into this wonderful re-wilding project. Make It Wild is a truly inspirational business and I feel very proud to be a part of it.

Lesley Coleman Projects Manager  (P/T)

I am Projects Manager for Make it Wild with my main role being the co-ordination of the volunteer programme. I also manage the certification of our carbon offsetting through tree planting, as well as performing other tasks as they arise.

Make it Wild inspires others to take action. Everyone is aware of the impact of humans on nature and to be part of a company which is actually making a difference is an honour. On a personal level, since being involved with the company I have become more aware of the process of rewilding and have gained many practical skills.

To enquire about volunteering:


Susannah Morrish Land Manager (P/T)

Following a two year Land Management course, I wanted to do a practical job that would have benefits for people, animals and nature.  It’s a big change from my previous career working in road transport!

Working for Make It Wild is a fascinating and exciting experience! My job involves caring for and maintaining the reserves with the purpose of increasing biodiversity at each site. I also help out with the volunteers and it’s great to watch them complete a project.  

Traditional methods of land management intrigue me. These methods have worked for thousands of years without causing damage to the environment and I am eager to bring these methods back into modern day use.

Amy Cockerill Conservation Assistant

Amy has completed her apprenticeship with flying colours, supported by The Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, and by Craven College. She has now joined us as a full member of the team.


Cecilia Neave Rural Craft Facilitator

Growing up I always had a passion for nature and protecting it. I studied Environment and Business at university, further deepening my understanding of sustainability. As Make it Wild grew from a family project into a thriving business, I helped with social media, writing blogs, and volunteering on the nature reserves.

Cecilia has her own business, Green Arcana, through which she provides rural craft workshops for Make it Wild and other organisations.

Lydia Neave Former Dedications executive (P/T)

I used to manage the various Make it Wild dedications. As my ‘real’ job has got busier, I have been unable to continue this role – but I still enjoy getting my hands dirty on volunteer days, and offer behind the scenes support to the family business.

Why is the work of Make it Wild important to you?

Make it Wild’s purpose is to protect the natural environment. One of the things that brings me the most joy in life is nature, and one of my biggest passions is sustainability and environmentalism.