The Oak Project is a partnership between Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the University of Derby and the Bronze Oak Project Ltd. We plan to develop the Oak Project as a five-year, time-bound initiative supported by a small team of dedicated staff, alongside a strong network of partners from the arts, environmental and cultural organisations.

Our Project Committee

Jamie Cayzer-Colvin (Chair)

Jamie Cayzer-Colvin is a director at Caledonia Investments. He has worked for many years as a fundraiser for charity.

His most recent work has been for the Heritage of London Trust and the RHS.

Charlie Burrell

Charlie Burrell is the inspiration behind the Knepp Wildland Project, a 3,500 acre estate that is home to the largest rewilding project in lowland Britain.

It offers a new and alternative approach to conservation.

Clare Lilley

Delivery of the Oak Project at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) will be overseen by Clare Lilley, Director of Programme at YSP, with lead responsibility for temporary programming, the collection and learning. Clare is committed to engaging diverse audiences in extraordinary and meaningful art. She has a particular expertise in producing sculpture in the public realm and since 2012 has curated Frieze Sculpture, London.

Edwina Sassoon

Edwina Sassoon has had a career in the visual arts, working with museums and galleries. In 1990 she established her own consultancy advising both sides of the arts and business partnership. Amongst other roles, she is currently a Director of the Garden Project Board at the Hepworth Wakefield, and a Trustee of the Garden Museum and Royal British Society of Sculptors. In 2010, Edwina was awarded the Victoria & Albert Museum Knowledge and Inspiration Medal.

Helen Featherstone

Helen Featherstone is Deputy Director of Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Helen believes passionately that the arts should be for everyone and has championed this throughout her career of over 20 years’ working in the arts and cultural sector. Helen has extensive experience in engagement and participation with the arts, with former roles in senior management for Arts Council England and Director of Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust.

Professor Miles Richardson

Miles is a Professor of Human Factors and Nature Connectedness, a chartered ergonomist, chartered psychologist and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors. He founded the Nature Connections Research Group at the University of Derby which has pioneered the first everyday interventions to bring about sustained increases in connection with nature and wellbeing.

Tom Stuart-Smith

Tom Stuart-Smith is a landscape designer. Recent work has included a public garden for the Hepworth Gallery Wakefield, the Arcadia project at Chatsworth and the masterplan for RHS Bridgewater, the largest recent horticultural project in Britain.

Our project team

Helen Meech

Helen Meech is our Project Director. Head of Movement Building at RSPB (job share) and previously Director of Rewilding Britain and an Assistant Director of the National Trust, Helen has over 15 years experience as an environmental campaigner and strategist.

Helen has a particular interest in people’s relationship with the natural environment. She led the National Trust’s work to reconnect children and nature, developing the “50 Things to do before you’re 11 3/4” campaign, founding the Wild Network and co-producing 2013 feature documentary, Project Wild Thing.

Emma Spencer

Emma Spencer is the Learning and Engagement Programmer for the Oak Project, on secondment from her role of Family Learning Programmer at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Emma has over 20 years’ experience of working in the arts and engagement, and played a key role in the development of YSP’s family program. She is passionate about creating meaningful, creative connections to contemporary art welcoming everybody to think, create and imagine together. Emma has particular expertise in early years and has built long-lasting relationships with local communities, inspiring all families to make creative memories.

Sophia McNab

Sophia McNab is our Digital Communications Manager. Sophia is an experienced climate change campaigner and a practicing artist and printmaker. Before returning to art school for an MFA, Sophia worked as a Campaign Manager for ShareAction, coordinating a trillion dollar network of shareholders in support of corporate climate action. She also attended three sessions of the UN Climate Talks as a youth delegate between 2013 and 2017. She is now a trustee for the UK Youth Climate Coalition and also works as a Production Facilitator for Guardian Masterclasses.