Who Are We?

Alastair Atkinson


At the time of joining GEF, I was advising different cities around the world on what to do about zero carbon and how to use their resources efficiently. With the help of John Banister the then GEF Chair, I was able to put my expertise and experience to good use locally. I love the fact that the GEF members have such a huge range of passions and priorities around the environment; it generates a  great debate. My wish for Guildford would be to introduce a mechanism for us to let go of the car: it’s so engrained and embedded into every aspect of society; physically, culturally and emotionally it means it very hard for everyone to do so. 

Adrian Thompson

Vice-Chair, Treasurer, Membership

Being part of GEF means learning something new every day. For 40 years, we have felt, as a family, that nature was being taken for granted and humans were not respecting the need for the planet to be sustainably looked after. On retirement, it seemed to be time to do something to help. Increasingly, it is important that we do things locally in the hope and expectation that national government will follow. I delight in walking in the wonderful countryside on our doorstep, particularly the chalk downs, so being part of the Stepping Stones Small Blue butterfly project continues to be a highlight.

Helen Harris

Chair of Biodiversity Group

I have worked in corporate sustainability for my entire career so when I moved to Guildford I wanted to get more involved in a local community based and practical approach to supporting sustainability. I am part of a small team who are building a Cobb eco-dome as a base for the volunteer community gardeners at the Rosamund project. Its such an innovative and exciting project: I am learning so many new things; we are partnering with Surrey Wildlife Trust, meeting likeminded people around Guildford, and it’s great to learn more about how another organisation is working to protect and develop our local biodiversity and benefit from their support and advice.

As a family, we liftshare and walk for the school run, use no chemicals in our garden and have added as many wildlife friendly features to our garden as we can including swift boxes, a pond, a woodpile and wild areas.

I would love to see groups like GEF working together in a coordinated way with local political leaders to proudly and inventively make a name for Guildford as a Green Town.

Keith Chesterton

GEF Member

As the Head of Geography at the RGS and Chairman of the local branch of the Geographical Association, I wanted to be more engaged in a range of environmental issues at a variety of scales. I also represented Guildford Borough Council in GEF as a councillor. Climate change was my motivation.  I introduced a number of initiatives including solar panels on some houses, CHP at the Spectrum, a demonstration Eco-House, extended recycling, and was able to enable more cycling schemes. 

Keith Chesterton