Tessa Wardley has joined The Rivers Trust as Director of Communications & Advocacy, a role previously held by Christine Colvin.
Tessa joins the Trust from the Department for Environment, Food, & Rural Affairs, where she worked on a number of campaigns and projects including as Engagement Lead for the 25 Year Environment Plan, and coordinating policy development, evidence, and analysis across government towards the development of a land use framework. She brings more than 25 years’ experience as a water and environment specialist to a growing Advocacy and Engagement Team, with a varied CV combining communication and stakeholder engagement with strategic programme and policy development.
As well as technical expertise, Tessa has written seven published books on engagement with the natural world, including The River Book: 101 ways to relax, play, watch wildlife and have adventures at the river's edge (2012) and The Mindful Art of Wild Swimming: Reflections for Zen Seekers (2017). This has led to a number of public appearances including at the prestigious Hay Festival in 2012.
Reflecting on joining The Rivers Trust, Tessa said: “Healthy rivers are critical to our social, cultural, and economic wellbeing – we have demanded much from them and in the process have neglected to protect them. There are big challenges facing our rivers and The Rivers Trust is demonstrating how we can deliver change with strong partnerships working on nature-based solutions. I’m really excited to be joining at this time to help connect people and find ways to protect and restore our water environment for everyone.”
Rivers Trust Chief Executive Mark Lloyd added: “I’m really proud and pleased to have Tessa joining The Rivers Trust in a vitally important role. Our rivers need all the support they can get and, with her combined technical expertise, engagement skills, and pure passion for the environment, I’m confident that Tessa will speak up strongly and be a vital part of The Rivers Trust delivering real positive change in the coming years.”