New co-chairs Paul Samuels and Indy Kiemel Greene

Upland wildlife conservation charity Hen Harrier Action has today announced changes to the Board of Trustees taking effect at the end of this year, including the appointment of two new co-chairs, following the news that Dr Cathleen Thomas is stepping down as chair after almost three years in the role. The chairing role is to be shared between two long-standing trustees, wildlife and documentary filmmaker Paul Samuels, and conservationist and campaigner Indy Kiemel Greene.

Thomas, who has a full-time role as Senior Environmental Manager at The John Muir Trust and also serves as Education Officer at The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, said of the changes, “I am obviously sad to be stepping down from the charity, but I am delighted to be leaving it with the very capable leadership of my colleagues Paul and Indy. They both bring a huge amount of expertise, experience, and passion to Hen Harrier Action, and I know the charity will thrive with their guidance.”

During Thomas’s tenure, the charity has actively raised awareness of the plight of Hen Harriers and the continuing illegal persecution of the UK’s rarest bird of prey with Hen Harrier Day events, Skydancer Day broadcasts and Young Wild Writer competitions. During the Covid pandemic, the charity successfully pivoted to deliver Hen Harrier Day events online with the help of conservationists including Chris Packham, David Lindo, and Megan McCubbin.

New co-chair Samuels spent his early career in professional music, but in the last 10 years he has moved into documentary film, specialising in wildlife filming and event live streaming. A trustee for Hen Harrier Action for almost two years, he runs the Skydancer Day broadcasts and has developed a series of short wildlife films, Autumn Live!

Fellow co-chair Greene is already well-known for his appearances on Springwatch and most recently as one of the hosts of 8 Out of 10 Bats, with Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin. He is an RSPB Ambassador and Youth Council member.