CLT Board Member’s Biographies

The Board of the Upper Coly Valley Community Land Trust

The founding board of the Upper Coly Valley Community Land Trust from May 2017 was replaced by a board elected by the members of the Trust at the Special General Meeting held in October 2017. John Reed subsequently resigned from that board and Jim Little was co-opted to join the board in November 2017. At the AGM in August 2018 Jim Little decided not to stand for re-election and stood down. At the AGM Graham Barton was elected to the vacant post on the board. At the Board Meeting in October 2018 Liam Denny resigned as from the board.

Short biographies of the current Board of Directors are included below:


Graham Barton

Graham was born in Axminster, the eldest son of a local dentist. His primary education was at High Wych (which used to be on Trinity Hill near Hunter’s Lodge) following which he went to Woodroffe School in Lyme Regis and onwards to part of what is now Southampton University for three years culminating in an Estate Management qualification.  Many will be aware of his auctioneering career which started locally in livestock and furniture markets before switching to solely property across the West of England in the mid 1990’s.  However, what is not so widely known is that he’s a Chartered Surveyor of many years standing with planning being very much part of his everyday life including advising a broad spectrum of Clients in the spheres of both residential and commercial development across the region.  Graham lives in Southleigh (the home village of his wife, Marian) in the house that he got planning for in the early 1990’s.

Richard Hare

Richard is a retired Building Surveyor/Project Manager having spent 40 years working in all aspects of the building industry including New Build Housing Developments, Industrial units, Local Authority and Housing Association Housing Estate Refurbishments, Hotel and Restaurant upgrades, Health Clubs and prior to retirement the project management and cost management of Major High Street Retail Units refurbishments. Richard lived in Northleigh for 4 years before moving to Farway in 2004 where he currently lives and has been involved as a Governor at Farway Primary School and in the management of Farway Village Hall. He has also played an active role in the Northleigh Valley Troupers and the running of local sports and social activities. His hobbies include sailing and gardening and when time permits, woodturning. Richard became the treasurer of the Upper Coly Valley Community Land Trust on it’s formation in May 2017.

Stefanie Kastner-Walmsley

After 10 years working in the private sector with a leading car distributor and dealership in Devon and with an international cosmetics firm in Sydney, Australia, Stefanie trained as a geography teacher. She attended Exeter University and gained a Bachelor of Philosophy in Education as well as a Post Graduate certificate in Special Education Needs and a Certificate of Education(Qualified teacher status). Stefanie taught in a range of secondary schools in East Devon and eventually retired from teaching as a Deputy Head of a local school. Stefanie has been heavily involved in the local community as both a school governor and more recently as a serving Parish Councillor and on the Parochial church council. She is also a director of a locally based holiday and property business.

Willy Rich

Willy was born and grew up in the Upper Coly Valley and has lived here all his life. Willy is a farmer in the local area and has been a central figure within the community for many years. He is currently the Chair of Northleigh Parish Council and has been since what year?. He has actively participated and organised many social and community events across the Valley. Previously, whilst his children attended Farway Primary School, Willy was the Chair of Governors of the school. Willy became involved in the work to establish the Upper Coly Valley Community Land Trust at its inception and became the first Chairperson of the Trust in 2017.

Lynsey Skinner

Lynsey has been involved in the Upper Coly Valley Community Land Trust since it’s inception, having been a member of the steering group that worked towards the incorporation of the Trust and then became a founding member of the board when the Upper Coly Valley Community Land Trust was formed in May 2017. For many years Lynsey has been a central and very active contributor to the village of Northleigh and to the wider Upper Coly Valley Community. Lynsey lived in Northleigh Parish until 2016 and was the Clerk to the Parish Council for a number of years. She also organised and assisted with countless community events including the annual Northleigh Summer Fair. Lynsey built her own property in Northleigh with all the planning, legal and construction issues that that entails and hopes to bring that experience to the board in developing six affordable homes in the Upper Coly Valley.

Arthur Stevens

Arthur was born in Sittingborne, Kent and was educated at Hurstpierpoint, Sussex. He joined the Royal Marines as an Officer in 1962 and after serving in Aden, Singapore, the Falkland Islands and Norway retired as a Captain in 1987. Whilst Serving in Aden, Arthur climbed Mount Kenya, the second highest mountain in Africa. Arthur moved to the South West and initially lived at Budleigh Salterton before moving to Northleigh in 1985. At this point he became a Northleigh Parish Councillor and sat on the council for a further 33 years before retiring in June 2018. In 1987 Arthur became an Independent Financial Adviser and set up an office in Ottery St Mary. He retired from practice in 2016. Arthur has also represented Great Britain in Military Eventing for 3 years, Was a commentator at Agricultural Shows and Game Fairs for 25 years, Was a British Eventing Steward for 38 years and a member of the British Riding Clubs for 30 years.

Charlie Worrall

Charlie has lived in Farway Parish for seven years having moved there from South Warwickshire, where he farmed and then worked with his wife in a lighting business as Sales Director. He has recently completed the sale of this Company. In Warwickshire, Charlie was a Parish councillor for nearly 30 years, some of which he acted as chairman. During this time he became aware of the need for affordable housing and tried unsuccessfully to provide land to enable houses to be constructed. On hearing about the Upper Coly Valley Community Land Trust, Charlie felt that his previous experiences might be valuable to the process. Being retired, Charlie thought it would not only be an interesting project to develop, but that he would have the time to give to a project he thought was needed in the three Parishes of Farway, Northleigh and Southleigh.