Who we are

Robin Mewes

I am a fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors with 30 years’ experience in the property industry. 

I am also a director of Rooftop Consulting Ltd and Community Power Ltd. Rooftop was set up in 2010 – to explore investment opportunities in green energy helping property managers realise schemes that might otherwise fall outside their resources of time and money. Community Power Ltd (CPL) expanded the scope to deliver benefits to communities by first creating the Wedmore Community Power Co-Operative Ltd project. CPL pioneered a process of parallel development, creating and funding a 1MW solar farm while setting up community ownership with over £1.1m in funds in community shares and bonds from c.200 members. 

CPL have provided advice on community ownership of power plant to the Somerset Wildlife Trust; helped the RSPB develop community aspects in a business plan to support proposals for the use of waste material derived from reed and rush on the Somerset reserves; and are working with French and English partners to use waste product from state owned nature reserves as bio-fuel.



Sarah Sander-Jackson  

I have spent my life working in sustainable project development – inspiration to implementation. 

I have a practical legacy of establishing successful social enterprises – including a school farm, urban farm, co-operative garden centre and educational and community projects I was a founding Director of Somerset Community Food in 2000, and for ten years we provided effective training and community support for Somerset in areas related to local food and health, including food co-ops, community allotments and sharing cooking skills. 

Since 2009 I have been a director of the Red Brick Building, Glastonbury. We have developed a well used community centre to promote arts, education and enterprise by renovating a derelict warehouse as an innovative community owned asset. I have been inspired by working with the Reimagining the Levels group to find creative ways of responding to the extreme floods of 2013/14. In particular I am interested in supporting the community to take initiatives by being well informed about the choices and responsibilities we can all take to best secure a viable future for the Somerset Levels.
 



Martin Stanley

I live on the Polden Hills close to the Levels having moved from London some 8 years ago. 

I used to run a financial publishing company with a partner and had invested and worked part time in a couple of start-up software companies. Before that I worked in a family owned telecoms company. I set up a charity over 20 years ago, and sponsored wildlife conservation projects in UK-including projects in the West Country, environmental education, organic farming and projects in Latin America including coffee and chocolate co-ops.

Since moving to Somerset I support Red Brick Building in Glastonbury, advise an affordable housing fund and a community share underwriting fund managed by Resonance (based in Cornwall), am on committee for School of Social Entrepreneurs Dartington, support Real Farming Trust and the Oxford Real Farming Conference, Wells Food Festival and Wells Food Network and am a trustee of Somerset Wildlife Trust. I am particularly interested in food culture, how food can be produced sustainably, cooking culture, and landscape scale biodiversity and agro ecology.



David Banwell 



Adrian Tait

Adrian Tait is a retired psychoanalytic psychotherapist.

He is a co-founder, Hon. Sec. and organiser of several conferences for the Climate Psychology Alliance, which works to further understanding of the psychological and cultural challenges to human engagement with the climate and global ecological crises.

Adrian is also a director of Wessex Reinvestment Trust (sponsor of Reimagining the Levels) and of Brendon Energy, a non-profit community renewable energy enterprise operating in Taunton Deane and further afield. For the past ten years, he has been chairman of Transition Athelney, an initiative covering several villages on the Western edge of the Somerset Levels. Transition Athelney has been instrumental in two major events promoting renewable energy solutions in Somerset and a wide range of other collaborative and local projects aimed at raising awareness of personal and community choices that combine enjoyable living with low climate impacts.



Steve Mewes

I was born and brought up in Wedmore and now live nearby in Heath House.

I work in a Community Engagement role on the Hills to Levels project which is finding out from Somerset people what kind of future they want to see in the area. My background is in policy, quality assurance and project management in the renewable energy, internet, education, charity, food and travel industries. I am a founder and current chair of Green Wedmore which was formed in 2006. The group aims to inform and promote environmental projects in the Wedmore area with the long-term goal of helping the community find a more sustainable future. I am also a founding director and currently chair of Wedmore Community Power Co-Operative which has a 1MW community solar farm in Wedmore. My passion is working towards a positive low-carbon future in the county I love.



Paul Sander-Jackson

I am a qualified social enterprise adviser and a non-executive Director with Wessex Community Assets, an organisation promoting and developing community ownership models in sectors such as housing, workspace and land.

I currently contract manage the Wessex Community Land Trust Project – which has delivered to date 120 affordable houses in 12 communities across Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. From 1999 to 2006, as Director of Somerset Food Links, I led development work for the local food sector in Somerset and was co-founder and first Chair of Food Links UK. My previous work has included development of an urban farm and a co-operative garden centre in Bristol as well as providing support for a wide range of community led enterprises in both urban and rural settings. I have lived on the Levels for the past 25 years – currently in Baltonsborough.



Phil Stone

I am a long time resident of North Curry, near Taunton. Concern about the environment is a defining issue for me, having worked as a Landscape Architect for most of my life in both urban and rural areas.

I am a long time resident of North Curry, near Taunton.
Concern about the environment is a defining issue for me, having worked as a Landscape Architect for most of my life in both urban and rural areas.
During my time working for Somerset County Council I oversaw a wide range of environmental projects. Landscaping of new roads, quarries and waste sites were part of my remit. I ran a long term project to restore the Somerset countryside by awarding small grants to landowners and farmers to plant trees and hedges, create ponds, restore orchards, pollard willows and manage wildlife sites. At SCC I also oversaw the restoration of the Bridgwater to Taunton canal and creation of a 15 mile surfaced towpath for walkers and cyclists.
I am a Taunton Deane District Councillor for North Curry, Stoke St Gregory and Burrowbridge, the latter being the epicentre of the devastating floods of early 2014.
Now retired, I take an active interest in the three villages which I represent. I am a Parish Councillor in North Curry, involved in maintaining and improving the local footpath system and take a leading interest in the response to local housing proposals coming forward from the Local plan process. I initiated a community woodland near the village and lead a group of volunteers who maintain the area.
I am keen to see the rural economy and environment in the levels be more sustainable and feel that more resources must be directed to this aim.