The Trust includes representatives from Braintree District Council and Trinity College Cambridge, as well as local Braintree and Essex residents and businesses.
Jennifer Rowland, Chair
I joined the Trust in 2015 following a series of collaborative projects whilst working at Braintree District Museum. Having previously lived in Ray’s home village for many years I am proud to now be helping share his remarkable story with others through talks, events and helping install new interpretation in the gardens. In 2021 I took on the role of Chair, and I look forward to helping continue the great work of the Trust.
David Gask, Treasurer
I’m a long term resident of Black Notley, John Ray’s birthplace, but for many years was only aware of him as the name on a local school and had no real understanding of his significance in the history of science. This changed when I had a job transfer to the USA and, contrary to schooling in England, found John Ray was featured in my children’s science text book alongside other historical greats. As a Physics graduate who worked in engineering I’m particularly interested in this History of Science side of John Ray and that he was a contemporary of Isaac Newton at Cambridge University… and a more able student according to records.
I recently joined the Trust and feel privileged to be assisting in the promotion of John Ray and his work. As a lifelong resident of Essex, I am interested in Ray’s enduring links to the area and through my interest in garden history recognise his great contribution to botanical science.
Other interests and projects include volunteering with the Friends of Cressing Temple Gardens and the Gardens of Easton Lodge. I am an Assistant Essex County Organiser for the National Garden Scheme.
Professor Sachiko Kusukawa
Professor Sachiko Kusukawa is a historian of science who has written about John Ray and Francis Willughby. She is a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, where Ray was also a Fellow.
Dr. Tony Runacres
Retired local doctor. A trustee since 2004 with a particular interest in the science projects and together with Roger Pertwee the Braintree John Ray garden .
Also involved with the restoration of the Countess of Warwick gardens of Eastern lodge and Friends of Dunmow Open Spaces with the object of improving green areas around Dunmow.
Paul Wood, Administrator
I joined the Trust as Administrator in 2010 without knowing much about the work of John Ray. However I have always had an interest in the natural world and find the life and work of Ray a remarkable testament to his endurance and foresight in discovering, studying, and documenting the flora and fauna not only of his native Essex, but across the UK and Europe. This was no mean feat in the 1600s when travel was somewhat different to today. I have recently become a Trustee and look forward to assisting in promoting Ray’s life and work
Chairman of Braintree District Council
Each year the new chairman of Braintree District Council is invited to join the Trust. The current chairman is Cllr. Sue Wilson. You can find out more about the chairman here