Dr Gary Mantle MBE
Gary is the founder and Honorary President of the Sensory Trust. Interest in the environment is in his blood - his father was a Romany - so it was perhaps natural for him to end up as a professional conservationist.
He graduated from Lancaster University with a degree in ecology and has a doctorate from the Open University in systems theory. He became Head of Urban Ecology at Greenwich University. It was at this point that he first had the idea of setting up a charity to champion equal environmental opportunities for people with a disability began.
Gary left Greenwich University to join a new government environmental initiative, called UK2000. This had Richard Branson as Chairman and brought together the private and voluntary sector with the public sector in order to tackle environmental problems.
During the four years Gary was with UK2000 the idea of setting up the Sensory Trust developed and with support from UK2000, the Civic Trust and the RNIB, the Sensory Trust was established as a charity in 1993.
From 1989 until 1995 he worked as a volunteer helping to set up Holton Lee in Dorset, a residential centre for disabled people and their carers that provides personal development, environmental and artistic courses as well as respite care.
In 1990 Gary left UK2000 to become the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust's first