We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

Executive team

The executive team manage the everyday operation of the Trust. They develop policy and strategy for approval by the trustees and are responsible for ensuring the continuing success of the waterways through the management of an expert and committed 1,600-strong workforce.

Richard Parry, chief executive

Richard ParryRichard joined the Canal & River Trust as chief executive in July 2013, and in the past three years he has led the new charity through a series of changes as it has developed its new identity and explored the many new opportunities available in the third sector. 

Prior to joining the Trust, Richard spent 19 years at London Underground - where he was acting managing director for a year - followed by a brief spell at FirstGroup where he led their bid for the InterCity West Coast franchise and spent a period as managing director of First Hull Trains.

Sandra Kelly, finance & corporate services director

Sandra KellySandra spent eight years as finance director at NHBC (National House-Building Council), the UK’s leading independent standard-setting body and provider of warranty and insurance for new homes in the UK. 

She previously held senior finance positions in the commercial sector, most notably for BMW UK. 


Sophie Castell, director of marketing, communications and fundraising

Sophie CastellSophie joined the Trust in 2015. 

After gaining a PhD in biochemistry she pursued a career in marketing and innovation which spanned the commercial, charity and public sectors in both executive and non-executive capacities, working for a diverse range of organisations including Coca-Cola, RNIB, the NHS and Save the Children. 

Stuart Mills, director of property

Stuart MillsStuart is responsible for property development, investment, estates, strategic planning, urban design, utilities, joint ventures, boating trade and online moorings.

A chartered surveyor, Stuart joined the Canal & River Trust in 1990 after working with private sector property consultants, Drivers Jonas. He has worked extensively across the country in various property roles, and more recently, as head of property, was responsible for setting up a number of joint ventures.


Ian Rogers, director of customer services and operations

Ian Rogers, customer services and operations director

Ian is responsible for the Trust’s waterway operations, volunteering and education, boating (including licensing and enforcement), customer service, and the Trust’s museums and attractions.

Ian joined the Trust in 2015 after working with Aon, the large insurance broker, where he has been managing director of the Aon Affinity division working with SME customers. He previously worked in senior customer service roles at Dataforce (a CRM/marketing service business), Thomas Cook, and Eurostar.


Julie Sharman, director of asset management

Julie Sharman

Julie is responsible for asset management within the Trust which includes leading a team of experts and professionals who prioritise the asset expenditure and works.

Julie joined the Trust in 1996 following an early career in construction with Taylor Woodrow. A chartered engineer she has gained a broad experience in waterway management, engineering and funding with the Trust.



Simon Bamford, director of asset delivery

Simon Bamford

Simon is responsible for lock gate manufacturing workshops, programme and project management and the design and delivery of repair and maintenance works through the Direct Services construction and M&E teams and the Trust’s consultants and contractors.

Simon is a chartered engineer and joined the Trust in 2006 after working with Land and Water where he was operations director of their remediation contracting business. He previously worked in senior environmental, project delivery, construction and consultancy roles.


Jackie Lewis, general counsel and company secretary

Jackie Lewis

Jackie specialises in general commercial law, in particular commercial contracts, procurement, data protection and health and safety law.

Jackie graduated in chemistry in 1988 and subsequently worked for ICI for two years as a research chemist before returning to university to study law.

She was called to the Bar in 1992 and then practised as a barrister, primarily in the field of criminal defence. Then spent 5 years at the City law firm Clifford Chance before moving in-house with RMC. She joined British Waterways at the beginning of June 2001.


Heather Clarke, director of strategy & planning

Heather ClarkeHeather is responsible for strategy, public policy, research and measurement; strategic performance and reporting; spatial and statutory planning functions; and planning and urban design consultancy functions within the Trust.

Heather joined the Trust in 1997, after working for an urban development corporation which was charged with delivering large scale area based regeneration. A chartered planner she has gained extensive experience in strategic and statutory planning, property based regeneration, place-making and partnership working with the Trust.



Last date edited: 16 September 2016