Meet our team

Robert Hughes

Chief Executive Officer

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Rob took up the role of Acting CEO at the Landscape Institute in June, after serving as Commercial Director and Interim CEO from November. He has brought a wealth of commercial experience with him from a career spent largely in the Education and Technology sectors, across the last 20 years. He has built a solid reputation for building inclusive and successful management teams. As family orientated man he is a father of two busy growing boys and in his spare time likes to mess around with honey bees for rest and relaxation.

Yvonne Matthews

Executive Assistant to CEO & President

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As the first point of contact for both the LI president and chief executive, Yvonne manages meetings, engagements – both external and internal – invites, and day-to-day diaries.

Christen Joda

HR / Office Assistant

Margaret Johnson

HR Consultant


Joe Thomas

Interim Finance Director

Lee Garnham

Senior Finance Officer

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I am responsible for processing the financial transactions required to support the operations of the Landscape Institute (including its branches), and its trading company, Landscape Services Ltd. I also assist the Interim Finance Director in developing and optimising processes for performance reporting, financial controls, regulatory, financial reporting, improving financial and operational efficiencies. I collaborate with multiple teams to drive operational efficiencies and support individual project decision making and reporting. I also support both the membership team and IT operations team in ongoing projects and support for the teams.

On a personal development side, I am currently actively studying my professional accounting qualification.

My favourite landscape is Jurassic Coast (Dorset) – something spectacular to see when we visited this in Dorset from the view of a boat.

Contact the team for finance inquiries –

Membership & Commercial

Naomi Taylor

Head of Membership Services & Acting Commercial Director

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Naomi is the SLT lead for all things related to membership: recruitment, renewals, benefits, systems processes, and wider member engagement. She and her team are here to help both our individual members and our Registered Practices get the most from their membership of the LI.

Naomi’s favourite landscape is the view from Richmond Hill over the Thames.

Tim Byford

Membership Services Manager

Mark Harvey

Membership Development Manager

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Mark’s role is to promote and gain new members at all levels: Student, Associate, Affiliate, Chartered, and Fellow, whether for the Technician or the Practitioner route to LI membership. He is excited to develop the LI’s experienced routes to cover all roles in the industry, and meet and add value for all stakeholders in the landscape industry. Mark says: ‘Our team are professional and keen to provide an outstanding service. Nothing is too much trouble.’

Mark’s favourite landscape: ‘I am really into all things “art deco” so my favourite landscape would probably be in Miami, where they have numerous examples of art deco architecture.’

Karen Rogers

Membership Engagement Manager

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As Membership Engagement Manager, Karen, manages the LI local member networks (Branches) and the volunteering strategy. She works in collaboration with members and groups to create content and opportunities, adding value to membership and supporting the development of the LI across the UK.

Karen’s favourite landscape is that gained at Bedgebury Pinetum – especially at sunset. Being amid the forest and the smells bring great tranquillity.

Keith Prickett

Membership Services Officer

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Keith delivers on the day-to-day business of the LI membership department. He deals with queries, advising potential members, setting up new members, managing payments, and maintaining our membership records. He leads on the standard routes to membership: i.e. the applications that go to the Membership Admissions Panel. He also administers the LI’s Pathway to Chartership.

Keith’s favourite landscape is Valley of Rocks, Exmoor.

Contact the team through the following emails:

Marketing, Communication & Events

Neelam Sheemar

Head of Marketing, Communications, & Events

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Neelam is a generalist with a wealth of experience in PR, marketing, communications, events, public affairs, community consultation, and media relations across the built environment. At the LI, Neelam is the strategic lead for the development and delivery of marketing, communications, and events to drive awareness, growth, and engagement both internally and externally. She oversees the brand identity, content, and messaging across all channels, ensuring alignment with the LI’s vision, mission, and values. As a member of the senior leadership team, Neelam also contributes to the overall strategic direction and delivery of the LI.

Neelam’s favourite landscape is Mayfield Park in Manchester.

Josh Cunningham

PR & Communications Manager

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As PR & Communications Manager, Josh’s role is about telling the story of landscape and the Landscape Institute. He collaborates with colleagues and members across LI channels, creating and managing content and coordinating communications. Josh is also copy editor for Landscape, the Journal of the Landscape Institute, and manages the LI press office.

Josh has worked in magazine and book publishing, content marketing, and agency communications. His MRes dissertation looked at narrative approaches to research on cultural landscapes at the University of Exeter.

His favourite landscape is anywhere from the saddle of a bicycle.

Oliver Ryan

Communications Officer

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Oliver has a background in performing arts and geography. He was the first ever apprentice at the Landscape Institute. He was responsible for supporting events and competitions and lead the operational delivery of LI webinars and Masterclasses. He is now the Communications Officer at the LI and is responsible for supporting internal and external communications.

Oliver’s favourite landscape is Rendlesham Forest. The forest is situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is great for long walks especially on the UFO trail to try and recapture the moment of the famous UFO sighting in December 1980.

Tom Jenks

Marketing & Campaigns Manager

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Tom manages the marketing element within the team, highlighting the great work of the Institute and its members. He works with the other departments to ensure that their offerings, such as training, policy and events, are effectively communicated to both members and non-members alike. He achieves this by ensuring there is clear and consistent messaging across the website, social media and mailings.

Tom’s favourite landscape is the town centre in Stevenage once the regeneration plans have been completed a couple of years from now.

Mohammed Abumahlula

Digital & Social Media Lead

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Mohammed manages and maintains digital channels including our email system, social media platforms and the website. He ensures that communications and messaging reaches audiences.

Mohammed’s favourite landscape is Kiyomizu-dera, located on Mount Otowa in Kyoto which provides a picturesque view of the city and natural landscape from atop.

Ruhela Begum

Events Lead

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Ruhela works within the events team to lead and manage the LI’s online webinars and CPD events. She also delivers our annual CMLI graduation ceremonies and provides support for LI Awards and branch webinars. She works closely with our events apprentice, helping them learn how to run events.

Ruhela’s favourite landscape is Covent Garden.

Contact the team through the following emails:

Policy & Technical

Jackie Sharp

Interim Head of Policy & Technical

Alan Howard

Policy & Public Affairs Manager

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Alan works with LI members serving on the Policy and Communications Committee (PCC). We champion the vital role which landscapes play in our lives – for health and wellbeing, for thriving, safe and sustainable communities. We apply the expertise of our members to help politicians and policy makers make informed decisions.

Alan’s favourite landscape is The Garden City Greenway, Letchworth

Rachel Wallace

Interim Project Manager

Hazel Benza

Policy & Partnership Manager, Scotland and Northern Ireland

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Hazel is part of the LI’s policy team, working on policy, research, insight, campaigns, and networking to grow influence and help build the landscape profession in Scotland and Northern Ireland. As policy manager, Hazel works on national priorities and opportunities, but also contributes to the work of the wider UK team. Hazel’s background is in the not-for-profit sector, including working as marketing manager for the European Renewable Energy Council, promoting the work of renewable energy professionals in Europe.

Hazel’s favourite landscape is Machu Picchu in Peru, which she describes as breathtaking – especially first thing in the morning, when the sun is just starting to rise and the tourists are still asleep!

Tracy Whitfield

Technical & Research Manager

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Tracy is passionate about the environment and horticulture with a keen eye for detail and technical aspects. Part of her decision making when previously managing the installation and design of projects was incorporating sustainability, wellbeing and biodiversity. Tracy’s management of the Technical and Research function ensures our Members and Colleagues have the materials they need to raise standards and meet future needs. She works with Committees, Experts and Partners in delivering Technical Guidance and Tools, Training, Research and Advice. Her work includes promoting  environmental goals and technical skills for our Members and those outside the LI, to grow connections and take initiatives so that the LI is considered the go to Resource.

Tracy favourite landscape – London and Bath skylines. “from their hills you can see the past and present in landscape design and architecture plus the natural forces that shaped them. Then getting really close and looking at the cracks in the walls and pavements where it is teaming with life, all fascinating and ever changing!”

Contact the team through the following emails:

Education & Careers

John O’Keeffe

Head of Education & Careers

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John is responsible for all things related to Education & Careers including accreditation, apprenticeships, Continuing Professional Development, careers and is the staff lead for the LI on Equity, Diversity & Inclusion.

John’s favourite landscape is the Sexby Gardens in Peckham Rye Park.

Contact the team through the following email for education inquiries –


Rowena Lovell

Board Secretary

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Rowena joined as a member of the senior leadership team in February 2024 with a background in strategic planning and governance within professional membership organisations. She leads the governance of the organisation including the team responsible for supporting the Board and Advisory Council.

Emma Wood

Governance & Regulation Manager

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Emma joined the LI in 2014, bringing with her a wealth of experience in both professional membership bodies and government. Emma’s role promotes good governance at the LI, developing, implementing, communicating, and maintaining governance, regulation, and compliance policies and procedures. Her role also involves ethics and conduct management, governance support to the Board of Trustees and Advisory Council, LI elections, AGMs, and guidance on the LI’s governing documents.

Emma’s favourite landscape is currently Yosemite in California, USA. But tomorrow it could be New Zealand’s Abel Tasman National Park, Grand Balcon Nord in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France… the list goes on!

Contact the team through the following email for regulation inquiries –

Honorary Officers

Carolin Göhler FLI


Contact the board here

Noel Farrer FLI PPLI

Vice President

Mark Smeeden CMLI

Honorary Secretary

Mat Haslam CMLI

Honorary Treasurer


Adam Barker AMLI

Non-Chartered Trustee

Chris House CMLI

Chair, Education & Membership Committee

Ian Phillips CMLI

Chair Policy & Communications Committee

Jane Clarke

Independent Trustee

Marc Norden

Independent Trustee

Council members

Ben Gurney CMLI

Chartered Member

Ruth Holmes FLI

Chartered Member

Nicola Phillips CMLI

Chartered Member

Will Sandy FLI

Chartered Member

Akash Wadhawan CMLI

Chartered Member

Allison Walters CMLI

Chartered Member

Marko Yau

Student Representative

Jennifer Smith CMLI

Branch Representative, East Midlands

Daisy Parsons CMLI

Branch Representative, East of England

Annabelle Silver-Setchfield

Branch Representative, London

John Clay

Branch Representative, Midlands

John Turner CMLI

Branch Representative, North East

Debbie Bartlett

Branch Representative, South East

John-Paul Friend CMLI

Branch Representative, South West

John Ingham CMLI

Branch Representative, Yorkshire and Humber

Mark Ross CMLI

Branch Representative, Scotland

Emma Hayes CMLI

Branch Representative, Wales

Vanessa Ross FLI

Education and Membership Committee Representative

Anastasia Nikologianni AMLI

Policy & Communications Committee Representative

As part of the New Ways of Working, we are highlighting the work each department does for the membership and advancing the aims of the industry.

Governance & Regulations

What is your department responsible for? 

The Board of Trustees has ultimate responsibility for the activities of the Landscape Institute, in line with the requirements of the Charities Acts and as prescribed by the Royal Charter, By-Laws and Regulations.   

Overall, the role of the Board of Trustees is to:  

  • Ensure that the LI has a clear vision and a strategy focused on its achievement 
  • Ensure that the LI meets its objects as set out in the Charter and retains its ethos and values 
  • Ensure that the LI complies with its legal and regulatory requirements 
  • Ensure that expert advice is taken from Advisory Council, Standing Committees and members before decisions are made 
  • Act as guardians of the LI assets and ensure the financial stability of the Institute 
  • Agree performance targets for the Chief Executive.  

As the Board cannot undertake all the work of the organisation, they set the strategic direction and delegate authority for the day to day running of the organisation to the CEO and Senior Leadership Team through a Schedule of Delegated Authority and to various Board and other Committee through Committee terms of reference. The Board then monitors and oversees delivery and progress on an ongoing basis.  

The role of the team is to support the Board, associated Committees and the Advisory Council to meet their responsibilities by ensuring required policies and procedures are in place and adhered to; all consider the right information at the right time and a decision is made in the right way. 

How does your department/role have an impact on the membership and wider industry? 

Governance is about empowerment. Being clear about parameters and levels of authority in decision making empowers individuals, committees and working groups to be able to get on with their job and to be creative and innovative whilst understanding the scope of their authority.   

By putting in place robust policies and procedures we ensure the staff team and members can engage effectively and make decisions to drive forward the work of the LI.  

How have you learnt and gained inspiration from our members, and how has this helped your department?”  

Our Royal Charter is an amazing asset for the sector. Being a Chartered, Technician or Fellow member of the Landscape Institute is a mark of excellence that tells prospective clients and employers that a landscape practitioner is the best in their field. We can play a small part by ensuring the Charter is applied and adhered to and therefore can continue to enable our members to showcase their expertise.

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What is your department responsible for? 

The finance function is critical to support the Institute in making financial decisions and control, financial planning, resource allocation, cash flow management. The CEO, Senior Leadership Team, Finance Committee and Board rely on timely and accurate financial information to make informed decisions.

How does your department/role have an impact on the membership and wider industry? 

An effective Finance Function ensures that the Institute has the resources to best support its members. We are a charity and it is our primary responsibility is to use the monies we receive responsibly and wisely. The Board and Trustees are held to account each year with the Annual Report and Accounts, a public document that anyone can read. The reputation of the Institute is largely dependent on its management of the finances.

How have you learnt and gained inspiration from our members, and how has this helped your department?”  

I am new to the landscape sector and have learnt so much in the last few months. I am aware of the importance that the Institute has in shaping the future of how we live together, in harmony with the green spaces and urban environment in a sustainable way. The Institute and our members have an important role in how we live with climate change in the years ahead. This inspires us all in Finance to play our part the best we can.

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Marketing, Communication & Events

What is your department responsible for? 

The team is responsible for the development and delivery of marketing, communications, and events to drive awareness, growth, and engagement both internally and externally. The team is split into three sub-teams to deliver our strategic objectives, building long-term partnerships as well as retaining our members whilst attracting new ones.

The communications sub-team develops and implements all the corporate communications and PR for both internal and external audiences. Managing all communications activities by using content to drive behaviours, raise the profile of the organisation, enhancing our reputation and securing positive media coverage. We are the guardians of the brand identity, content, and messaging across all channels, ensuring alignment with the LI’s vision, mission, and values.

The marketing function is responsible for optimising our content across our channels, campaign management, producing promotional marketing and analysing data to drive our communications. Designing marketing strategies for our services and products with the right marketing mix for our audiences. This function also supports in generating revenue and leads.

The team are also responsible for managing and delivering the Landscape Institute’s CPD events programme from ideation to evaluation, which includes our annual awards ceremony, conference, graduation, training days, webinars, and masterclasses for our members and key stakeholders against our competency framework to support professional and skills development throughout a practitioner’s career. My team also identifies industry events for the LI to attend, exhibit and speaking opportunities to raise the profile, networking and promote our work.

How does your department/role have an impact on the membership and wider industry? 

Marketing, communications, and events plays a fundamental role within the membership to provide our members with the guidance, knowledge, and tools to support them with their professional development and represent the LI externally. We provide a range of CPD opportunities through our events as well as free webinars available to watch on demand via LI Campus, provide resources within our website and news and resources via social media. Externally, enhancing our reputation and raising the profile of the profession through the work of our membership and celebrating their achievements by demonstrating the value and importance of collaborative partnerships.

The department will lead and undertake our research programme that will help the LI to understand the environment in which it operates in and our audiences to improve member engagement and our positioning both internally and externally. This research will inform our next Corporate Strategy, Business Plan, and departmental strategies.

How have you learnt and gained inspiration from our members, and how has this helped your department?”  

Our members are inspiring in so many ways. They provide a valuable contribution across the built environment and connecting people, place, and nature. Demonstrating that together, we can make a difference and solve complex issues. They are generalists being able to see the bigger picture, providing solutions and ideas that benefit our communities and environment. We are thankful for their time, efforts, and expertise to support the organisation and collaborate with us through our events, communications, and marketing to raise the profile of the profession and drive engagement.

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What is your department responsible for? 

The Education and Careers department is responsible for accreditation, apprenticeships, CPD, careers and Equity, Diversity & Inclusion. 

How does your department/role have an impact on the membership and wider industry? 

The Education and Careers department has a key role to play in attracting the best talent into the landscape profession via various traditional and non-traditional routes and from a diverse range of backgrounds.  Through accreditation it ensures that University courses are meeting its required standards. It also has a role to play in ensuring that eligible members are keeping their CPD up to date and monitoring this in line with the LI Code of Practice as well as providing opportunities for CPD.  It also provides stakeholders with a clear understanding of the sector and the available careers.   

How have you learnt and gained inspiration from our members, and how has this helped your department?

Members are the lifeblood of any membership organisation, and this is very true for the LI. We simply could not do what we need to do without them in the Education and Careers department and they are the best ambassadors and advocates for the sector and are passionate in helping the LI achieve its education and careers objectives. 

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Membership & Commercial

What is your department responsible for? 

The membership and commercial department are responsible for income generation into the Institute. This falls into two parts – our membership income and our commercial income.

We are responsible for the recruitment, retention, development and engagement of members at all grades. Whether it is a student on the start of their journey with the LI, a mid-career professional working towards Chartership, or a senior Fellow, we are the team facilitating all the processes and services our members are familiar with. As well as this, we look after our corporate membership, known as our Registered Practice membership, and look after those important business relationships. Membership also looks after our volunteer proposition, including our branch network and our assessors and supervisors who oversee our professional registration assessments (TMLI, CMLI and FLI). 

 The commercial function is responsible for income into the LI that doesn’t come through membership channels, namely sponsorship, advertising, our job site and other revenue streams.

How does your department/role have an impact on the membership and wider industry? 

We help our members raise their own personal profile by getting them through the process of TMLI, CMLI and FLI. The LI’s Chartership is the gold-standard internationally of a good landscape practitioner, and we are proud to provide that service to our members. By encouraging our members to get involved and volunteer to assess these grades, we are able to provide a route for our members to give back to their industry and make a huge difference to others. Our Registered Practice membership also provides industry with that kite mark showing they are an approved LI practice, and their expertise is one which we are proud to seek out in the form of case studies, journal articles and CPD speakers to help others. 

How have you learnt and gained inspiration from our members, and how has this helped your department?”  

Our members are incredibly hard working and busy, which makes it even more inspiring that we have such an amazing loyal cohort of members who volunteer for the LI. Whether it is being a branch committee member, or the Chief Assessor, we could not function and deliver a fantastic membership experience without our fantastic membership. 

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