Trustees and key post holders

Bill Parker Bill Parker President

After completing a degree in Earth Sciences at Oxford, Bill opted to follow a different career path, holding a number of roles of increasing seniority in sales, marketing and international business management, the last 27 years of which were with a well-known US multinational company. He is passionate about the natural world and is a keen birder, a licensed bird ringer and a wildlife sound recordist. He is a former Membership Officer for the BAS and became President in 2023. Bill is also spider County Recorder / SRS Area Organiser for Buckinghamshire and, together with Helen Smith, administrator of BAS’s Twitter account. His other interests include guitar, old agricultural machinery and Morris dancing!

Colin Budworth Colin Budworth Ordinary member

As a recent immigrant to the UK, much of Colin’s  experience has been in Southern Africa. After a short career in the South African Army, his interest in the natural world found him working in one of the oldest snake parks in South Africa, then moving to a snake and crocodile farm. At this point he felt environmental education was more his forte, and worked as an environmental education officer, ending up running a small nature reserve for a few years, his interests being primarily with invertebrates and reptiles. He then discovered technology and has worked in many industries as a software developer over the last 20 years, and hopes to be able to use this accumulated educational and technological experience to further the aims of the Society.


Danniella Sherwood Danniella Sherwood Newsletter editor

Danniella Sherwood is a research taxonomist specialising in the systematics of spiders. Most of her research focuses on the infraorder Mygalomorphae but she also has research interests in the taxonomy and systematics of spiders from the Mid Atlantic islands, historical nomenclature of spiders more broadly, and in museum specimen curation, digitisation, preservation and restoration. Danniella is Voluntary Assistant Curator of Arachnida at the Natural History Museum, London, a Research Associate of the Arachnology Research Association, United Kingdom Coordinator for the World Spider Catalog, a Member of the IUCN SSC Mid Atlantic Island Invertebrate Specialist Group and Foreign Associate of the Fundación Ariguanabo. She became a Trustee and Ordinary Council Member of the British Arachnological Society in June 2021 and Editor of the Newsletter of the British Arachnological Society in January 2022.

Francis Farr-Cox Francis Farr-Cox Sales Manager

Francis spent his working life in Somerset where he was employed by the Environment Agency and its predecessors working in fisheries, conservation and recreation. He is an amateur arachnologist who has been a BAS member since 1969 when he was a teenager. He has served on Council since 1984 when he was elected as an ordinary member. From 1987 until 1997 he was the Meetings Secretary (formerly Asst. Sec.). He served as an ordinary member from 1997-2000 and from 2004-2007.  Since 2008 he has been the Society's Sales Manager. Since the launch of the Spider Recording Scheme in 1987 he has been the Area Organiser for Somerset. In Her Majesty the Queen's 90th birthday honours he was awarded the BEM for public and voluntary services to the natural environment in Somerset.

Geoff Oxford Geoff Oxford Hon. Secretary

A retired academic from the University of York, Geoff has researched the maintenance of genetic variation and speciation/hybridisation in spiders for over 50 years. He served as an ordinary member of Council between 2000 and 2003 and returned as Vice President in 2009. After a spell as President (2010-2013) he took on his present role as Hon. Secretary in 2014. He is one of the authors of Britain's Spiders, an editor of the Arachnologists' Handbook and, since 2020, an Honorary member of the Society.

Gerald Legg Gerald Legg Pseudoscorpion Scheme national organiser

Gerald Legg is a retired museum keeper, lecturer, author and consultant who has studied the British pseudoscorpion fauna for around 50 years as well as West African ricinulei, describing species new to science. In the 1970s he served as a member of Council representing the pseudoscorpions. He is the author of the Linnean Society Monograph on Pseudoscorpions illustrated by Richard Jones, and the joint author of the Field Studies Council's Illustrated key to the British False Scorpions. Since 2016 he has been an Honorary member of the Society.

Helen_Smith Helen Smith Conservation Officer

Helen was a plant ecologist before converting to arachnology on inheriting the conservation programme for the Fen Raft Spider from Dr Eric Duffey in 1992. Joining BAS Council in 2008 she has served as vice-President and President. She is an editor of the Arachnologists' Handbook, and an author of Britain’s Spiders. Reflecting her life-long interest in conservation, she is a co-author of the 2019 report A New Deal for Nature, a member of the ICUN’s Spider and Scorpion Specialist Group and currently BAS Conservation Officer.

Jeremy Poole Jeremy Poole Membership Officer

Despite being an engineer and physicist during his working life, Jeremy has always had an interest in the outdoors and the natural world. His interest in spiders grew from a frustration at not being able to identify even the commonest spiders in his garden. He has addressed this issue by attending a spider identification course and a number of BAS Field Weekends, where he has greatly valued the friendship and advice of more knowledgeable members. Jeremy recently volunteered to be the BAS Area Organiser for Dorset, and joined Council as Membership Officer in 2023. He is a keen photographer and microscopist and is unusual in having a Scanning Electron Microscope in a laboratory in his garden! He uses this to create images of a wide variety of subjects, including, of course, spiders. His other interests include playing the cello, both as a member of a string quartet and with a pianist friend.

Jim Pewtress Jim Pewtress Hon. Treasurer

Jim spent many years working as a warden for the Youth Hostels Association in northern England before running a village shop and Post Office for five years. Over the last 20 years he has worked for two different national charities, firstly as a fund-raiser and latterly as a witness service manager in the York Courts. His interest in natural history started with birds. He was a bird ringer for 30 years, secretary for the Yorkshire Naturalists' Union Bird section for 10 years, and has been involved in bird survey and recording at local and national levels. Jim's interest in spiders was triggered by attending a course at the former Kindrogan Field Studies Council Centre; he now does most of his spider collecting in and around VC62. He became treasurer of the BAS in 2018 and has served in that role ever since.

Lawrence Bee Lawrence Bee Vice President

Lawrence has worked as an independent ecological consultant since 2013, after a career in environmental education. He has served as a member of Council for over 40 years acting as Slide Librarian, Education Officer and Press and Publicity Officer for the Society over that time. He was elected to the Vice- Presidency in 2020 and became President in 2021. He is a regular tutor on spider identification courses for the Field Studies Council and wrote the Field Studies Council Guide to Spiders of House and Garden. He is also one of the authors of Britain's Spiders – a field guide.