Wheal Martyn Trust - Trustees

Wheal Martyn Trust is registered as a Charity, number 1001838.  The Trust is governed by a Board of Trustees including South West Lakes Trust as Corporate Trustee and three named trustees.  Trustees meet formally six times a year to ensure that appropriate and effective arrangements are in place for the charity.

John Wood - Chairman

John moved from Mevagissey to Cornwall in the late fifties, he attended Penrice School and went to Cornwall Technical College, thereafter, John qualified as a teacher in Reading. John returned to Cornwall 40 years ago, living in a hamlet just outside the village of Roche, with his Cornish wife, Jean.

John has served as Chairman of Cornwall Council and is currently a Cornwall Councillor.

“Living in the heart of the ‘Clay Country’ with clay very much in the community veins, I have always been interested in its evolvement from humble beginnings to the billion pound industry it is today. I care passionately that we do ensure that future generations do understand and appreciate how their ancestors worked so hard to create much of the wealth that we enjoy today.”

john wood trustee, wheal martyn museum


Chris Varcoe worked in the China Clay Industry for 44 years and retired in 2015. Chris has held many roles in the industry including managerial positions in surveying, mineral planning, continuous performance improvement, environment and finally as Imerys’ Mineral Services Manager, where he had responsibility for:- public relations, facilities, restoration, landscaping, mineral planning and security. Chris was also a Fellow of the Institute of Quarrying.

wheal martyn trustees chris varscoe

SOUTH WEST LAKES TRUST - Corporate Trustee

In April 2010 Wheal Martyn was taken over by South West Lakes Trust, which became the charity’s Corporate Trustee, this allowed Wheal Martyn to retain its own charitable status, whilst enabling it to achieve a sustainable future. South West Lakes Trust is the South West’s largest combined conservation and recreation charity and was established in 2000.  The Trust was awarded the Queens Award for Enterprise in Sustainable development in 2010.

The two charities have complimentary charitable objects, South West Lakes Trust’s work extends over a wide range of activities including conservation of the natural environment and built heritage, sustainable recreation, provision of safe public access and education across 50 sites in Devon, Cornwall and West Somerset.

Please see the following links for more information:

South West Lakes Trust
Trustees of South West Lakes Trust

view of siblyback lake south west lakes trust


Wheal Martyn Enterprise Ltd. (company number 02599839)  is the Charity’s wholly owned trading subsidiary which operates the café, gift shop and conference facilities, with profits made being gift aided to the charity.  John Wood is a Non-Executive Director and chairs the subsidiary.  He is joined by Chris Varcoe and the following Non-Executive Directors:

Evelyn Stacey – Non executive Director

Evelyn was Chief Executive of South West Lakes Trust from 2000 and of Wheal Martyn from 2010 until July 2015.  Her work included managing over 50 inland waters in Cornwall, Devon and West Somerset where activities are now well established.  SWLT has been successful in raising external grant funds in excess of £12m since its inception.  A past Vice Chairman of the China Clay History Society and a Member of the Institute of Directors and of the Tourism Management Institute/Tourism Society, she served as a Secretary of State-appointed member of the Exmoor National Park Authority for 10 years when she chaired the very successful HLF-funded West Somerset Mineral Railway project.  She remains actively involved in heritage matters through her membership of the Heritage Lottery Fund SW Committee.  Until recently she was Chairman of Exmoor Tourism and previously was involved with South West Tourism and syndicates as far apart as West Somerset and West Cornwall.  She also served as a member of the RDA-sponsored Regional Woodland and Forestry Framework group and on the South West Forest Project Committee. She is an Independent Person on police misconduct hearings for Devon and Cornwall Police.

wheal martyn trustees evelyn stacey

JACKY SWAIN - Non executive Director

Jacky is the Communications and Site Manager for the Carlyon Bay development, a proposed prestigious new seaside resort. She also Chairs the St. Austell Market House Community Interest Company and is Vice Chair of the St. Austell Bay Chamber of Commerce. Jacky moved to Cornwall some 22 years ago and when she’s not working she enjoys walking her Labrador in the fabulous Cornish countryside and getting out on the water of St. Austell Bay.

wheal martyn trustees ajcky swain

COLIN VALLANCE - Non executive Director

Colin became General Manager of Wheal Martyn when it became part of South West Lakes Trust in 2010 and in 2015 took on the role of Managing Director. Colin has worked for South West Lakes Trust since 2000 in various roles and is a graduate of the Trust’s Management Development Programme. Previous roles include Assistant Manager of the Trust’s flagship wedding and conference venue at Roadford Lake and Head of Hospitality. With a growing passion for heritage he chairs the China Clay History Society, the Cornish Mining Attraction Marketing Association and is a Trustee of Cornwall Museums Partnership. Colin splits his time between both charities, as Heritage and Environment Director for South West Lakes Trust, he oversees the organisations conservation, estate management, forestry and angling operations. A farmer’s son from Devon, Colin has a keen interest in the countryside, enjoys walking on Dartmoor and the coast, as well as good food and the occasional bit of cycling.

Colin Vallance managing director of Wheal Martyn