The trust appreciates the support from our three patrons:

The Countess Sondes

The Countess Sondes is not a typical member of the British aristocracy in either her origin or her attitude. She represents the fusion of twenty-first century enterprise and insight, with centuries-old tradition. An American by birth, the widowed Phyllis Kane married Henry George Herbert, The Fifth Earl Sondes, in 1986. The Countess rapidly embraced the natural beauty of Lees Court, the Sondes family ancestral Estate, and its way of life evolving over seven centuries. When The Earl Sondes died in 1996, The Countess was determined for Lees Court to be retained and to preserve the continuance of its way of life; she has brought her own unique vision to the Estate.Unusually, the ownership of the Lees Court Estate includes the majority of the Swale Estuary and Faversham and Oare Creeks.  The Countess Sondes is passionate about this area and the Estate adopts a proactive approach to its management and conservation. There is particular focus on protecting its biodiversity and using the Estate’s ownership to responsibly protect socio-economic activity on the Estuary and Creeks, including moorings, wildfowling, fishing and the management of its oyster beds and works closely with Hollowshore Fisheries on the day-to-day activities. The aims of the Faversham Creek Trust are aligned with those of The Countess Sondes which is why she was honoured to become a patron of the Trust.

Professor Sir David Melville CBE

David Melville is a Faversham resident and he has been a sailor for over 50 years. His career has been in Further and Higher Education as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kent, Chief Executive of the Further Education Funding Council and Vice-Chancellor of Middlesex University and before that as a Professor of Physics.  He has been Chair of Pearson Education Ltd and a member or chair of several national Government education reviews and inquiries. He was the Government Thames Gateway Skills Envoy and chair of Health Education and the NHS Postgraduate Deanery for Kent Surrey Sussex, Lifelong Learning UK, the Higher Education Statistics Agency, the Learning and Skills Council in Kent and Medway, the University Vocational Awards Council and Higher Education South East, and a board member of several universities, the ifs School of Finance, the Higher Education Careers Services Unit, The Place and the Council for Industry and Higher Education. He is currently a member of the Parliamentary Higher Education Commission, a Kent Ambassador, Chair of Faversham & Oare Heritage Harbour Group and Vice-Chair of the Faversham Society.

Professor Chris Wright

Professor Chris Wright BSc PhD ACGI MICE CEng FIHT CMath FIMA is Emeritus Professor of Transport Management, Middlesex University, London.  Originally trained as a civil engineer, for the last 45 years he has specialised in transport research, becoming a chartered mathematician in 1995.  He has been chairman of the Executive Committee of the (UK) Universities Transport Study Group, and a member of several professional committees including the editorial board of the Municipal Engineer.  He has advised the London Assembly on aspects of the Mayor’s transport policy, has appeared on a number of radio and TV programmes, and produced over 150 research papers in the transport field.  Chris was a founding Director of the Whitstable Improvement Trust, is a past Chairman of Faversham Creek Trust, and in 2024, he retired as a trustee of the Faversham Society.  He has recently contributed to the development of the Faversham Neighbourhood Plan and continues to take an interest in local transport and development issues.’