The Brockenhurst Village Trust (BVT) and Trustees

The Brockenhurst Village Trust is a registered charity which provides educational, recreational and social facilities for the people of Brockenhurst. It is responsible for all the buildings and facilities on the Highwood Road site. The Trust is independent and receives no regular income from the Council Tax or Parish precept. The Trust runs the Village Hall through its Village Hall Management Committee which is chaired by a director/trustee of the Board.

The BVT was incorporated in November 2000 and is a registered company limited by guarantee, not having a share capital; the company number is 4108622. It was registered as a charity in March 2001 with the number 1085825. The Trust is therefore subject to the requirements of the Companies Acts and the Charity Commission.

The objects of the Trust are to provide educational, recreational and other community facilities for the benefit and social welfare of the people of the Civil Parish of Brockenhurst in Hampshire (“the area of benefit”) by charitable means. In furtherance of these objects the Company has a variety of powers laid down in the Memorandum of Association.

Originally the Highwood Road site was the property of Hampshire County Council and for many years was occupied by Brockenhurst’s Priestlands School Annexe (and before that was the Grammar School, and even earlier the County High School) before it closed in 1969/70.

The Village Hall was originally built on part of this site, and prior to the year 2000, the hall, the car park in front of the building and the area occupied by the playground were the property of the Village Hall, and subsequently the Trust, from 1983. The hall has been extended several times over the years.

The original Hall was made possible by a number of voluntary contributions and has been the beneficiary of many local residents wishing to see the creation of a community facility for Brockenhurst. The remainder of the Highwood Road site was retained by Hampshire County Council and purchased more recently. The Trust was created in order to acquire ownership of this remainder of the site which now houses the Scout Building and a Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) as well currently vacant land extending to the Doctors’ car park.


The Board of Trustees (Company Directors) are responsible for the management of the Company/Trust, the maximum number of trustees being eleven, two nominated by the Brockenhurst Parish Council, two representing user organisations and seven nominated by members of the general public within the area of benefit. The powers and responsibilities of the Board are laid down in the Articles of Association which can be made available on request along with the Memorandum of Association. Currently the Board meets at least quarterly with the Annual General Meeting in July being held as a General Meeting open to any members or others wishing to attend.

The Trustees are (current as of May 2020, please scroll down or click on a name for further information):

Kevin Plummer (Chairman)
David Bennett
Tony Fessler
Avril Hicks
Claire Lawrie
John Wingham
Richard Wolstenholme

Kevin Plummer (Chairman)

Kevin Plummer

I spent all my working life as an Environmental Health Officer for London councils, managing teams involved in pollution, health & safety, licensing and food safety enforcement. I have been a Magistrate for over 25 years sitting throughout London.

I retired 6 years ago and moved from Surrey to Brockenhurst. I am married (my wife still works as a secondary school teacher) with 2 grown up children who are living in London.

I have been a governor at Brockenhurst Church of England Primary School for the past five years. I share an allotment with fellow Trustee David, enjoy cooking and DIY.

As a member of the Brockenhurst Village Trust I have a particular interest in the safety and security of all staff, members, volunteers of the hall and the public. I was elected as Chair in May 2020.

David Bennett

David Bennett

I was a journalist (local newspapers in the New Forest, and later regional/national BBC after University) before spending 10 years in Local Government as Head of Communications at Dorset County Council and later at Southampton City Council until 2006.

I then started my own media company, working around the world to provide ‘simulated’ media to organisations wanting to develop their skills and understanding, from NATO to the UK’s Search and Rescue helicopter teams, before retiring in 2019.

I have lived in Brockenhurst with my family since 1998 often enjoying events at the Village Hall as we are among its closest neighbours. Both of our children went to the village school before Priestland’s and onwards. My main hobby is gardening, both in and out of the greenhouse, and on an allotment, I share with fellow Trustee Kevin. I am also a local Royal British Legion board member, a board member of the New Forest Dog Owners’ Group, and Chair of the Friends of Brockenhurst Station.

I work towards the Trust’s aims of social welfare, community well-being and engagement, especially by creating and promoting events for local people as well as encouraging visitors to enjoy being in our lovely village.

Tony Fessler

Tony Fessler

I was born in Belfast in 1940 into an Austrian émigré family. I was educated at Manchester Grammar School and Lincoln College Oxford (PPE) and subsequently qualified as a Chartered Secretary.

I have worked as Finance Director of Mannesmann Kienzle UK Ltd (a computer supplier), and subsequently as General Secretary of the Anglo-Austrian Society, a cultural and educational charity.

Following retirement in 2000, and our move to Brockenhurst, I have been Treasurer of the Hampshire branch of CPRE, and since 2014 Treasurer of the Brockenhurst Village Trust.

We moved to Brockenhurst because this is where our son and grandchildren live; we also have a daughter in London. We have a boat at Bucklers Hard, and enjoy walking in the New Forest, concerts, opera and drama, and travel in the wider world.

Avril Hicks

Avril Hicks

Avril joined the Brockenhurst Village Trust Board in May 2020.

I was born 1949 and raised in Hampshire. After attending Totton Grammar school, I gained a degree in Psychology at Exeter then trained as a Social Worker working mostly in Bristol.

After starting a family, my husband and I moved to Holbury to take over our family business, running the local hardware and garden shop.  As the business developed, we moved to live in East Boldre for 10 years then to Brockenhurst when our children were attending the College. Our son now runs our business and I continue as part time Finance and Administrative Director, working from home.

We have lived in Meerut Road for 22 years. It is a joy to live in the middle of The New Forest and we value all that the Brockenhurst community has to offer. Over the years I have come to appreciate the range of facilities that are based at the Village Hall. As a volunteer helping to run the Friday Day Centre for the Elderly and when attending some of the different classes and activities, I can see the work that has to be done to make everything possible. I hope that with my social administration and commercial experience I can help the Trust in its valuable work.

Claire Lawrie

Claire Lawrie

I have lived in Brockenhurst  with my husband and 2 children since 1992. I have taught Primary school children in Sway and Dibden Purlieu and also worked in the Pupil Referral Centre when it was in Highwood Road.

I have been a Brownie guider for 1st Brockenhurst Brownies and now volunteer at Marie Curie in Lymington.

I am currently working at Beaulieu Motor Museum where I can combine a love of History and dressing – up to bring the curriculum to life for children. I  am also  an enthusiastic member of Brockenhurst Wine Society.

I have also been a keen member of Our Twinning Association since it started in 1994. I love cycling and walking  but hate hills so this is the ideal location for me.

John Wingham (Parish Council nominee)

John Wingham

I am a retired Telecoms Consultant specialising in Radio and Television transmission. I was trained at the BBC Engineering College in Evesham and also at Plymouth Polytechnic. I have lived in Hampshire since 1971 and Brockenhurst since 1987.  I took voluntary redundancy in 2002 and then undertook charity work with a parallel organisation to the Prince’s Trust helping adults return to work through self-employment. In 2005 with a national need to undertake the Digital Switchover of Radio and TV transmission I returned to the broadcast industry where I lead the design and implementation of many projects. I retired for the last time in 2013!

I am a director appointed by Brockenhurst Parish Council where I have served since 2004. I also work with other groups such as the Friends of Brockenhurst Station, of which I am the Secretary.

I am married to Liz formally a Senior Operations Manager in both the public and private health services. Our two daughters both attended Brockenhurst Primary School, Highcliffe School and Brockenhurst College before going to university.

Richard Wolstenholme (Parish Council nominee)

Richard Wolstenholme

I was born and raised near Salisbury and despite being from a military family, other than two years in Germany, we remained in that area throughout my childhood.

Originally in banking, I have traded in the village for 22 years now, initially in Antiques and for the last 10 years at Pot Pourri cards and gifts.

Throughout my time in the village I have been active in the Business Association and now also as a Parish Councillor.

I am committed to ensuring the village continues and evolves to offer as wide range of businesses as possible, footfall being key to this.

I am involved in animal welfare, especially dogs and am a self confessed Francophile.


The Brockenhurst Village Trust currently has vacancies for Trustees. The voluntary role is interesting, contributes to village life, and takes a few hours a month. If you are interested please contact the Chair of the Trustees, Kevin Plummer, at