Our passion is to help heritage, environment, museum and community organisations to achieve their aims and realise their ambitions. We  care deeply about people and the historic, cultural and natural environment.   We work closely with a range of other specialist consultants and associates to provide an integrated approach wherever appropriate.


Phil Collins Associates originated as Lee Donaldson Associates Environment and Heritage Consultants founded by Phil Collins and Dr Barry Tranter in 1989.  In 2000 Phil Collins moved to Devon. The Devon based arm of the practice was rebranded Phil Collins Associates in 2003. After management roles for the National Trust, as Director of Torquay Museum,  Manager of Natural England's Cornwall and Devon and the SW Advocacy and Partnership Team and of English Nature's Devon Team, Phil returned full time to consultancy practice in April 2016.

Phil Collins Associates are a Registered Practice of the Landscape Institute.

Phil Collins

Current roles

Phil Collins Associates - CO/Director

Phil is an experienced business leader, project manager and entrepreneur. He has over thirty years' in senior management roles in private, public and 3rd sector environmental  and heritage organisations.

He has been responsible for strategic and business planning, governance and operational reviews and change programmes, commercial management and audience development  in a number of organisations and roles.  


Phil has successfully raised substantial funds for organisations and projects. He is an experienced facilitator with experience in designing, facilitating, and managing stakeholder dialogue and community engagement.

Phil has extensive experience in the evaluation, conservation and management of heritage assets, historic buildings and churches  and terrestrial, coastal and marine environments.

Heritage Lottery Fund - SW Committee Member

As a member of the SW Committee Phil carries out assessment visits to projects, act as an advocate for the organisation and its work and makes decisions on the allocation of grants. Phil has recently been reappointed for a second 3 year term.


National Trust - West Somerset Property Manager 2014 - 2016

Phi was responsible for managing the portfolio that included the 5000 Ha Holnicote Estate on Exmoor, 600 Ha of the Quantocks, a let estate of 15 farms and 170 vernacular cottages, the 18th century Arcadian garden at Fyne Court, a 300 house housing development at Taunton, and the Wellington Monument. 

Torquay Museum - Director/CEO 2011 - 2014

Phil developed and implement major changes that enabled the Charity to survive and to continue to deliver its charitable objectives. 

  • new vision and 5 year business plan

  • Secured £600k of external funding,

  • Restructured and cut the Museum’s staffing and reduced costs to achieve a reduction in core costs of 40%.

  • Introduced new corporate processes, including finance, reporting, risk management, HR, H&S, IT and point of sale systems.

  • Restructured the Museum’s governance and initiated the establishment of a new independently recruited Board of Trustees.

Natural England - Advocacy and Partnerships Manager 2007 - 2011

Phil led NE's advocacy, media and communications programme that sought to influence policy makers, funders and decision makers and to increase the opportunities for people to understand, engage with and support the conservation of the environment.

  • Led our external funding programme in the SW, supporting the development of successful Interreg, Life, HLF and other bids, both by ourselves and in partnership with others.

  • Developed innovative landscape scale demonstration projects, such as the Finding Sanctuary Marine Fisheries Project, SW Farmland Birds and SW Uplands Ecosystems Services projects, working with a range of partners including land owners, national parks, local authorities, NGOs, Waitrose etc.

  • Led the Region’s Outdoors for All, Health and the Environment, Access and Greenspace programmes.

  • Managed our regional media campaigns, PR and communications functions, including developing the SW State of the Environment Report and SW Uplands Report, and delivering the SW element of our Uplands Campaign.


Natural England - Area Manager Cornwall and Devon 2006 - 2007

  • Led engagement with major partnership projects and associated funding applications.  These included the Interreg IIIB funded Cycleau Coastal Zone Management Project, the Greening EU Structural Funds Project that worked with partners from across Europe to influence structural funds policy and the Interreg IVA CORDIALE Project for sustainable landscape management in the context of climate change.

  • Led innovative land management projects such as the Culm Land Management Partnership in mid Devon helping to secure significant external funding.

English Nature - Area Manage Devon 2000 - 2006

  • Championed projects that secured major gains for the environment eg the Lundy Seabird Recovery Project, the establishment of England’s first marine fisheries no-take zone and the production of the Lundy Dive Guide and underwater video.

  • Led our advocacy and partnership work in Devon. 

  • Established Environment Devon, a partnership of more than 20 organisations, to form the single point of reference for professional environmental opinion in the County, embedding our role within the Devon Strategic Partnership.

Lee Donaldson Associates Environmental Consultants - Founding Director 1998 - 2000

Phil founded the practice and over the ensuing 11 years managed a wide range of landscape design, EIA, EA, managed retreat, habitat management, creation, restoration and visitor management projects for private and public sector clients.


BA Architecture, BSc Ecology, PGDip Building Conservation (RICS)

Professional memberships

CMLI Landscape Institute

MICEEM Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management

AMA Museums Association

CBiol MIBiol CEnv Royal Society of Biology


Trustee and Board  Roles


Coppice Partnership  - Director


Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World - Director and Company Secretary

Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site Steering Group

SW Forest Board Member

Historic Environment Forum SW  - Board Member

Ashwell Local History Field Studies Centre - Trustee

Jess Collins

Current role

Phil Collins Associates - Director

Jess has thirty years’ experience in education and learning, writing and editing, historic environment interpretation and archaeological research.  She advises clients on historic environment and research projects and leads our work on activity and learning planning and  the development of storylines, scripts and resources for Interpretation, learning and community engagement projects.


Education and learning

  • Qualified teacher

  • Science, history and archaeology teaching in museums and field studies centres, including the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge Folk Museum and the Farmland Museum, Cambridgeshire: activity planning and delivering to primary age children and special needs groups

  • Academic writing workshops delivered to post-graduate students with English as a second language


Research and appraisal

  • University of Exeter: writing research impact assessments in archaeology for the Research Excellence Framework

  • Palaeoenvironmental research in archaeology

  • Research into the presentation of experimental archaeological reconstructions in outdoor museums

  • PhD research into the potential for museums to use archaeological collections and sites in the presentation of climate change past and present

  • Surveying and recording archaeological sites, including in rural southern India


Stakeholder engagement

  • Liaison with clients, users and visitors to museums

  • Interviewing museum professionals in relation to research

  • Engaging with academic staff over research impact case studies

  • Presenting the results of research to academic audiences and schools groups


Writing and editing

  • Writing and co-authoring academic papers

  • Editing archaeological books

  • Writing interpretation material and resources for delivery in museums

  • Writing multi-cultural education resources for teachers, following a study visit to East Africa with the Birmingham Development Education Centre




BA Archaeology, PGCE, MA Wetland Archaeology, PhD