Earth Community Trust

About Us


Polly Higgins

Polly Higgins founded the ECT in 2011 as a conduit charity so that others in the UK who are advancing the same purpose could benefit. She recognised that there was a gap; individuals and organisations that are pioneers in their fields are sometimes precluded from funding when they lack charitable status. In setting up her charity as a conduit charity, she made the ECT available for their funders to fund them via the ECT.

Since Polly’s death in 2019, the ECT also supports the continuation of her life’s work towards a future for Earth and all its inhabitants based on a principle of “first do no harm” – this is our Earth Protector work.

Polly is the author of the award-winning book Eradicating Ecocide and was a lawyer, visionary and pioneer. She was Scottish-born and loved whisky – organic of course… As a Hoffman graduate, she was a true advocate for people care and Earth care!


Jojo Mehta, Trustee

Jojo Mehta is co-founder with Polly Higgins of environmental NGO Stop Ecocide International which concentrates on advocacy for an international crime of ecocide.  She also co-founded with Polly the Stop Ecocide campaign, where supporters declare themselves Earth Protectors and gift to support the advocacy work.  Education and awareness-raising focused on growing the global community of Earth Protectors is part of the Earth Protectors initiative of the Earth Community Trust. 


Ian Lawrie QC, Trustee

HH Judge Ian Lawrie QC is the Honorary Recorder of Gloucester & Resident Judge.  He was also the husband of Polly Higgins.  Ian was in private practice as a barrister and Queen’s Counsel (appointed April 2011) for just under 30 years until appointed as a circuit judge in October 2015. Both from practice and his court sittings Ian has a broad knowledge of criminal law and a particular specialism in maritime and fisheries regulatory law. In his role as Resident Judge Ian is keen on encouraging young people in the understanding of the law and the functioning of the courts through the court’s monthly “Getting Court” and quarterly “Calling In” events. He is warmly supportive of the Earth Protector initiatives as well as Polly’s wider legacy.

ManleyManley Hopkinson, Trustee

Manley Hopkinson advises business leaders globally on the creation and running of high performing organisations. To explain his unique leadership approach, he draws on his challenging life experiences, which include skippering a yacht in a round the world race, and winning a race to the Magnetic north pole. He is a renowned public speaker and director of leadership at the Georgia Group Consulting and is an adviser to many High Performance Organisations.


Dr George Vigileos, Director

George Vigileos brings to the Trust a wealth of experience in environmental policy and planning, development economics and strategic skills, having worked as a researcher for the Countryside & Community Research Institute of the University of Gloucestershire, as a researcher on sustainable waste management, and lecturer at Northeastern University in Boston.  George’s focus is on movement building: developing replicable models for Earth Protector Communities of all types to embrace a regenerative development approach and encouraging collaboration between stakeholders at the individual, local community and corporate levels. 


Anita van Rossum, Director

Anita van Rossum worked closely with Polly Higgins and Jojo Mehta for several years and has an intimate knowledge of the Stop Ecocide campaign.  She has extensive background in outreach and events organisation having run businesses and community groups for many years in the UK and in Spain, and is also an experienced public speaker.  Her particular interest is in growing the Earth Protector Communities locally and beyond, especially with regard to developing resources that people everywhere can relate to, and use in their own way, to build the Earth Protector movement.




Zambodhi SchlossmacherZambodhi Schlossmacher

Zambodhi has a deep interest in the well being of vulnerable/disadvantaged people. Her work spans from special needs education to end of life care. Bereavement counsellor and NVC trained by Dr Rosenberg, Zambodhi has over 30 years of experience in caring and therapeutic roles, 20 years in the UK and the previous 10 years in Sweden and Germany, working with people aged 3 – 100. Now also working with sounding bowls – you can read more here. Zambodhi is an initiator of a local network called ‘friendShip’ which aims to support people living with life threatening illness, building a network of family/friends/volunteers that are available to surround and support them as they create their journeys.

MM QCMichael Mansfield QC

Leading lawyer in the UK who specialises in Human Rights and Civil Liberties; notable court cases and inquests include the accused IRA bombers, the Bloody Sunday incident, the deaths of Jean Charles de Menezes, Stephen Lawrence‘s family and Diana, Princess of Wales. Michael Mansfield QC is a regular lecturer and keynote speaker around the world including the UK, Europe, Asia the Middle East and North America. Topics include the law of Ecocide and his role as lead prosecutor in the 2011 Mock Ecocide Trial held in the UK Supreme Court Michael Mansfield QC is also a regular speaker to the university circuit including the likes of Oxford, Cambridge, Keele University, Sussex and Middlesex.

FelixFelix Applebe

Felix Appelbe specialises as a consultant at Ambrose Appelbe Solicitors. He specialises in tax investments, the administration of probates, estates and charities, and residential and commercial property. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Felix Appelbe has a strong interest in the land and conservation. Besides his London-based legal practice, he farms in Gloucestershire.