Our team

Gary Hurlstone, Managing Director of NexGen Tree Shelters

Gary Hurlstone

Managing Director

Gary has been running successful start-up businesses since the late 1990s. He founded technology services companies Hanston Technology Partners Limited and Nymad Limited, both of which became industry leaders and were sold to competitors. 

Gary attributes his love for developing new businesses to the influence of his father, Graham Hurlstone. In the mid-1980s, Graham invented the Tubex tree shelter which went on to become the market leader. Gary started NexGen to update his father’s original design into a tree shelter that would perform at least as well while being cost-effective and, most important of all, environmentally friendly.

Simon Place

Simon Place

Business Development Consultant

Simon has been involved in forestry and arboriculture since 1984, steadily advancing from private estates to top-tier forest management. In 2013, he joined Tubex, where he expanded business into new countries and contributed to product development for both U.K. and international markets. His career also includes a tenure at Rainbow Professional and running his own company, High Grains Forestry. In July 2024, Simon joined the NexGen team.

Simon is a woodland owner and a Chartered Forester. He is also a keen motorsport fan and classic car owner.

David Seall, Technical Advisor of NexGen Tree Shelters

David Seall

Technical Advisor

David has been a Non-Executive Director for over 25 years and currently sits on the board of two companies: CP Cases, that designs and manufactures bespoke protective cases, and Start and Grow UK, that delivers business support programmes across England. As well as being a Board Advisor for NexGen, he also advises several other start-up businesses. 

David has advised major banks and law firms and has served as a Trustee at Hampshire Technology Centre Trust, the Farnham Maltings and Oakleaf Enterprise, a leading mental health charity. He is a Visiting Professor and Chair of the Advisory Board at the University of Surrey Business School and a Member of the Manufacturing Commission, which advises the All-Party Parliamentary Manufacturing Group.

A Materials Engineer, he started his career in the aerospace industry where he delivered major design and manufacture programmes for customers such as Boeing, Airbus and Eurofighter, and was Head of Design & Technology for a tier one company. For over 10 years he was Chief Executive of the Engineering Employers Federation for London and the South East (now Make UK), and worked with hundreds of technology companies. Today, David is a Member of the National Economic Policy Committee of Make UK and Deputy Chair of their South East Regional Advisory Board.

David Batty, CFO of NexGen Tree Shelters

David Battey


David is the founder of Lumaca Capital, a consultancy that provides strategic advice to start-up and early-stage venture businesses. He has many years’ experience working in private equity, managing portfolios for investors in the mid-market and small cap sectors. At the start of his career, David trained at PwC and is ACA qualified.

David MacMillan

David MacMillan

Board Advisor

David spent 35 years working for his family’s publishing business, both before and after its sale. As well as working in publishing, he has been a broadcaster, worked in The City of London, been an advertising executive, a printer, papermaker and bookseller.

David is particularly interested in helping early-stage start-ups and advises and sits on several business boards. He is also a Trustee of a landed Scottish estate. Alongside his work in the private sector, David has sat on a number of charity boards and today is Deputy Chair of the Royal Drawing School and Chairman of the Hepatitis C Trust.

Coral Ramsden

Coral Ramsden MICB.CBDip

Financial Manager

Coral has worked in the SME market for over 25 years.  She loves understanding what makes a business tick and discovering how she can add extra value to her clients.

Coral is a methodical planner and finds the challenge of working with a fast-growing business like Nexgen really motivating.

Katie Cripwell

Katie Cripwell


Katie joined the NexGen team in 2022 to lead our marketing strategy and delivery. After a career in London working in marketing agencies and as a freelance brand and marketing consultant, Katie moved to Herefordshire. Here, she set up LimeGreen Marketing, helping SMEs with big ambitions to launch and gain market share in the UK and Europe.

Her very small, smallholding on the Welsh border has given her an appreciation for the environment and a passion for minimising our impact on the land we steward. She brings this ethos to the NexGen team, aligning marketing strategies with a conscientious approach to environmental responsibility.

Our ethos

Find out more

Our story

Find out more

Our R&D

Find out more

NexGen. Protect your young trees. Protect the environment.

Get in touch today to find out more