Meet our Board of Trustees, the lovely people who work hard behind the scenes to keep the Trust on track.
Chair - Christopher Pennell MBE
Christopher has wide experience of charitable and public sector non-executive governance, natural environment policy, land management and conservation, financial planning and engaging the public, all gained through a decade as The National Trust’s East Midlands Regional Director; and, thereafter, as a Trustee and long-term Guardian Member of your CPRE Branch, as a National Board Member of English Nature then Natural England and Chair of the latter’s Audit and Risk Committee, as Chair of The Heritage Lottery Fund in the East Midlands, as a Member and Committee Chair of the Peak District National Park Authority; and as Deputy Chair for Moors for the Future, a dynamic moorland conservation organisation. He has been a member of SRWT for several years and is pleased to be playing an active role in the Trust.
Vice Chair - Philip Warren
Philip has worked in the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffield since 1990. He teaches landscape and community ecology and ecological methods, and has research interests in wetland and urban ecology. He has been on the Council of the British Ecological Society and sits on the Local Wildlife Sites Partnership group. He became a trustee as he believes that the Wildlife Trusts, through a combination of the local action and knowledge of individual Trusts and the national coordination of RSWT, have a key role to play in conserving our ecosystems, educating people about their value and helping to ensure they can adapt to environmental change.
Having held a number of senior roles within the food and drink industry over the past 28 years, Barry is currently Production Director for a large privately owned food manufacturer with over 14 manufacturing sites supplying all major retailers within the UK. He has full site P&L experience and manages all environmental and sustainability issues within the business whilst working closely with major retail customers to ensure compliance at all levels. Being a a lover of the outdoors and nature in general, he wants to utilise his skills and knowledge to make a positive contribution to the trusts work and believes that becoming a Trustee will enable him to provide both guidance and support in a wide range of areas.
Claire has a background in environmental management and sustainability. She enjoyed being outside, spending time in and learning about nature from a very young age. Her professional experience includes over 12 years in the environmental sector and as an Executive Director of Membership Strategy. Claire now runs her own environmental and sustainability consultancy business and continues to work with membership and professional bodies, supporting them to achieve their goals. On a personal level, Claire and her family enjoy the benefits of the wildlife trusts' work and welcomes the opportunity to support it.
David has been a supporter of SWT for some years and has experience, knowledge and commitment of the natural environment. By profession an Environmental Health Officer, he retired in 2007 from Sheffield Council where he was Head of Waste Management. He was Chair of Yorkshire Water's Environmental Advisory Panel, made up of voluntary and statutory bodies, for a number of years. He worked for a number of years as an Assessor for the Government Customer Service Excellence Standard. For over 40 years he and his wife have been developing an organic smallholding in Rotherham to encourage wildlife.
Krys has been involved with environmental projects throughout her career as a planner and as a landscape architect. From September 1991 to March 2011, she was employed by Sheffield City Council as Projects Manager for the South Yorkshire forest Partnership. She managed European and heritage Lottery funded projects to develop and manage woodlands and develop timber industries and wood fuel development in South Yorkshire. Shortly before retiring in 2011, she managed the initial preparation of the South Yorkshire Green Infrastructure Strategy. She also developed her interest in international forestry and statutory and cultural approaches to managing landscapes. She is also currently a trustee and a treasurer of the Steel Valley Project.
Alice works as a solicitor, specialising in environmental and health and safety law as well as commercial litigation. Alice has previously sat on committees in Sheffield, including for the Sheffield Walking Group and the Sheffield and District Junior Lawyers Division. These positions have helped her to develop her skills and share her enthusiasm for and commitment to charitable matters. Alice is an active member of Sheffield Walking Group and regularly walks in the Peaks at weekends. She has a particular interest in conservation issues, and previously undertook a six-month secondment working full-time for her firm’s pro bono legal team on a variety of charity-related projects, including some environmental and conservation matters.
Frazer has over 25 years’ experience working in the media, PR and communications arena for major organisations such as Team GB at the London Olympics, British Cycling, England Hockey, the Rugby Football Union etc. He has also worked voluntarily for several years for the Royal British Legion, Victim Support and the Witness Service. He has long enjoyed being a member of several groups who protect our natural world, and is keen to use his professional skills to help the Wildlife Trust achieve its aims.
Frazer was born, bred and works in Sheffield, and feels privileged to be able to bring up his two children in such a beautiful area. He is determined to preserve it for them and for their children.
Tony trained as a Geography teacher and eventually managed a Residential Study Centre in the Welsh Marches; his final professional role was Programme Manager of the MBA Degree at Leeds University Business School. He has held numerous senior governance roles in not-for-profit organisations in education and Youth overseas exploration, at regional and national levels, which led to him to lead many large overseas youth expeditions, particularly to the Alaskan wilderness. He is involved with the Yorkshire Schools Exploring Society. He is also a Director of Wildscapes CIC.
I would like to offer my skills and experience to SRWT and contribute to the continuation and development of their work.
My professional career has been centred around heritage and nature conservation and sustainability – to begin with working for the Peak District National Park at their environmental education centre, then followed by over 20 years lecturing at Sheffield Hallam University, where I am now Head of Geography and Environment subject group.
I was a Trustee for Whirlow Hall Farm Trust for around 10 years, where I chaired the Education Committee, and I am currently a Member of the Peak District National Park Authority, where I have served on both major committees; Planning and Audit, Resources and Performance. There two very different organisations have provided a range of insights into approached to governance, finance and budgeting, and operational development.
Both my employment and external / voluntary activity have given me substantial exposure to decision making within a group, which have helped develop skills in balancing different views and priorities when coming to judgements. In terms of subject expertise, I can bring knowledge of engaging people and communities with their local place and the wider environment, whether through education, recreation or mechanisms. I would also hope to support opportunities to strengthen connections with the academic community of Sheffield.
I currently work for Pricewaterhouse Coopers as an audit and assurance manager in the Sheffield office. I qualified as a charted accountant in 2012 and prior to that achieved a first-class honours degree in Economics from the University of Bath. I have been involved in a number of charity audit engagements, with both the national charities team at his pervious firm PKF and more locally in the region. Current and former clients include Museums Sheffield, the operator of a number of cultural venues in the city, Northern Rock Foundation and the Samaritans.
I was recently a member of the PwC Sheffield team that took part in a fundraising one-day walk form Leeds to Sheffield which raised £3,500 in support of Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, as well as being part of the team that volunteered to help maintain the RSPB Eastern Moor Reserve in the Peak District for a day in May 2016.
I am originally form Sheffield and now live in Rotherham with my wife Vicky, and a one-year old daughter, Libby. I have a long standing passion for wildlife and the natural world and would love to be involved with promoting and preserving wildlife in the region.
After 30 years in management roles in manufacturing businesses mainly in the steel sector I left full time employment at the end of 2015. With a lifelong interest in wildlife and the outdoors. I began volunteering with SRWT, supporting the Community Wildlife Officers and working with the Land Management Teams and I have enjoyed getting to know the diverse reserves and the work which the Trust carries out. Becoming a |Trustee would be a natural extension to that involvement.
I am also active in sports, particularly tennis. I have spent most of the past 16 years on the committee of Chesterfield Tennis Club including leading a project of c.£1M to upgrade the club facilities. I am in my second spell as Club Chairman leading a committee of 12 diverse volunteers, a coaching team and administrative employees to promote and develop the tennis club for members and the community.
In addition to bringing the benefit of my business experience the Trust, I believe that my growing understanding of the work of the Trust as a volunteer will enable me to provide a valuable link between the Board of Trustees and volunteers.
I moved to Sheffield in 2011 after retiring as a senior civil servant. I worked in MAFF and its successor Departments, Defra and the Department for Energy and Climate Change on a wide range of areas including land use, agri-environment schemes, organic farming and renewable energy. Until recently I have been on the board of the National Non-Food Crops Centre (NNFCC), a not for profit company specialising in commercialisation of renewable materials, which I helped to establish when in Defra. In these roles I had much experience of environmental policy work, land use issues and EU programmes as well as management, budgeting and governance aspects which I think could be relevant to SRWT. Mostly, though, I am applying for the Trustee position because I have a strong interest in wildlife and protecting the environment, and would like to contribute to the superb work which SRWT is doing to protect and enhance our wild areas.