Our Board of Trustees

Meet our Board of Trustees, the lovely people who work hard behind the scenes to keep the Trust on track.

If you would like to know more about becoming a Trustee, please click here

Christopher Pennell MBE (Chair)

Christopher has wide experience of public sector and charitable non-executive governance, natural environment policy, land management and conservation objectives, financial planning and engaging the public 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 local CPRE Branch. As a National Board Member of English and then of Natural England where Christopher was also its Chair of its 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 of Moors for the Future, a dynamic moorland conservation organisation.

Christopher has been a member of the Trust for around a decade, a Trustee since 2014 and latterly for over two years as its Chair. He is Chairing a Steering Group producing a Neighbourhood Plan for Dore. He was awarded the MBE for service to heritage in the East Midlands in June 2014.

David Bird

David Bird (Vice Chair)

David has been a supporter of the Trust 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.

Tom Dodd (Treasurer)

Tom currently works for Pricewaterhouse Coopers as an audit and assurance manager in the Sheffield office. He qualified as a charted accountant in 2012 and prior to that achieved a first-class honours degree in Economics from the University of Bath. He has been involved in a number of charity audit engagements, with both the national charities team at my 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.

He 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.

He is originally from Sheffield and now lives in Rotherham with his wife Vicky, and daughter, Libby. He has a long-standing passion for wildlife and the natural world and is pleased to be involved with promoting and preserving wildlife in the region.

Barry Higgins

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 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 Lea

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.

Krys CraikKrys Craik

Before retiring in 2011 Krys was involved with environmental projects throughout her career as a planner and as a landscape architect. From September 19991 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 in South Yorkshire. Whilst employed she visited several countries across Europe to exchange ideas with other fellow professionals. Since retiring she has pursued her personal interests and voluntary activities.

She was very pleased to be elected to serve on the Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust Board in 2014. She has played an active part on the Board, in particular by being co-opted to represent the Trust on the Boards on the River Stewardship Company and Green Estate. She has also looking forward to contributing to the development of the Sheffield Lakeland Landscape Partnership. In addition to my work with the Trust Krys is a trustee and treasurer of the Steel Valley Project, which is a registered charity. She has now been re-elected as a Board Member of the Trust and believes that she can continue to use my knowledge and experience to contribute to the work of the Trust to make Sheffield and Rotherham a better place for people and wildlife.

Alice PuritzAlice Puritz

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 SnowdonFrazer Snowdon

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.

Suzanne Leckie   

Suzanne would like to offer her skills and experience to the Trust and contribute to the continuation and development of our work.
Her 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 she is now Head of Geography and Environment subject group.

She was a Trustee for Whirlow Hall Farm Trust for around 10 years, where she chaired the Education Committee, and she is currently a Member of the Peak District National Park Authority, where she has 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 her employment and external/voluntary activities have given her 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, Suzanne can bring knowledge of engaging people and communities with their local place and the wider environment, whether through education, recreation or mechanisms. She would also hope to support opportunities to strengthen connections with the academic community of Sheffield.

Andrew Parker

After 30 years in management roles in manufacturing businesses mainly in the steel sector Andrew left full time employment at the end of 2015. With a lifelong interest in wildlife and the outdoors, he began volunteering with the Trust, supporting the Community Wildlife Officers and working with the Land Management Teams and has enjoyed getting to know the diverse reserves and the work which the Trust carries out. Becoming a Trustee has been a natural extension to that involvement.

He is also active in sports, particularly tennis and has spent most of the past 16 years on the committee of Chesterfield Tennis Club including leading a project of around £1 million to upgrade the club facilities. He is in his 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 his business experience the Trust, Andrew's growing understanding of the work of the Trust as a volunteer has enabled him to provide a valuable link between the Board of Trustees and volunteers.

Andrew Perrins

Andrew moved to Sheffield in 2011 after retiring as a senior civil servant. He 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 he has been on the board of the National Non-Food Crops Centre (NNFCC), a not for profit company specialising in commercialisation of renewable materials, which he helped to establish when in Defra. In these roles he had much experience of environmental policy work, land use issues and EU programmes as well as management, budgeting and governance aspects which could be relevant to the Trust. Mostly, though, Andrew was interested in the Trustee position because he has a strong interest in wildlife and protecting the environment, and would like to contribute to the superb work which the Trust is doing to protect and enhance our wild areas.

Mark Ridler

A solicitor specialising in advising pension scheme trustees and their sponsoring companies, Mark has also acted as an independent trustee of pension schemes.

Earlier in his career he specialised in company and commercial law and he has been a partner in law firms in Sheffield and Leeds. He is currently a legal director working from home in Sheffield and an office in Manchester. Mark has lived in Sheffield since 1988, having previously studied at the University of Sheffield.

Mark has always had an interest in wildlife and recently became involved in environmental campaigns, particularly the Smithy Wood campaign, and wishes to use his experience in trust and business law, as well as his enthusiasm for conservation, to further the objectives of the Wildlife Trust.

Alison Holt

Alison is passionate about wildlife and the importance of the protection of the natural environment. 

She is a Director and co-founder of Natural Capital Solutions Ltd, a consultancy that specialises in biodiversity and ecosystem services research and consulting. After an academic career spanning 17 years, where her research focussed on understanding patterns in biodiversity and ecosystem service provision (the benefits that nature provides humans e.g. recreation, carbon sequestration, she wants to make sure that public, private and NGO organisations have a chance to make land management decisions based on up to date science and knowledge.

As an academic Alison developed expertise in biodiversity, conservation and national capital issues and policy, statistical analyses and spatial modelling of ecological and social data, project management, writing funding proposals and identifying funding opportunities, delivering lectures and presentations, and has developed long lasting relationships and networks within and outside of academia.

Through setting up the consultancy Alice has gained experience of developing a business, marketing, accountancy, human resources and web site development. She would like the opportunity to use these skills as a Trustee of the Trust and be a part of an organisation that delivers a better future for people and wildlife.