Would you like to become a Trustee?
Each year we seek new trustees to join our board of 13, bringing with them the skills and dedication needed so that we can continue to protect local wildlife & special places and help people care for and connect with nature. As well as an enthusiasm and passion for wildlife, we need people with the right skills to help govern the Trust and, in particular, with professional expertise in areas such as HR, land use planning, farming, biodiversity, rewilding or fundraising. Some experience of working in a decision-making group is vital and a good local knowledge of Rotherham and/or Sheffield is of great benefit. You would need to be able to commit to attending our Annual General Meeting (held in September) and at least four board meetings per year, which require some preparatory work.
We are really keen to hear from people who represent our diverse communities across Rotherham and Sheffield.
Mike is an ecologist, natural history presenter and writer and is probably best known for being the wildlife reporter on the BBC programme The One Show.
He has a life-long passion for British and tropical flora and fauna, of which he has profound experience and encyclopaedic knowledge.
Mike is committed to bringing the beauty of the natural world to a broader audience with enthusiasm and insight, rather than sensation or gimmicks.
He has Sheffield roots on his dad’s side and spent an extensive period working in Vietnam, Tanzania and Ecuador as a field biologist, before returning to the UK.
Our Board of Trustees
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 Nature and then of Natural England where Christopher was also the Chair of the 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 over a decade, a Trustee since 2014 and its Chair for over four years. 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.
Mark Ridler (Vice Chair)
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.
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.
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.
Suzanne offers 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.
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 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.
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 Alison 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.
Niel brings experience of the private and public sectors as well as having run his own photography business and has previously been a trustee of a housing charity.
His professional career has been at a senior level in communications, marketing and behaviour change, having a degree in Behavioural Science and being recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing at MCIM.
Niel has a keen interest in ecological and sustainability issues having covered this in his degree dissertation and has appeared on the second series of ‘It’s not easy being green’ on BBC2 with Dick and James Strawbridge.
Niel spends a lot of time outdoors, mountain biking and walking or can often be found competing in archery and axe throwing tournaments.
Dr Stephen Campbell
I am a Consultant Cardiologist. I trained in London, Harvard, USA and Oxford before taking up my consultant post at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals (STH) in 1989. I retired, after more than 35 years’ service, from the NHS in 2016 but continue to practise privately, part-time. I also teach medical students at Sheffield University and have been awarded the title of Emeritus Professor. I was, for 10 years, the Clinical Director of the South Yorkshire Regional Cardiothoracic Centre at STH, gaining considerable managerial experience.
I have a lifelong interest in natural history and the environment. I am a longstanding member of the RSPB and National Trust. I joined the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust (SRWT) some years ago and, after retiring from the NHS, have done volunteer work for the Trust on Blacka Moor reserve. I am keen to support SRWT further, in its vital work for the local environment. There are acknowledged health benefits for people engaging in contact with the natural world and environment. I would hope to be able to help facilitate this for the local population via the agency and expertise of SRWT, in synergy with the local health community.
As Environment and Sustainability Business Partner, I lead on all Sustainability topics at Keepmoat Homes a national housebuilder based in South Yorkshire. In my role I oversee all aspects of sustainability, from environmental assessments of sites, assuring effective environmental protection and supporting initiatives to enhance the environment and support communities around development.
Alongside my professional experience, I am personally committed to environmental sustainability. Living in the Redmires area I appreciate the natural environment locally and across Sheffield and the work the Wildlife Trust does to maintain and improve these resources.
Examples of skills and experience I offer to the Trust include, experience in Environmental Management Systems and their effective implementation, Carbon Footprinting, Quantification of social value for proposals and activities delivered by the Trust, Development of business partnership offering and alignment of offer to business needs and using my corporate experience working with Wildscapes to inform the consultancy and bidding approach for works.
I have been lucky to visit and explore many of the most beautiful places in the world, particularly whilst cycle touring in South America (two trips totalling 15 months and 20,000 km). I have also witnessed the human raping and destruction of our various habitats, highlighting the increasingly urgent need to preserve and protect our nature and biodiversity. This protection is equally important on our own doorstep and, through my volunteering work with SRWT I have come to appreciate their important role in this.
Arguably one of the best chances our ecosystems have is through organisations such as SRWT enabling and helping the public to reconnect with nature, not only on the reserves it manages but also in their advisory and petitioning capacities.
Prior to taking early retirement to pursue a more varied life, I spent over 25 years working for the NHS as a hospital doctor (including 13 years as a Consultant Urological Surgeon). Within my work I undertook a variety of leadership, training and selection roles which I hope may be useful in my position of a Trustee for SRWT.
As a nature lover with a strong background in health, community development and operational management, I hope that I have a broad range of experience that I could offer to support the Trust to achieve its strategic vision.
I specialise in collaborative approaches and currently lead a strengths-based community led wellbeing programme in Rotherham. As a result, I have strong relationships which community partners in Rotherham at both a strategic and community level.
Through working as a senior operational manager in the public and voluntary sector I have extensive experience in all aspects of strategic leadership including strong financial acumen and effective human resource management. Committed to ongoing professional development, I am currently working on my skills in corporate fundraising and bid writing
Outside of my work, I enjoy spending time with family and friends and walking, running or cycling in the hills and woods in and around Sheffield and Rotherham. Like many people I am greatly concerned by the severe loss of natural habitats and the steep decline in wildlife on both a local and global scale.
A strong advocate of local activism, I would love to offer my time and skills to support the Trust in its aim to create a vibrant living landscape which is valued and encouraged to thrive for future generations.