We're all very friendly!
To maximise our impact we need to make sure that we are run by the very best people.
Our Trustee board is compromised of our Chair, Honorary Treasurer and Honorary Secretary, and eight Trustees who are leaders in their field. They are elected by our members at our Annual General Meeting and give their time up for us as volunteers in accordance with our Royal Charter and Bye Laws. As a registered charity, our activities are regulated by the Charity Commission for England and Wales.
We also heavily rely on the dedication and commitment of our 650 volunteers. Without them a lot of our work wouldn’t happen. They are supported by an equally dedicated staff team, each experts in their field, who engage and lead local communities, our members, businesses and decision makers.
We are all very friendly so if you see one of us out and about around Derbyshire, come and say hello!
Meet our trustees...
Sue Mayer: Chair
I have lived in the Peak District for 20 years and been a member of Derbyshire Wildlife Trust for most of that time.
I am a veterinary surgeon with a PhD in veterinary immunology. I have had a varied career working in private practice, as a lecturer at Bristol University and in the voluntary sector for the RSPCA, Greenpeace and GeneWatch UK. I have also spent 12 years as a board member of Greenpeace UK, 6 years of which I was the chair and also a trustee of Greenpeace International. Outside work, I am a horse rider, hill walker and am passionate about animal welfare, the environment and social justice.
As a trustee, I hope my skills and experience in governance and campaigning will help Derbyshire Wildlife Trust in all its conservation work but particularly to be even more effective in bringing the changes we need to protect wildlife and the environment.
Nigel Huish: Vice Chair
I have been working in an Environmental and Engineering consultancy based in Derbyshire since the early nineties. Since 2006 I have been the Managing Director of the company which specialises in advising on all environmental aspects of construction and engineering design in the infrastructure, power and energy, education, housing and public sectors.
I live on the edge of the Peak District and enjoy walking in the local countryside when I get the chance with my daughters and their dogs. My interest in wildlife originated in Somerset where I grew up with the diverse and wildlife-rich habitats of the beach, the Levels and Mendip within easy reach. Family holidays in Scotland eagle and osprey watching really fired my enthusiasm for native wildlife. I have gained some practical conservation experience volunteering with the BTCV and have been a lifelong member of the WWF.
In addition to wildlife I enjoy playing piano, quizzing and making and drinking wine from various garden fruits and produce.
Peter Bradbury: Treasurer
My interest in wildlife, and the great outdoors, has been a lifelong. Although I was brought up, and still live in, Sheffield I feel a strong sense of connection with Derbyshire and, in particular, the Peak District where, historically, my family have had farming and land management interests.
That influence has now been passed onto my own family and we have enjoyed many nature reserve visits, across the UK, during the last thirty years. We are long-standing members of Dorset Wildlife Trust, a county we visit most years, and I served on the Board for Butterfly Conservation for four years until 2012.
I am a qualified management accountant, and a marketer, and undertake annual continuing professional development to support both my formal qualifications. I have been lucky enough the work in the charity sector for the last ten years after a successful career in the private sector, in South Yorkshire. I am currently Director of Finance and IT at Ashgate Hospicecare, in Chesterfield, who I joined in September 2013.
Since joining Ashgate, I have been focused on both the demands of busy Finance and IT departments but, at the same time, have been developing a long-term robust financial framework for the hospice. I am also keen on systems development, benchmarking, and the implementation, and use, of best practice.
Outside work, I enjoy listening to music, photography, walking, and, of course, the natural history.
I was fortunate to grow up in Chapel-en-le-Frith, Capital of the Peak, where over our garden fence the trees, fields and streams were my playground. Seeking out the nests of lapwings in the marshy fields and trying to catch newts in the local pond stimulated a life-long interest in natural history, leading me to study biological sciences at Lancaster University, specialising in ecology. Afterwards, I taught biology to A level for 35 years in various schools and at Barnsley College before retiring from there as Director of Sixth Form. Other responsibilities at college included teacher training and the use of IT in learning. I participated in a number of award-winning online learning projects including some at a pan-European level.
Throughout my working life I have always retained that initial interest in natural history and my wife and I have always enjoyed walking in the beautiful Peak District. So on retirement we decided to move here to live, transferring our allegiance from the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust to Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. On my return, I find the pond is no more and that the lapwings have suffered a huge decline in numbers. Hence my reason for offering my services as a trustee to an organisation that is not only engaged in conserving and restoring environments but, as importantly, is encouraging local communities to value and champion our fragile ecosystems so that future generations may have the formative experiences I enjoyed.
My original career was as a zoologist with research and teaching interests in entomology and physiological adaptation to ‘extreme’ environments. Latterly I’ve moved into the grant funding of research and development and in particular have chaired many funding panels in life sciences for the European Commission. Between the two I have worked in media and communication, gaining experience in project management and corporate governance.
Undoubtedly, my love of wildlife and the outdoors was stimulated by my early childhood in Cyprus and Guyana, South America. My interest in biology and the environment was always encouraged by my mother and on the early death of my father we settled in her home town of Nottingham. Throughout my school years Derbyshire was the regular venue for my school walking club, for geography and biology field trips, for bird watching, for photography and Cadet Force activity.
Today, I have what is described as a portfolio career, made up of my work on: life science research funding, the development of bioscience research internationally, supporting bioscience innovation in UK industry and voluntary work supporting: amateur athletics, rowing, Cambridge University and East Midlands Business Champions. I’m a member of the Zoological Society of London and dip into other UK and international conservation organisations as time permits.
I am aided and abetted in all things by my wife Lorna, the executive of a small charity promoting carbon reduction by households; my daughter Rhiannon, a recent psychology graduate, and my son Rhodri, currently studying biology at Bristol.
I have always had a fundamental interest in plants and have been lucky enough to for much of my career to ‘indulge’ this interest.
A BSc in botany and a PhD in plant biotechnology from Liverpool University lead me to University of Nottingham primarily as a research fellow as part of the Rockefeller Foundation rice biotechnology programme. At this time I started to discover Derbyshire and its wildlife. In 1993 I took up a lectureship at the University of Derby and started focusing my research interests more around the utilisation of biotechnology to support plant conservation. I am now Head of the Department of Natural Sciences, whose academics have a wide range of environmental interests; it is also the ‘base’ for the University’s Environmental Sustainability Research Centre.
As a trustee of Derbyshire Wildlife Trust I aim to facilitate the collaboration between the University and the Trust to open up new opportunities for both organisations to enhance the understanding and awareness of our wildlife.
I am the daughter of a Derbyshire farmer and have always loved the county and the countryside. My husband and two boys share this love, with one of my sons being really passionate about it.
I first came into contact with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust in 2012 via my work at Weleda where I am now proud to be Managing Director. Weleda (UK & Ireland), is a pioneering Biodynamic herbal medicine and cosmetics company founded by Rudolf Steiner in 1921. The company’s ethos sits wonderfully with that of the Wildlife Trust, who we support.
Marketing has always been a passion and I have over twenty five years experience in this area, I am a passionate speaker for honest, sustainable business practices where profit is the result not the purpose. As a Trustee I hope I can contribute in this and other areas and work on many of Derbyshire Wildlife Trust's initiatives and projects.
I have always loved wildlife. As a child I watched birds with my grandparents in the Derbyshire countryside, and I have carried that interest into my study. I graduated from the University of Oxford with a Geography degree. I am now finishing studying Environmental Management at the University of Nottingham and seeking a career in conservation and community engagement.
As well as studying I have spent a lot of time working on environmental campaigns. I became involved in Derbyshire Wildlife Trust through helping to set up a Youth Panel. As a trustee I hope to use my experience as a student, campaigner and young person to inspire and engage the community.
In my working life I'm Area Director for the North of England for the National Lottery Heritage Fund managing a small team who help support the full range of heritage, be it built heritage, archaeology, culture and tradition, memories, museums or of course landscape and nature. The Heritage Fund currently has nature and landscape as one of its priorities and so it has been great to see us funding some exciting wildlife projects big and small.
Before joining The Heritage Fund I was Director of Conservation for the North York Moors National Park Authority with various roles in local government before that and a short spell in consultancy. This is my first trusteeship but I've previously sat on a range of partnerships and boards, from landfill tax credit funding panels, the EU Funding Committee of the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership, to nature groups such as Local Nature Partnerships, Catchment Partnerships and others. I was also a member of the UK Biodiversity Strategy Programme Board representing local delivery and National Parks.
I have a degree in Environmental Management and Masters Degrees in Restoration Ecology and Public Management.
I've been passionate about nature from a young age when my uncle took me on wildlife walks bird watching and to museums where I loved looking at the natural history collections. I'm married and have a young son - we love trips to the beach, walking in the hills and trying to identify the things we see - I'm an enthusiastic but very amateur "botanist". Our latest 'project' is a wildlife pond and bog garden we've installed and we love seeing what visits us.
I believe passionately that we need to engage everyone in nature so we all have a sense of ownership for it - we must win hearts and minds and work collaboratively so everyone joins our cause!
I have lived in Derbyshire for over 30 years, and worked as a solicitor for the Crown Prosecution Service covering the local magistrates' and Crown Courts.
On retiring early, I was given a bat detector and attended an introductory bat course run by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. This is just one of the things that inspired me to become increasingly involved with the Trust. I now volunteer on a weekly basis with Derwentwise, as well as helping out with the badger vaccination programme, in the outdoor classrooms and at HQ.
I also work in the voluntary sector with survivors of domestic abuse, and with the Derby Nightshelter. I am passionate about giving vulnerable and disadvantaged people the opportunity to connect with nature.
As well as volunteering, I spend much of my spare time hillwalking, playing tennis, trying to garden for wildlife and practising yoga.
I am Professor of Environmental Management at Sheffield Hallam University and my academic qualifications include Botany, Ecological Management, and Town and Regional Planning. My main research interests are in the field of environmental policy development, particularly access and landscape management. I am particularly interested in the contribution that nature can make to the quality of people's lives, and how we can encourage more people to enjoy the countryside and urban green spaces more often, whilst protecting the natural environment.
Prior to joining Sheffield Hallam University, I worked for the Countryside Commission, local authority countryside services, and the Campaign to Protect Rural England in Sheffield and the Peak District. I have also had extensive involvement in regional and national government organisations, having been a Member of the Peak District National Park Authority for ten years (where I chaired their Park Management Committee and the Moors for the Future Committee), and a Board Member of both English Nature and Natural England (I remain on Natural England's Science Advisory Committee). I have also been a trustee or committee member of the National Trust, the CPRE, Europarc Atlantic Isles, and am currently Vice Chair of the South Yorkshire Local Nature Partnership. I am an enthusiastic member of the RSPB and my local allotments society (and - of course - Derbyshire Wildlife Trust).
I have been interested in wildlife since my childhood when my father bought me an illustrated book of British wildlife and encouraged me to learn about some of the beautiful animals that you can find on your doorstep. I was brought up in the East Midlands and although I was raised and live in Leicestershire I studied in Derbyshire whilst undertaking my undergraduate degree and I still have a genuine love of the area.
I work in an environmental organisation and have undertaken several operational and business roles within the sector over the last 8 years. I am also a trustee for a local church.
In addition to my interests in the natural environment I enjoy walking, reading, jazz music, wine, and spending time in Italy
I have always loved being outdoors and looking at the local wildlife. I grew up in the Netherlands and lived in Sweden for while before I moving to the UK and falling in love with the English countryside.
I work for the University of Sheffield in the fundraising and volunteering office. Before that I led a number of marketing functions in various nature focussed departments within the University. I am passionate about the environment and I feel privileged to work with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust to create a wilder Derbyshire.
In addition to my love for the outdoors I play tennis a few times per week. I'm a wannabe baker and cook and love to entertain friends and family. I also love to read and study interior design.
I have always had an interest in nature and wildlife, even if it is just sitting in my garden watching the wide variety of birds, who have visited and nested over the years. I have always lived in Derbyshire, and although I enjoy travelling, I love the area and think it is an amazing place to live.
I am a qualified management accountant (CIMA), and have a master’s degree in business administration. I have had a varied career, and although I have been involved in many financial and management accounting roles, I have also had the opportunity to challenge myself in marketing, commercial, and compliance roles. For the last 10 years I have worked as a freelance contractor involved in commercial contract activities, with both customers and suppliers, producing bid models for tenders, and development of strategic plans. I have no previous involvement in the charity sector, but am keen to understand the challenges of this sector and the similarities with commercial business.
I am really excited to take on the role of a trustee with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, as it gives me the opportunity to use my skills in supporting an organisation with such strong values and purpose. As someone who loves walking in the countryside, I think it is critically important we act now to protect this for future generations.
I have a great many interests including running, yoga and walking, and travelling. I have been lucky enough to completed a six-day hike in the foothills of Nepal to combine two of my passions.
Annual General Meeting notes
Our charitable objectives
The movement of Wildlife Trusts grew quickly after WW2 and many Trusts shared governance documents as they formed. So whilst each Wildlife Trust is an independent charity with its own charitable objects, these are closely aligned. We each have two broad purposes: to promote the conservation and enhancement of wildlife; and to help more people to experience, understand and value the natural world.
Similarly, the charitable aims of the central charity are 'to promote the conservation and study of nature, and to educate the public in understanding and appreciating nature'.
The Wildlife Trusts believe that people are part of nature; everything we value ultimately comes from it and everything we do impacts upon it.