Darren joined TCV in 1996 as a Volunteer Officer and has worked across many parts of the organisation in roles including Project Officer (Nottinghamshire), Operations Manager (Yorkshire & East Midlands) and Operations Director (England, Northern Ireland and Wales).
Darren has a deep understanding and appreciation of TCV and, is proud to lead the charity in its work to create healthier, happier communities for everyone.
The Conservation Volunteers is governed by a Board of Trustees elected by our members. The Board meets around four times a year. It is responsible for setting overall policy for The Conservation Volunteers and monitoring progress towards achieving our goals.
We are always on the lookout for new trustees – especially those with a financial or management background – and would particularly welcome interest from people from minority ethnic communities and other under-represented groups.
The Trustees are elected by the members of the trust:
- Professor Tony Crook CBE FAcSS FRTPI – Chair
- John Mallalieu
- Vanessa Quigg
- Neal Ransome
- Simon Rennie MBE
- Julie Royce
- Rosslyn Stuart
- Andrew Walker QC
Professor Tony Crook CBE FAcSS FRTPI – Chair
Tony Crook was Pro-Vice Chancellor of The University of Sheffield and is now Emeritus Professor of Town & Regional Planning. As well as chairing The Conservation Volunteers and the Construction Industry Council’s Housing Panel; he is a lay Privy Council appointee to the Architects Registration Board, is a director of the Kensington & Chelsea TMO Residuary Board; and an Academy of Social Sciences council member.
Former roles include: member of the board of the Royal Town Planning Institute (and former Chair of Education Committee); Deputy Chair of Orbit Housing and of the Construction Industry Council; Chair of Rotherham MBC governance review, Chair of Shelter Trustee Board and of Sheffield Homes Ltd; and member of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, the Lloyds Banking Group Housing Commission and the Housing Commission for Northern England.
His research covers private rented housing and planning obligations. His latest book ‘Planning Gain’ (Wiley Blackwell) won the RTPI Research Excellence Award in 2016 and, jointly with Professor Christine Whitehead, he won the Sir Peter Hall award in 2020 for research on land value capture. In 2004 he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and was appointed CBE in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to housing.
John is CEO of The Bank Workers Charity, which supports the health and wellbeing of the banking community.
From a career in retail banking, John has held a range of senior leadership roles across Health and Social care delivery for public sector, private sector and third sector organisations. John holds a lay role with NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group and is also the Lay Chair of the Primary Medical Services Committee.
John additionally chaired the Department of Work & Pensions Mental Health & Work Group for the Welfare Minister and is a member of the Psychological Wellbeing & Work Expert Advisory Group.
Vanessa has worked in marketing and communications roles in publishing, the arts, and government, including positions at London’s Southbank Centre and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where she focused on digital marketing and app development.
In her current role as Senior Campaigns and Digital Manager at a UK Government department, Vanessa specialises in digital content, advertising and web development, working across Whitehall departments to communicate UK Government policies and services as they apply to Scotland.
Having first volunteered for environmental causes as a teenager in Northern Ireland, Vanessa was inspired to work with TCV by its mission to connect communities across the UK with their physical environment for the improvement and wellbeing of both.
Neal qualified as a chartered accountant and corporate financier with PwC and as a partner led their Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Corporate Finance business. He was also Chief Operating Officer of PwC’s Advisory Services division, and a member of the firm’s Corporate Sustainability Governance Board. He left PwC in 2013 and is now a non-executive chairman and director of three investment trusts focused on healthcare and early stage companies.
With a keen interest in environmental conservation, Neal is a former Trustee and Council Member of the RSPB. Neal has worked as a volunteer for the RSPB, the London Wildlife Trust and, more recently, TCV. He lives in London and is a fellow of the RSA.
Simon Rennie MBE
Simon is the recently retired Chief Executive of the Central Scotland Green Network Trust and is a director of the Falkirk Community Trust and Paths for All.
With a degree in forestry, Simon worked in private sector forestry abroad before returning to the UK in 1990. He has since worked in the charitable sector focusing on social inclusion and environmental justice.
For over 20 years Julie has been actively volunteering in her local community of Thames Ditton. She looks after a stretch of the River Thames for the National Trails Office as a conservation monitor, helps to run the local theatre and has organised many street parties to celebrate big national events. Julie was also a ‘Games Maker’ and ‘London Ambassador’ during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games.
Employed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, known as NICE, which provides guidance for the UK health and social care sector, Julie leads a team who help users put NICE guidance into practice. Prior to this Julie held various senior management positions in the NHS, a small marketing agency and Unilever.
Julie first came into contact with TCV when joining a tree planting event to mark the success of the volunteering effort for London 2012. Becoming a TCV trustee seemed the perfect opportunity to develop her keen interest in conservation and enthusiasm for volunteering, and to draw from her long career in health.
Rosslyn is a Chartered Town Planner whose career in statutory planning and regeneration has spanned local government, NDPBs, charitable organisations, private consultancies and an award winning social enterprise. She has extensive experience of building effective and sustainable partnerships across professional, sectoral and operational boundaries.
Rosslyn has been an Academician of the Academy of Urbanism since 2011 and was Head of Profession and Director of Development and Professional Standards at the Royal Town Planning Institute.
She currently serves as Independent Chair of a consortium of environmental organisations, as a non-executive director and volunteers with various local organisations.
Andrew Walker QC
Andrew is a practising barrister and arbitrator. He was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2011. He was an elected member of the Bar Council of England and Wales for many years, eventually serving as its Vice-Chair (2017) and Chair (2018), following several years as Chair of its Ethics Committee. His areas of legal expertise include property and company law, and he continues to advise and act for a very wide range of clients across the country.
In 2009, he was awarded the Bar Pro Bono Award for some of his free professional work with the homelessness charity, Shelter. He has been involved in the governance of a number of organisations, both charitable and non-charitable, and has a lifelong interest in conservation and the environment.
Patron, President and Vice-Presidents
The Conservation Volunteers is also supported by our President and Vice Presidents who help to champion our interests and raise public awareness of the organisation.
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh KG, KT Prince Philip was our Patron for many years and we much valued the occasions when he visited our projects and when he was able to join us for our annual staff awards ceremonies. We valued too the opportunities he gave us to brief him personally on our progress, including during meetings at the Palace.
We shall always be grateful for his personal commitment to conservation both here in the UK and
worldwide, something where he was ahead of his time. That he supported our work gave us a real sense of the importance he attached to charities such as ours where we enable people from all walks of life to get ‘stuck in’ to undertake practical conservation work in their local communities.
He gave great service to our country and his practical commitment to so many important causes, including ours, will be his enduring legacy.
President of The Conservation Volunteers – Sir Jonathon Porritt CBE
Sir Jonathon Porritt, the leading sustainability expert, took over the Presidency in April 2014 from The Lord Norrie.
Jonathon was a Vice President of TCV, and has supported the organisation in many capacities over time. He is the co-founder of Forum for the Future, and is an eminent writer, broadcaster and commentator on sustainable development. Established in 1996, Forum for the Future is now the UK’s leading sustainable development charity, partnering some of the world’s leading companies.
He has previously provided high-level advice to Government Ministers as Chairman of the UK Sustainable Development Commission. In February 2012 he was installed as the Chancellor of Keele University in February 2012.
Jonathon received a CBE in January 2000 for services to environmental protection.
Vice President – Sir David Attenborough OM, CH,CBE, FRS
Sir David Attenborough is naturalist and natural history broadcaster with an honours degree in Natural Sciences from Clare College, Cambridge. He has had nearly a 70-year career helping the nation understand the lifestyles and behaviours of the living world and was knighted for his services to broadcasting in 1985.
Sir David has visited every continent on the globe throughout his career, starting with BBC’s Zoo Quest in search of animals from different countries, to his most recent work with Netflix ‘David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet’ and his advocacy work to halt climate change.
Sir David is an ambassador for many fellow environmental charities and has achieved a huge amount in raising awareness of the sector and our causes. He has supported TCV since 1970 and in 2016, TCV helped to celebrate his 90th birthday with a celebration event in Camden park, where Sir David planted an Elm tree.
Vice President – Dr William Bird MBE
With more than three decades of experience in practising medicine and first-hand knowledge of the need to develop preventative measures to stop people developing diabetes and COPD, William is one of the UK’s leading experts on physical activity and building active communities.
William has helped transform the health of millions of people across the UK through innovative initiatives he has developed. As a family GP, he began to get his patients more active by setting up the first Health Walk scheme in April 1996. This led to him creating TCV’s Green Gym one year later as he realised that companionship and contact with nature were major driving forces in keeping people active.
As CEO and Founder of Intelligent Health, William developed the hugely successful Beat the Street programme which has encouraged more than 500,000 people across the world to get moving and improve their health. In 2010, he was appointed MBE for services for health and physical activity.