Chair – Derek Latham

Architect, town planner and landscape architect, Derek has undertaken projects throughout the UK with a contextual and conservation bias, including the restoration of the landscape at the Heights of Abraham, provision of visitor facilities and installation of the cable car.

Derek lives in his eco-house in Little Eaton, overlooking the valley, with his wife Pauline Latham OBE MP. Over the years he has ridden, cycled, kayaked and trekked long distances in Derbyshire and abroad, and is passionate about creating sustainable leisure access to the Derwent Valley in all modes.

Whilst respecting the valley’s heritage, Pauline and Derek have witnessed a mini renaissance of art and culture in the valley recently and seek to encourage its growth, wider understanding and access.


Claire Brooks

Before being lucky enough to enjoy an early retirement, I was a management consultant, specialising in business process improvement and project management in the administrative functions, working mainly in the public sector. Prior to that I worked at Royal Mail HQ in Chesterfield as a senior manager in Human Resources, before taking voluntary redundancy in 2005.

Since retiring from the stresses and strains of corporate life, I have enjoyed my horses and become a volunteer Access and Bridleways Office with the British Horse Society, Chair of Access4Riders Bridleway Group, Treasurer for Peak Horsepower, and Vice Chair of Derby and Derbyshire Local Access Forum.

Ian Dent

Ian had a 30 year career in IT mainly focused around database and open source software and working for, and with, large IT suppliers, culminating in responsibility for HP’s Open Source business in the UK and Ireland.

After retiring from HP, Ian studied for a doctorate at the University of Nottingham in the area of applying machine learning to domestic power usage graduating in 2014. Ian holds qualifications including a BSc. (Hons – 1st class), a PhD and a CIM Marketing Diploma as well as various software certifications.

Ian chairs the Cycleway Working Group and over the last 10 years has been involved as a volunteer in various local cycling organisations including Sustrans, Cycling UK and Derby Cycling Group. He is married with a grown up family.

Jeremy Jones

Jeremy is now a management consultant who has lived most of his life and raised his family in Derbyshire. His earlier career included Rolls-Royce and Bombardier.

As Treasurer he makes sure that the formal structures and requirements on us as a charity are met so that the Trust can concentrate on bringing all the improvements in the Valley to fruition.

He also serves as a Magistrate in the county.

Suzanne Parnell

Suzanne  worked as a project/programme manager and business consultant in an Information Systems environment for more than 20  years, with a base trade of structured business analysis and the introduction of extensive business change.

She took early retirement to concentrate on her own art as a landscape artist and to pursue business interests in the art field.   This has evolved in the past few years and has included opening an art and craft gallery and  operating a small printing business for artists and photographers.

She and her friend have planned and organised  The Belper Arts Trail for the last five years which attracts more than 3,000 people in the Spring and has now branched out into other promotional activities including the Derwent Valley Art Crawl, the Belper Events Guide and, most recently, the branding of Belper under the LoveBelper movement.

She is passionate about connecting people with art.

Ellis Pugh

Ellis is a legal assistant at Geldards LLP specialising in charities and social enterprises. His advice spans the range of charity law matters with a focus on governance issues including (amongst others) restructuring, trustee duties, remuneration issues, trading matters and regulatory compliance including dealing with the Charity Commission. His role within the trust is to assist with governance matters and provide advice where applicable

Ellis is a member of the Charity Law Association, Clerk to Scargill’s Educational Foundation and is a committee member of both the Derby and District Law Society and Derby Junior Lawyers of which he was formerly president).

A resident of Derby, Ellis enjoys walking in the Derwent Valley with his dogs Ted and Malcolm, playing badminton, and singing with Derbyshire Community Male Voice Choir.

 Ian Scott

Ian graduated in medicine in Edinburgh 1966 and subsequently specialised in obstetrics and gynaecology developing a special interest in the management of ovarian cancer, retiring from clinical practice in the NHS in 2006 after 40 years to pursue his passions for cycling, the mountains (hill walking and skiing), windsurfing and more recently sailing!

He is a committed supporter of Sustrans, has cycled extensively in the UK and Europe and actively encourages young families to take up safe cycling for the enjoyment it gives and its health benefits.

Ian is currently the Secretary of the Derwent Valley Cycleway Group and a Director of the Derwent Valley Trust.

Ben Seal

Ben has held a number of roles within Canoe England/ British Canoeing and is currently the national Places to Paddle Manager covering Access, Environment, Facilities and Trails, managing a team of staff and volunteers.

He is  passionate about canoeing, cycling, walking & climbing and is a Trustee of Midland Canoe Club and been a volunteer club coach for many years.  He is also a DofE supervisor and assessor and lives locally in Darley Abbey with a young family.

Dawn Spendlove

Dawn is owner and founder of Love Marketing, a full service agency based in Alfreton, Derbyshire which was established over 10 years ago with a passion for helping business start ups as well as entreprenuers and established companies. Dawn has held a number of senior Marketing roles in around Derby for over 25 years including Head of Marketing at Derby County Football Club and The American Adventure Theme Park.

With a real passion for the outdoors, Dawn is passionate about mountain biking, running and plays hockey for Belper. Dawn become a Trustee of DVT as she is committed to making as much outdoor space as possible accessible and available for all. She lives in South Normanton near Alfreton with her husband and 11 year daughter Katie, with whom she enjoys cycling around Derbyshire most weekends.