Our Trustees

    The Parks Trust is governed by a Board of Trustees who are also Directors of the company. The Board sets the strategic direction of the Trust and ensures that the Charity is properly managed and complies with all relevant legislation. Trustees have a duty under charity law to ensure that the Trust’s assets and resources are only used to further the Trust’s charitable objects which are:

    • To provide, maintain and equip green spaces in and around Milton Keynes
    • To advance public education and
    • To provide facilities for leisure and recreation.

    From time to time we recruit new trustees to the Board, for more information about becoming a trustee please click here.

    David Foster - Chief Executive

    David Foster is Chief Executive of The Parks Trust which he joined in 2003. The Trust is an independent charity that cares for over 6,000 acres of parkland and green space in Milton Keynes. This includes river valleys, woodlands, parks and landscaped roadside areas that represent 25% of Milton Keynes. The work of the charity is funded through commercial property, investments and various enterprises on the parkland including commercial leisure activities at Milton Keynes’ most popular park, Willen Lake.
    In 1979 David started his career in the park ranger service in the landscape and planning team at Warrington and Runcorn Development Corporation and later moved to Warrington Borough Council. In 1987 he joined the national regeneration charity Groundwork and then went on to run the national horticultural therapy charity, Thrive (1998-2003). David has thirty years’ experience of charity management and is also on the board of The Safety Centre which is a local charity in Milton Keynes. He has a HND in Natural Resources and Rural Economics from Seale Hayne College and an MBA from Aston University.

    Zoe Raven 

    Chair and Chair of Executive Committee

    Zoe has worked in Milton Keynes since 1983 and has experience in business and of multi-agency working and partnerships between organisations. She has a long standing interest in environmental issues and is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Acorn Childcare which she started in 1989 and expanded to nine nurseries.

    Nick Lloyd

    Vice Chair

    Nick is Chairman at EMW Law in Milton Keynes. He has worked in Milton Keynes for 20 years and thinks that its parks are an intrinsic and hugely positive part of Milton Keynes life.

    Junita Fernandez

    Chair of Audit Committee

    Junita is a qualified Chartered Accountant with over 25 years’ experience. She is currently Director of Finance & Corporate Operations at Suzuki GB and responsible for Finance, HR, IT and Compliance. She previously worked for the VW Group for 11 years.

    Ian Russell

    Chair of Operations Committee

    Ian is an experienced environmental professional with a strong background in developing and delivering rural environmental policy across a range of sectors. He currently works as Environment Manager of Route Services for Network Rail and has previously worked for the Civil Aviation Authority and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

    George Bowyer

    George is a Conservative Councillor for the Newport Pagnell (North) and Hanslope Ward of Milton Keynes Council. A qualified rural-practice chartered surveyor, he worked in Scotland, Lancashire and Cambridgeshire before becoming involved in political campaigning in the rural and agricultural sectors. He has also been a member of the Council of the East of England Agricultural Society since 2010.

    Robin Bradburn

    Robin is a Liberal Democrat Councillor representing the Bradwell Ward on Milton Keynes Council.  He has had a varied career including 10 years in the court service, running his own public house and restaurant for 11 years, 12 years as a tax advisor for HMRC and 12 years as a Borough Councillor.

    Chris Bridgman, MBE

    Chris is a Partner of Bridgman & Bridgman, a living roof specialist based in Milton Keynes. Launched in 2006 to focus on commercial landscaping, Bridgman & Bridgman has evolved to concentrate solely on green roofing – building gardens in the sky. Born and raised in Milton Keynes, Chris’s life has been influenced by all things horticultural – it’s in his DNA with his father being involved in the growing and planting of the many trees in Milton Keynes from the days of the Development Corporation. Chris brings his experience and knowledge of green infrastructure to the Trust, to support it to play a positive role in the climate emergency and the future of Milton Keynes. Chris has taken on volunteering roles for over 20 years – an achievement that was recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours list 2020, with an MBE for services to the community of Wolverton and Milton Keynes.

    Ian Burgess

    Nominated by MKALC. Ian has been a secondary school teacher for 38 years, the past 31 of which have been in the Milton Keynes area. During that time Ian has been a Teacher Governor at Ousedale School, co-opted Governor of Haversham Villlage School and a member of Haversham cum Little Linford Parish Council. He has a lifelong interest in natural history and agriculture and is a firm believer in the importance of green spaces to our well-being.

    Robert Green

    Bob has lived in Milton Keynes since 1991 and has worked for many entities in the area during that time. Most recently he was an Independent Member and then Chair of Milton Keynes Development Partnership and a Non-Executive Director of Milton Keynes University Hospital Trust for 6 years. He is a qualified accountant and has extensive Board level experience across many sectors, mainly as finance director.

    Ian Jackson

    Ian is a chartered surveyor and a director of Hampton Brook which is a regional developer and investment company in commercial property. He has delivered a range of commercial schemes throughout Milton Keynes and the region and delivered significant inward investment. Ian is also the chairman of the CMK BID (Business Improvement District) and an ambassador for SEMLEP.

    James Macmillan

    James is currently Chief Operating Officer of a charity, The Egmont Trust, that aims to tackle and reverse the impact of HIV and AIDS on children in sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to this he worked for 20 years for investment management firms including BlackRock International and Merrill Lynch Investment Managers.

    Danielle Sheppard

    A Fellow of the RICS (FRICS), Danielle has worked in commercial property since 1995, predominately in the South Midlands. In 2005 she moved to Barwood Capital (BCL). BCL is a real estate investment and development specialist based in Northampton. Her current position is senior Investment Director and she is a member of the investment Committee. She is responsible for a number of developments and property investments across the UK.

    Lauren Townsend

    Lauren is a Trade Union official, Labour Councillor for Bletchley West and Cabinet member for Public Realm at Milton Keynes Council.  She was born and raised in Milton Keynes and is a big supporter and user of our parks.  She enjoys walking her dog and wild swimming.

    Ellen Wilson

    Ellen is an Industry specialist in Amazon Web Services EMEA Public Sector team. She is passionate about the impact tech can have on sustainability and the place we live in. Ellen has lived in Milton Keynes for over 10 years, loves the parks as proud mum of Lara and Alex (and the lab Ti), runs the German Saturday School Milton Keynes and loves exercise and good food.

    Gamiel Yafai

    Gamiel is the Managing Director of a diversity consultancy and has worked with some of the UK’s largest employers to design and implement change strategies and action plans through inclusive practices to attract new talent from diverse backgrounds and to support existing talent to reach their potential. Gamiel is the recipient of the Global Diversity Leadership Award presented by the Global HRD Congress. Gamiel is also a trustee of Milton Keynes Homelessness Partnership.

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