Trustees and management

Senior executive staff

 The team consists of senior executive staff from across the Trust’s activities and subsidiary trading companies.

Alan Boldon, Managing Director

Alan Boldon has held senior appointments in the arts, academia and charities. He is also an artist, curator and writer.

As an artist Alan has exhibited throughout Europe and given lectures and keynote addresses throughout the world. He spent many years working on interdisciplinary projects and for 12 years directed an international arts summer school in Luxembourg devoted to exploring interdisciplinary engagement with place. He has a BA in Art and Social Context and an MA in Psychological Aesthetics.

In 2009 he was made an honorary fellow of Winchester School of Art for his work in pushing the boundaries of arts practice. He was artist-fellow in the Faculty of Engineering at Bristol University; Academician of the Academy of Urbanism; and is an active fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

More recently he worked at the University of Brighton, starting in 2012 as head of research and deputy head of the School of Arts, Design and Media, before taking roles as head of school and then director of cultural engagement and innovation for the university.

Having studied at Dartington College of Arts in the 1980s, Alan returned to establish the arts and ecology programme at Dartington in 2000. The powerful pull of the place, along with a deep commitment to the values of Dartington Hall Trust, drew Alan back in October 2018 as executive director of learning. He took on the role of managing director of the Trust in September 2019.

Pavel Cenkl
Pavel Cenkl, Director of Learning
Pavel has worked for more than two decades in higher education in America and has always been drawn to colleges and universities whose curriculum fully integrates learning with practice and thinking with embodiment.

Having taught and served as Dean for nearly 15 years at Vermont’s Sterling College, Pavel brings a depth of experience to Schumacher College and Dartington Trust’s approach to experiential learning . While pursuing research in ecologically-minded curriculum design and teaching courses in environmental philosophy, Pavel is also a passionate endurance and adventure runner. Over the past five years, through a project called Climate Run (link is external) Pavel has covered hundreds of miles in the Arctic and subarctic on foot in order to bring attention to the connections between our bodies and the more-than-human world in the face of a rapidly changing climate.

Pavel holds a Ph.D. in English and is the author of many articles, chapters, and two books: Nature and Culture in the Northern Forest: Region, Heritage, and Environment in the Rural Northeast. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2010; and This Vast Book of Nature: Writing the Landscape of New Hampshire’s White Mountains, 1784-1911. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2006. He is currently working on a book titled Resilience in the North: Adventure, Endurance, and the Limits of the Human, which threads together personal narrative and observation with environmental philosophy and reflections on what it means to be human.

Mark Taylor
Mark Taylor, Finance and Estate Services Director

I have been a Chartered management accountant for 35 years. I undertook a finance apprenticeship with British Rail for four years, before working for Eastman Kodak in their newspaper IT division. In 1991 I moved on from this role and spent ten years working with various IT recruitment companies as FD or MD, with plenty of hectic mergers and acquisitions along the way.

From 2000 to 2006 I left the rat race and sailed and raced professionally around the world. Time spent alone mid-Atlantic on a 50-foot yacht, or skippering a 68-foot yacht racing across the Southern Ocean, gave me a passion for the sea and nature – and a growing awareness of our responsibility to our planet and future generations.

I returned to health care recruitment for three years before joining Dartington in October 2009 as business development director for Research in Practice. Having worked in different roles across Dartington – most recently with the teams at Schumacher College, Finance and Property – I’m closely familiar with most areas of Dartington.

Outside work I’m very active in my local community, being a coxswain of the Hope Cove Life Boat, a commissioner of Hope Cove Harbour, a parish councillor for South Huish, and a co-opted member of Salcombe Harbour Board. I am also a Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Drapers and a Freeman of the City of London.

Board of Trustees

The Dartington Hall Trust is governed by a Board of Trustees. Members of the Board have two roles: first as directors of the company in company law and secondly as trustees of the charity. It is a non-executive Board and members are unpaid.


Our governance

The Board of Trustees, acting in a voluntary capacity, has legal responsibility for the effective use of resources in meeting the Trust’s purpose; deciding policy; and for providing leadership and direction. They meet formally at least four times a year (involving the CEO, management team and other staff/advisors as appropriate) here at Dartington. The Board of Trustees has an Audit and Risk Management Committee which meets at least five times a year and reports directly to the Board. This Committee advises the Board on matters of risk (from a strategic perspective) and oversight of the audit.

Recruiting trustees

We recognise the importance of attracting and recruiting the best trustees to enable us to fulfil our aims. Trustee recruitment follows an open process and is based on the skills, experience and diversity required for the Board of Trustees to fulfil its purpose. This assessment is based on an annual skills audit of trustees against the needs of the Trust. Recruitment of new trustees is led by the Nominations Committee (a sub-committee of the Board). Trustees usually serve up to 3 terms of 3 years (maximum of 9 years). There are regular opportunities to apply for the role of trustee as natural membership rotation occurs. Please keep an eye on our website and social media or sign up to our weekly news and events e-bulletin to learn about when these opportunities arise.

Annual reporting

The Dartington Hall Trust is independently audited annually. The latest financial statements and directors reports are available to download. If you require any further information relating to our governance, please contact us at

Dr Greg Parston (Chair)

Greg is a visiting professor at the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London, where he worked until 2019 as executive advisor to the director. He is also chair of Riverside Studios, the cultural and creative arts centre in West London. In 1988, he co-founded and led the Office for Public Management, a pioneering change management public interest company. In 2006, he was invited to establish Accenture’s global Institute for Public Service Value, which he led for five years. Greg has advised leaders on governance, strategy and change in many countries, including – in the UK – the NHS, the British Museum, the BBC, the Wellcome Trust and the Metropolitan Police.

Greg says: “Dartington Hall has a rich history of progressive thinking, culture, learning and enterprise. I am honoured to have asked by the Board of Trustees to chair the stewardship of Dartington Hall Trust during a period of essential redevelopment. The Trustees and the management team are committed to creating – once again – a place where people from Devon, from Britain and from around the world can gather to experience and contribute to our mission to model a fair and sustainable society. We aim to provide an environment and a range of interconnected activities in learning and living, which can foster personal and social changes that make a real difference.”

Emma Gladstone
Emma Gladstone

Emma brings a wealth of experience to Dartington.  In her current role as artistic director and chief executive of the international dance festival, Dance Umbrella, Emma has focused on broadening definitions of choreography and taking performing arts out to places where people live and work. Recent festivals have featured ice skaters, flamenco artists, hip hop and digital work, with participatory projects, online talks and development programmes such as Producer Farm in Devon running through the year.

Previously Emma was artistic programmer at Sadler’s Wells (2005-13), where she established the Research Programme and strands such as Family Weekend and the artist-curated Wild Card, which continue to this day.  She has worked extensively with the British Council, Southbank Centre, The Place and the Rolex Mentor Protégé programme. Previously Emma danced for many years with Arlene Phillips, Lea Anderson’s The Cholmondeleys, and co-founded Adventures in Motion Pictures with Sir Matthew Bourne.

Emma regularly works as a mentor and advisor, most recently in India, China and Chile and has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship from Trinity Laban and a Tonic Award recognising outstanding women in the arts. In addition to Dartington Hall, Emma is a trustee of the arts and health charity Aesop, and Chair of Siobhan Davies Dance.

Peter Goldsbrough
Peter Goldsbrough

Peter is a senior leader experienced in the private, public and charitable sectors. Peter was a managing director at The Boston Consulting Group and is now a senior advisor to the firm. He is a non-executive director of Imperial College Healthcare Trust, and a trustee of the Fidelity UK Foundation. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Education Endowment Foundation and a visiting professor at the Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College.

Peter advises senior leaders of major organisations in a variety of sectors on strategic direction and operational performance. He has specialised in the leadership of large-scale operational and organisational change. His geographic experience covers the UK, Europe, the US, Asia and Australasia.

He was educated at Cambridge University and the Harvard Business School.

Peter has a long standing family connection with South Devon.

Tim Jones

Appointed as a Trustee in December 2014, Tim Jones is a successful local businessman who has supported Dartington for many years, particularly as chair of the Trust’s property advisory committee. He volunteers his time to many other organisations in the South West, including the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (as a board member, following 3 years as Chairman) and Devon & Cornwall Business Council (as Chairman), and has a particular interest in criminal justice and creating routes into jobs for people who are long-term unemployed.He plays a leading role in many business development organisations and brings a wide network of government, enterprise and charitable contacts to Dartington.

amanda jordan
Amanda Jordan OBE

Amanda is the chair and co-founder of Corporate Citizenship – a leading international sustainability management consultancy. Amanda’s career began in the voluntary sector, focusing on policy and advocacy, before she moved into the business sector in the NatWest Group as director of community affairs, and later director of CSR – the first such role in a FTSE 100 company.

Amanda has held many third sector roles such as chair of the National Literacy Trust and trustee of the Money Advice Service. She has held regulatory roles such as independent director of the Banking Code Standards Board and chair of IWF – a unique early self-regulator of ISPs – and also maintained her links to public policy as an advisor to the Social Exclusion Unit (1997-2001) and the New Deal Advisory Group.

Amanda has been involved in funding issues as a founder Board member of the National Lottery Community Fund and chair of the Baring Foundation, which then lead to her chairing the Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF) until 2018. Amanda currently chairs the #iwill Fund – a collaboration between The Lottery, Government and private funders to promote and support youth social action. She remains Vice President of the National Literacy Trust.

Chris Maw
Chris Maw

Chris was a senior partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers prior to retiring from that firm in December 2019. Whilst at PwC, he was office senior partner for the Norwich and then the West London offices and led for many years the firm’s private business practice across the south east, including advising organisations of all sizes on effective governance. He is a trustee of Transforming Education Norfolk, The Forum Trust in Norwich and the Norfolk Historic Buildings Trust. He is also chair of West London Business, the business representation body for that region, where he has acted as an advocate of business as a force for good and promoted the effective collaboration of business and the charity sector to provide a meaningful impact on the lives of people in the local community. He has a life-long interest in the power of education to allow young people to maximise their potential, whatever their background, and has a keen interest in the sustainability of agriculture at all scales of activity, given the challenges of global warming.

Sylvie Pierce

Appointed as a Trustee in December 2014, Sylvie Pierce had a successful career in local government, leading two large local authorities. She has a great interest in education and the arts. Post-government, Sylvie moved into the private sector, leading a property development company working with communities in economically deprived areas in a collaborative way to achieve high quality regeneration schemes.Sylvie will strengthen the board’s expertise in developing creative partnerships with like-minded organisations and with its communities to make the best use of its land and property for the future. Sylvie is currently chair of the Mossbourne Federation of Schools, four schools in Hackney; and chair of governors at Mossbourne Community Academy, a school started by Sir Clive Bourne, to demonstrate his passionate belief in the ability of Hackney children. She has also been on a number of boards previously, including the Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme and Shoreditch Trust.

Nigel Topping
Nigel Topping

Nigel is currently on leave in 2020/21 as High Level Champion for Climate Change COP26.

‘So close and yet so far. Having studied at Schumacher College, and lived in Totnes for 10 years, I am deeply convinced of the power of The Dartington Hall Trust to act as an agent for real change in the world, and of the gulf that sometimes separates the Trust from the town – the promise from the delivery. As an industrialist turned climate diplomat, my whole life has been about improving systems, about embedding new ways of doing things into complex realities to effect positive change – whether making better brake pads (as a co-owner of TMD Friction) or tackling global climate change (currently as the CEO of We Mean Business, a global coalition working with thousands of the world’s largest companies in this field). I am also co-founder of the Totnes Pound and The Atmos Project (to redevelop Totnes’s Dairy Crest site). ‘As an outdoorsman, I need the wind on my face in wild places to reinvigorate my soul. And as a local resident, I love the eclectic mix of thinkers and doers drawn to our special part of the world, in no small part because of the historical influence of the Trust. There has never been a more important time for us to learn how to live and love in harmony with planet and neighbour. So I am thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to a newly humble and confident Trust playing an important role in understanding, sharing and applying the solutions we seek.’

Andrew Ward

For 40 years Andrew worked in Higher Education, most recently as director of corporate relations at Brunel University London, where he built and maintained links with key industrial, intermediary and third sector partners and was the University’s innovation champion. He has served on the boards of more than 50 private, public and third sector organisations. He is passionate about the arts, especially music, and currently chairs NMC Recordings, is associate director of Club Inegales and the Institute of Composing, is on the Advisory Committee of the Music in Secondary Schools Trust and is business adviser to the Watermans Arts Centre. ‘The Dartington Hall Trust’s work has arguably never been more important than it is today. Current political and economic uncertainties far and wide make it essential for there to be places for cool, informed reflection and safe havens for innovation and experimentation. Dartington has a vital role in this respect. ‘The Trust’s exciting and ambitious plans for the future reflect the imagination and sense of purpose necessary to make a substantive impact on life in contemporary Britain. To be able to play a role in shaping and realising these plans is an immense privilege’.

Rachel Watson

Rachel has over 30 years of experience in marketing and communications.  She has spent the last 15 years leading the brand and marketing at Riverford Organic Farmers, a highly successful and values-driven organisation a few fields away from the Dartington estate.

Brand and customer insight have always been the area of marketing closest to Rachel’s heart and she knows the importance of understanding an organisation’s brand, sharing a sense of it with all stakeholders, internal and external, and remaining true to it through thick and thin.

Before joining Riverford, Rachel spent 20 years at a London-based agency specialising in customer insight, brand and marketing.

Responding to her appointment, Rachel said: “Dartington has been a part of my life since I was a child. It has shaped the character of the community I live in.  It has provided a rich and beautiful backdrop – both natural and cultural – which I, along with many other locals, have enjoyed and probably taken too much for granted.  I look forward to playing a part in helping Dartington thrive for coming generations”

Glenn Woodcock
Glenn Woodcock

Glenn studied astrophysics, and then went on to study for a PhD in mathematics of biological systems (but didn’t quite finish this). From there Glenn has had a very varied career in software, quantitative trading, general banking, venture capital and as an entrepreneur.

In parallel Glenn has always had an interest in music, food and the natural world. “My desire is to understand how the natural world can form the core of a good life which is also economically viable. I have a number of charity and educational directorships, and I bring this perspective (I hope) to them all – how can we move to a more sustainable world. That doesn’t mean that financial experience isn’t important as well – it very much is.”

More significant recent roles Glenn has held include: Founder of Sparx maths education, Founder of Low Carbon Group, Founder of Exeter City Futures, Director of Oxygen House, Owner/Chairman of City Science, Trustee of the University of Exeter and Governor of Exeter College. Glenn is also a fellow of the Cambridge Centre for Science and Policy.

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