Trustees and Staff

Who’s Who?

The Mountain Heritage Trust is supported by some fantastic Patrons, Trustees and Ambassadors:

Joe Brown (Patron)

Joe Brown is one of Britain’s greatest rock climbers and his impact and influence has been profound. He made his name climbing on gritstone in Derbyshire before transferring his attention to climbing in Wales and the Lake District. He is well versed in mountaineering further afield too, having made the first ascent of Kangchenjunga in 1955, the first ascent of Mustagh Tower by the west summit in 1956 and the first ascent of Trango (nameless) Tower in 1976.  He has also climbed extensively in the Alps, the Dolomites, Morocco, Spain, Alaska, Kenya, Russia and South America. Having started his climbing at the age of 17, Joe was still putting up new routes at the age of 77. His achievements are legendary and we are extremely honoured to have him as our first Patron.

Sir Chris Bonington CVO, CBE, DL (Patron)

Chris is one of Britain’s most famous mountaineers. He started climbing in Britain in 1951 making his mark with important new routes in the Avon Gorge, Snowdonia and the Scottish Highlands. He progressed to the Alps with the first ascent of the Central Pillar of Freney and the first British ascent of the North Wall of the Eiger before focusing on the Himalaya. He has made many other first ascents including those of Annapurna II, Nuptse and the Ogre.  In 1970 he led the expedition that made the first ascent of the South Face of Annapurna and in 1975 he was leader of the famous British ascent of the South West face of Everest. The years spent climbing have given him direct experience of Britain’s post war mountain activities and fostered a deep understanding and respect for our mountain heritage. He has been President of the British Mountaineering Council and The Alpine Club.  As Founder Chair of MHT from 2000-5, Chris has been active in national and international organisations on behalf of MHT, gaining sponsorship, funding, materials and support from many people and organisations. His unflagging support for MHT’s objectives and activities extends to giving MHT custody of his personal archive.

John Innerdale MBE (Patron)

Ex Chairman of MHT and founding Trustee member of MHT, John Innerdale is an architect, mountaineer, landscape painter and bee keeper based in the Lake District. A lifetime of walking and climbing in the UK, Alps, Norway, Pyrenees, Himalaya and Patagonia has helped him to understand and interpret mountain architecture. He was a member of the Langdale and Penrith Mountain Rescue teams. He now lives, climbs and sails in the Lake District as well as undertaking expeditions further afield. He is the curator and developer of a number of mountaineering and painting exhibitions for MHT. An active member of the Alpine Club, John is also a collector of mountain memorabilia.

Jeremy Barlow (Co-opted member representing the National Trust)

Jeremy’s passion for climbing began while exploring the scruffy sandstone quarries of the Wirral as a teenager in the mid ‘70s and his enthusiasm survived his first proper route – Horned Crag Route on Lliwedd in the pouring rain. Since then he has carried on climbing in places as diverse as the Alps, Morocco, Sudan and Arizona. In the ‘90s Jeremy worked as the BMC’s Access & Conservation Officer and became one of an elite team of British climbers to spend time dossing on their Manchester office floor. For the past 15 years he has lived in the Lakes working for the National Trust and is proud to have helped set up the partnership behind Wild Ennerdale. Recently he encouraged the National Trust to buy the Sticklebarn pub in Langdale to support their conservation work in the Lakes and to provide a welcome pint at the end of a days climbing. He is very excited to support the new and developing partnership between the National Trust and MHT.

David Lanceley (Trustee – Treasurer)

David has been a climber and mountaineer for more than forty years.  Still active in a modest way, mainly in North Wales, where he lives with occasional trips to other areas.  He was a keen Hard Rock ticker back when it was fashionable with only a few still to do.  David is the immediate past Treasurer of the British Mountaineering Council and a Director of Mountain Training Trust, the organisation that manages Play-y-Brenin on behalf of Sport England.  A Quantity Surveyor by profession, his day job is running a consultancy specialising in construction disputes in the UK and worldwide.  This gives him flexibility and time to follow a range of other interests including classic cars, skiing, offshore sailing and of course looking after MHT’s finances.

Will Lownsbrough (Trustee)

Will LownsbroughWill is a British entrepreneur who has spent the past ten years founding and growing businesses across a range of industries, focusing mainly on technology and marketing. Born and raised in the Peak District, Will grew up a passionate climber, being fortunate enough to have Curbar Edge on the doorstep of his parent’s house. In 2015, Will decided to take an opportunity to change how he worked, allowing him to pursue his love of climbing while being able to combine it with his background in technology and marketing. Will also acts as an adviser to businesses and individuals and is CIO at the award winning digital agency, Starberry. 

John Porter (Trustee)

jptibetJohn lives in the Lake District and works as a consultant to companies developing the capability to comply with standards in high hazard industries.  He has climbed for nearly 60 years in various parts of the world, serving his apprenticeship in the mountains of America and Canada before moving to England at the age of 24. He has previously been a vice president of the BMC and Alpine Club, and the secretary of MHT.  He developed the business plan and raised the finance for the National Mountaineering Exhibition at Rheged in 2000. His has recently written a biography of Alex MacIntyre, one of the early National Officers of the BMC.

Doug Scott CBE (Trustee)

Doug is one of the leading mountaineers of his generation; he is a former President of the Alpine Club and Vice-president of the BMC. He recently stepped down as the UK’s representative on the UIAA, the world body for mountaineering. He is a former member of the UIAA Management Committee and his aim is to help to preserve the best traditions of mountaineering. Naturally he considers the MHT vital in the role of informing the current generation of climbers of the great traditions of our sport. He is patron of, and an active supporter of a range of charities aimed at providing health and education to Nepalese communities and to improving the welfare and working conditions for the porters in Nepal. His registered charity, Community Action Nepal, has gained an international reputation for its work. Doug is also a well respected writer, photographer and lecturer.

Liz Sutton (Trustee)

Liz doesn’t (yet)Liz Sutton know a lot about mountains or climbing them, but she does know a bit about fundraising, having worked as a specialist heritage funding consultant for the last 15 years. She is looking forward to helping the Trust deliver some of its long-held aspirations, in particular making its collections more accessible to the public. She lives with her family in Westmorland in Cumbria, and enjoys getting out onto the fells and keeping Shetland ducks.

Christine Renouf (Trustee)

Christine was a late-comer to climbing not having set foot on a mountain until her early thirties which led her to a winter climbing course at Glenmore Lodge. What followed was many alpine summers and rock climbing in the Lakes, North Wales and the Peak District. Her love for the mountains in winter led to waterfall ice climbing in France, Italy and the Canadian Rockies. She has now hung up her technical ice axes and although no longer climbing continues to remain active in the hills: walking and cycling.

Christine is also a keen mountain trekker and has trekked in Northern India, Nepal, Bhutan, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Patagonia. She has recently fulfilled her dream to live in the Lake District.

Terry Tasker (Trustee – Chair)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATerry Tasker, a keen fell-walker and camper, has a wealth of experience in working with community groups and young peoples’ projects. She comes from the field of Youth & Community work, Personal Coaching and Training. She is an independent consultant in her own right and has been instrumental in developing and setting up non-formal education programmes in a range of learning situations. She has written a range of papers and advised the Department for Education and Qualifications Curriculum Authority on structures of learning qualifications.

She is a Trustee of the Boardman Tasker Charitable Trust, which provides an annual award to books concerned with mountaineering literature and is working with MHT compiling the diaries and writing collections of her brother, Joe Tasker, for the ‘Towering Talent’ Archive Collection. 

Chris Martin (Trustee)

FullSizeRenderChris lives in the Yorkshire Dales and has been a passionate mountaineer and photographer for 35 years, starting his climbing life on Wirral sandstone and then launching out into Snowdonia and the Alps as a teenage member of Merseyside Mountaineering Club. After taking early retirement from corporate life he’s spent time ticking the routes and summits that avoided him in his youth and wondering why everyone doesn’t love Yorkshire gritstone.

Whilst most at home on the fells of Lakeland or in the dales of Yorkshire, extensive travels in the Himalaya, Alaska, Africa, Morocco, Norway, USA and Canada provide a lifetime of memories and an ever growing list of ‘things to do’. Chris is a member of the Alpine Club, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Explorers Club. He remains a very keen photographer, particularly of wildlife and the natural world, and has seen his work published in international scientific and exploration periodicals. A passionate collector of mountain literature, Chris is really excited to be joining MHT and helping to ensure that the compelling history of UK mountaineering continues to play its part in defining its even more exciting future. 

Nigel Vardy (Ambassador)

VardyNigel is a keen mountaineer and collector of antiquarian mountaineering equipment and literature. He has studied history since childhood and believes strongly in promoting Mountain Heritage in education. As a teenager, his secondary school undertook outdoor pursuits as part of the curriculum and these experiences shaped his life. He is a great believer in outdoor education for all from an early age.

Nigel has climbed in most of the worlds greater ranges, but when he’s not wandering the globe, he speaks in schools, outdoor centres and at mountain festivals. He suffered severe frostbite in Alaska and uses his experiences to motivate audiences across the UK and Europe. He’s often on TV and Radio, writes articles for the climbing press and is a core presenter at the Kendal Mountain Festival.

David Litherland (Honorary Project Development Manager)


David started climbing as a teenager and has now been climbing for around 60 years. He has lived in Australia, Tanzania, Kenya and Malaysia and has climbed in all of those countries. He has climbed extensively in the European Alps from the Maritime Alps in the south west to the Julian Alps in the east and he is one of only around 20 British climbers to have climbed all the main 4,000 metre mountains in the Alps.

He has also climbed extensively in New Zealand, North America and Africa. After retiring from the Oil and Gas Industry, he now spends his time between London, Llanberis and Penrith. When not walking and climbing, he spends time on his other main hobby of photography.


Charlotte McCarthy (Collections Manager – maternity cover)


Charlotte is responsible for collections care, exhibitions and enquiries at the trust.

A qualified archivist with over twenty years experience in specialist and business archives, she recently undertook an MA Art Gallery & Museum Studies at the University of Manchester, graduating in 2017.

When not at work she is a Rotarian and enjoys taking part in community events.  She also enjoys walking and exploring new places.

Jonny Dry (Administrator & Marketing Coordinator)

13131070_10154299853765209_8320887227184630108_oA hooked climber and runner ever since his Dad took him and his brother up Flying Buttress. Jonny has a particular passion for mountainous regions and more broadly culture; be it literature, film, music or art. He is currently working on an MA in mountain literature and Modernism at Lancaster University with the focus ranging across UK and international writing. 

Alongside this formal study Jonny works for both the Alpine Club and Mount Everest Foundation, developing marketing material for each to promote their work to younger generations. He has published writing on and Footless Crow that has dealt with the history of mountain culture, how it is changing in a modern age, and what impact this might be having. Outside of the mountain community he works extensively in the film industry directing fictional work and music videos, with an upcoming film released in 2018 exploring amnesia and its impact on one’s sense of self.

Debbie Watson (Learning and Engagement Officer for Man and Mountain Project)

grgDebbie has had a lifelong enthusiasm for the mountains and encouraging young people to have adventures in the outdoors. Having worked as an instructor for Outward Bound in the Lakes, Scotland and Canada and then bringing up her family at a Field Centre in Ennerdale, she has felt privileged to live and work in wild places. She enjoys journeys through wild places on foot, cycling or sea kayak, breathing clear air and a good cup of tea.

More recently, she has been a Primary teacher and still works part time for Cumbria Development Education Centre, based in Ambleside – assisting teachers to keep global learning at the core of their curriculum.

As Learning and Engagement Officer for the Man and Mountain Project, she looks forward to introducing young people and families to Chris’ exciting and many-faceted life and so inspire them to step out of the door and enjoy the mountains for themselves.