Our Board of Trustees

TOE’s Board represents a wide range of people who care deeply about the environment, support our work with relevant knowledge and expertise, and have strong roots in Oxfordshire.


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Karen Woolley, Chairman

Originally a member of the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS), working mainly in submarine communications, Karen moved to Oxfordshire in 1988 and has since played an active role within the community, primarily in education, local government, and the environment. She spent 8 years as a School Governor, 12 years as Parish Councillor, and helped establish a number of different community organisations, including the Woodcote Conservation Group.

Karen has worked in the Charity Sector for over 20 years, including 6 years for the environmental charity BTCV (now The Conservation Volunteers). For the past 16 years, she has been a Charity consultant, providing advice and support for income generation and strategic development.


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Philip Chamberlain

Philip is the third generation to run the Chamberlain family business at Benson, Crowmarsh Battle Farm, an all arable enterprise running to 1,300 acres. The farm has been a LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) Demonstration Farm since 1996, using sustainable farming practices and hosting farm visits to explain food production, conservation work, and other rural matters.

Philip has a long and distinguished record of occupying senior roles within various agricultural organisations, including the National Farmers Union. He is also an active member of the local community, currently serving roles on The Oxfordshire Access Forum and the Oxfordshire LEADER programme. He is also a Trustee of God’s House in Ewelme and of The Central Regional Farmers Trust.

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Cllr. Yvonne Constance

Yvonne holds the executive post of Cabinet Member for Environment at Oxfordshire County Council. A barrister by profession, she has served on the Board of St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington, and on GLMCA to re-organise London's Magistrates' Courts, as well as national chairman of ECCG (representing electricity consumers), during de-regulation of the industry. Experience on the boards of RWE npower and Network Rail followed, so she has wide experience of large organisations and structural change. She is also District Councillor for the Vale of White Horse, Ridgeway Ward.

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David Gwillim

Davis has recently moved to Woodcote in Oxfordshire with his family. He is a practising solicitor advocate and Partner with Pitmans LLP, which he joined in 2013 after over 30 years in the City. He works with the construction sector and has a particular interest in sustainability and the way in which the built environment impacts on our rural environment.

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Dominic Lamb

Dominic has worked in nature conservation as a volunteer and professional since 1993. He has worked for the Cornwall Wildlife Trust and the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. For the last 10 years he has acted as Countryside Officer for South Oxfordshire District Council and more recently also with the Vale of White Horse. Dominic chairs the Oxfordshire Biodiversity Action Plan Steering Group. In his spare time he also runs the local conservation group in Letcombe Regis.

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Russel Matthews

Russell has spent his career working on integrated land use and management with particular reference to forestry, landscape, and arboriculture. He has run a small consultancy firm since the turn of the century and has worked throughout the UK and in Australia, the Far East, the Middle East, North America & the Caribbean. He has also worked for Local Government in Norfolk, in education, and as a partner and director of environmental and engineering consultancy firms.  David is a Chartered Forester, a retired Chartered Landscape Architect, and was formerly a trustee of the Earth Trust. 

Major projects Russell has worked on include the transfer of New Town landscape assets; management plan preparation and the restoration of parks and open spaces within the UK and the United States; the ecological work associated with the Channel Tunnel Rail Link; four new woodlands (total area 1000 hectares) for the Will Trust and the London Tree Survey.  He was also Environment, Consultation and Consents Manager for the upgrade of the West Coast Mainline Railway. 

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Jake Piper

Jake’s academic training covered international development, forestry and land management, then after some years in environmental consultancy she completed a PhD in environmental policy. Whilst working at Oxford Brookes University (for 15+ years), Jake has taught on courses concerned with environmental assessment and policy.

Jake has been involved with other European researchers on projects concerned with climate change and its impacts on biodiversity, and she continues to act for the European Commission as an expert assessor for the European Green Capital Award. In 2010 she published Spatial Planning and Climate Change with her colleague Elizabeth Wilson. She is also co-editor of a journal dealing with sustainable urban development.

Jake’s other voluntary work includes being vice chair of governors for an Oxfordshire school.

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Anita Prosser

Anita was born and educated in the UK having spent her early years in West Africa. Following a degree in Botany and Zoology she worked in education and as a researcher for a wildlife film company

For over 30 years Anita worked for BTCV (now The Conservation Volunteers), initially setting up training schemes for the unemployed and then moving on to establish BTCV International and activities. Her career has involved working in over 32 countries throughout the world, running organisational training programmes in central and Eastern Europe, Japan and Africa, and helping to establish National Conservation Volunteer organisations and volunteering activity. Recently she focused on European funding including transnational work, influencing EU Volunteering policy and recently on the new EU growth funds. Alongside this, in a voluntary capacity, Anita is a board member of a number of European and local organisations and chairs the European funding network on behalf of NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations).

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Toni Robinson

After completing a degree in Environmental Science, Toni worked in countryside management for a short time before deciding on a career in waste management. She now has over 25 years’ experience in the industry with much of this time spent managing landfill sites. In recent years her role at Grundon has broadened and she am presently Head of Compliance ,with her main focus being related to the environmental and health and safety aspects of the business. She lives close to Wantage and in her spare time she enjoys exploring the Oxfordshire countryside with her daughter.

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Helen Sandhu

Helen is professionally qualified with the Association of Chartered Accountants, and an experienced financial controller with a background in the commercial and the not-for-profit and charity sectors. She has worked for housing associations and Community First Oxfordshire, and is currently employed in the commercial sector. She has also worked as Parish Clerk for her local Parish Council. She lives in rural Oxfordshire with her family.