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Robin Buxton - Chairman

After graduating in Applied Biology from Cambridge University, Robin spent two years in a Kenyan national park doing fieldwork for his doctorate on the ecology of termites. Tsavo National Park is about half the size of Wales and experienced many issues that beset successful wildlife conservation: controversies over objectives and the pre-eminent position of elephants; disagreements over science and the key processes being managed; irrelevance to local people and disengagement from their economies; national politics and even poaching sponsored by the President´s wife!

After completing his thesis at Oxford he spent two years in Florence working on the ecology of pine processionary moth and helping to develop the first environment education centre in Italy. His appointment in 1982 as the first warden of Little Wittenham Nature Reserve gave him the opportunity to apply these lessons to conservation in England. He moved on in the Northmoor Trust and is its current chairman, has been involved with several other conservation bodies — a trustee of BBOWT, one of the groups that set up the Oxfordshire Woodland Group in 1986, chair of the Trust for Oxfordshire´s Environment (TOE), chair of the local Area Group of the Environment Agency, a director of the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management.

He was asked to chair ONCF when it was launched in 1993 and has been at the heart of developing this unique adventure in partnership and collaboration ever since. He has travelled widely and has a particular affinity for Africa, where he was born, and for dugout canoes. His latest venture was a film on Kilimanjaro with Granada Television.
In 2005 he was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant of Oxfordshire.

Bruce Tremayne - Hon Treasurer

A year with the British Council in Pakistan teaching English, learning how to tent-peg and wandering in the Karakoram convinced Bruce that a life overseas after Cambridge, where he read Geography, presented an attractive challenge and fortunately Shell International were prepared to foot the bill. 30 odd years with the Shell Group haggling with Hausa, placating Persians, wrestling with Romanians and trading with Chinese towkays prepared him for senior positions which increasingly put as much weight on sustainable operations as profits. It therefore was a comparatively easy jump from ensuring old oil depots in China were cleaned up to chairing the Joint Environmental Markets Unit of the DOE/DTI aimed at supporting the UK's expanding environmental technology industry, and acting as a trade promoter for the FCO in NE Asia with special emphasis on the environment. What attracted him to the ONCF was the concept that the myriad organisations associated with nature conservation should work closer together towards a common local goal. Bruce is closely involved with Oxfordshire's CPRE, sits on the EA's Thames West Area advisory group. He has a special passion for conserving Otmoor and growing trees.

Craig Blackwell

Craig obtained his first degree in biology from Sussex University. This was closely followed by stints at Aberystwyth, Bangor, and Sheffield universities where he obtained a diploma in education, an M.Sc. in ecology and an M.A. in landscape architecture. He taught for a year at a comprehensive in Sheffield and has also been an adult education tutor for many years through the Worker's Educational Association, Nottingham and Oxford universities. In the mid 1980s he was also a tutor for the Open University on its changing countryside course. He started work properly with the Lincolnshire wildlife trust as leader of an ecological sites survey team. He then became the county ecologist for Nottinghamshire County Council before taking up a similar post in Oxfordshire in 1990.

Over the past 13 years he helped to write the first nature conservation strategy for the county and was instrumental in setting up the forum. Although a large part of his work is planning based, he has also got involved with a wide range of other projects including the parish conservation plan pack, establishment of local nature reserves at Tackley and Charlbury, and establishment of the lower Windrush Valley and county wildlife projects. In 2009 Craig retired but is still involved in conservation, teaching for Oxfordshire and is a CTA Lead.

Martin Harris

Martin was educated in Oxford and spent the next 30 years teaching courses in atmospheric science, environmental science, environmental remote sensing, and environmental management to university students in Oxford, Swansea and London. Since 1981 he has also worked as an environmental consultant, specialising in aerospace applications, including satellite and aerial photographic surveys, and environmental impact surveys, in the UK and overseas. Although he is now directly involved in managing several nature conservation projects in Oxfordshire, he still retains an interest in studying environmental changes in extreme climates, most notably in the high Alpine regions of Germany, Austria, France and Switzerland, in the Sierra Nevada in southern Spain, and in the Everest National Park in Nepal. He also carried out an investigation of the North polar ice edge for the Russian authorities, and discovered, by flying there in a helicopter (rather than on foot!), that global atmospheric warming has already advanced much further than the theoretical predictive models developed for the World Meteorological Organisation indicate. In parallel to these activities, Martin is involved in broadcast television as a director and producer, and also produces promotional video programmes. He is very concerned to conserve and protect the great variety of wildlife habitats to be found near Oxford, and through his membership of the Shotover Preservation Society, Oxford Preservation Trust, the Oxford Green Belt Network, and his local Council he works to raise the profile of Nature Conservation as a very important issue in environmental planning.

Jocelyne Hughes

I am currently with the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education where I direct the Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Environmental Conservation. These courses enable mature students to develop professional skills in conservation, or to redirect their careers into conservation. The course tutors come from Oxford University and conservation organisations throughout Oxfordshire which provides a dynamic link between the academic and practical aspects of nature conservation. The courses also reflect my commitment to fieldwork, which has been reinforced via my various academic appointments since graduating from Cambridge University in 1982.
The field work for my PhD took place in the east of Tasmania where I was studying aquatic plant ecology in the area now designated the Douglas-Apsley National Park. While in Tasmania I had the fantastic opportunity of going on two ANARE expeditions to Macquarie Island and Heard Island (now a World Heritage Area). Fieldwork dominated my teaching at Melbourne University, and during my time as a lecturer at Reading University I took fieldtrips to the Gambia and The Netherlands, where students focused on the ecology and sustainable utilisation of mangroves (Gambia) and salt marshes (Netherlands). In 1989 I was privileged to work as a research assistant for the late Ted Hollis at UCL, and during this time produced an inventory of wetlands for Tunisia, and a hydrological survey of floodplain wetlands along the Rio de la Pasion in Guatemala. My conservation commitments are now Oxfordshire based because of having three school-aged children, but I feel strongly that my overseas or global experience has contributed so much to my appreciation of, and desire to conserve, our local biodiversity.

Matt Jackson (BBOWT)

I am Head of Policy, Planning and Wider Countryside at the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and  Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust. I spent the last eleven years working with the Wildlife Trust in Northamptonshire, initially managing nature reserves, but latterly covering both nature reserve management and "wider countryside". This latter area has involved representing nature conservation interests in a variety of flora, including public enquiries and examinations in public.
I am a member of the "Environment and Quality of Life" advisory group to the Growth Implementation Group, which is overseeing the government's housing growth agenda. We provide advice to Local Delivery Vehicles on the principles of incorporating "Green Infrastructure" into development plans. I am also a member of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts´ Conservation Advisory Group, which aims to steer the work of our national umbrella organisation to provide the national policy and context for local improvements for wildlife.
I have wide experience of the habitats and species found in lowland England, but have a particular interest in botany.

Anne Kelaart

A farmer and landowner, she serves on the Council of English Nature 1999 - , is a Trustee of the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group 1999 -, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Country Land and Business Association 2000 -. In Oxfordshire she was Chairman of FWAG 1997 - 2000, of the CLA 2000 - 2003, of the Chilterns Chalk Stream Project 2001- 2003 and Nettlebed and District Commons Conservators 2000-2003. She is a Trustee of the Oxfordshire Victoria County History Trust and was High Sheriff of Oxfordshire 2004-5.

Dominic Lamb (SODC)

Dominic has been the Countryside Officer for South Oxfordshire District Council since 2002. His current responsibilities cover a wide range of countryside and environmental issues including; land management, farming, biodiversity, provision of advice and support to community groups and involvement in planning issues. Previous roles have involved being a trustee for BTCV and working for the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust as a Project Officer, the Cornwall Wildlife Trust and prior to that was a Conservation Contractor on the Gower.

Sian Liwicki

Trained in Botany (Reading University, then National University of Singapore), Sian Liwicki started her career in the laboratory comparing the photosynthetic systems of algae with higher plants. Marriage brought her from the tropical climes of Singapore to the UK where she worked in the Research Councils, gathering experience in management, organisation and finance. Seeking greater job satisfaction, Sian then joined the charity sector, working with Oxfam, The Oxford Trust and the Northmoor Trust and finally, but not least, heading the ONCF when it became independent 4 years ago. Until she resigned in 2003 to look after a young family and a commercial vineyard in Frilford Heath, Sian was the longest serving employee of the Forum.

Leanne Smith (Natural England)

Having come from a farming family, Leanne obtained her first degree in Crop Technology from the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester. She then studied for a PhD in crop / weed competition at the University of Reading. Leaving the academic world behind, she become an agronomist with ADAS working in the Severn Valley. After several years of helping farmers farm for food, she changed direction and decided to use her agronomy and land management skills, to help farmers farm for wildlife. She has since spent nine years working with agri-environment schemes in Oxfordshire and Berkshire for the Rural Development Service. With the advent of Natural England, Leanne's role developed to include responsibility for Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) within Berkshire. Her current role within Natural England is leading  the land management team responsible for the Cotswolds and Clay Vales, covering most of Oxfordshire and North Buckinghamshire.

Melanie Hardie (TVERC)

In March 2011 Melanie left her post at TVERC and resigned as a trustee of ONCF.