Trustees of the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust
Trustees play a vital role in all aspects of the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust's work. They bring their skills and experience to oversee the governance and strategic leadership of the organisation to make sure we stay on track for success. Trustees give their time for free, as do all BBOWT's 1,400 volunteers, who help to look after our nature reserves, survey wildlife and inspire others to take action for local wildlife. Find out how to become a Trustee.
Barbara Muston, Chair of the Board of Trustees
Barbara was elected Chair in December 2017, having been a trustee since 2012. In a career spent largely in government and the City, Barbara specialised in UK and EU company law and corporate governance, and regulation of takeover bids and financial services, latterly working at the Takeover Panel. In 2015, Barbara was appointed as Honorary Professor at Queen Mary, University of London. Barbara has volunteered for BBOWT for many years as a stock watcher at the Dancersend and Aston Clinton Ragpits reserves and is a keen wildlife gardener, birdwatcher and amateur botanist, especially enjoying encouraging the wild orchids in her garden.
Joanna Simons CBE, Vice Chair
Joanna has a background of senior leadership in the public and voluntary sectors having been chief executive of two local authorities and a national charity. She now mixes consultancy in the voluntary sector with her charitable interests. Her interest in wildlife conservation began as a teenage volunteer with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers, and in the 1980s she helped to set up the London Wildlife Trust where she was subsequently a council member. Joanna became a BBOWT trustee in 2016 and is also Chair of Experience Oxfordshire and a trustee of Shelter.
Graeme Thompson, Honorary Treasurer
Graeme trained as a Chartered Accountant and worked for 15 years in the energy industry at Powergen/E.ON with his final role being Finance Director of E.ON’s electricity grid business. He was then the Chief Financial Officer at HS1 Limited for six years. Since 2017, Graeme has held several portfolio roles, and is Trustee of a large pension fund and of a charitable trust providing education and medical care in Zimbabwe.
Graeme has loved wildlife from an early age and has travelled extensively in the UK and globally to be awed and humbled by the beauty of nature. He is the proud owner of 16 acres of ASNW woodland in the Chilterns, where after years of neglect Graeme is focussed on improving the habitats for wildlife.
Ian Davidson, Honorary Secretary
Ian spent 23 years as a policy maker and science adviser at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs including secondment to the European Environment Agency working on the EU global environment satellite monitoring programme. He joined the BBOWT board in 2014, and in 2016 established a consultancy to help get the best earth observation science used in public policy. Ian is a keen amateur botanist and an enthusiastic bird watcher for more than 40 years. Birdwatching has led him to travel across the UK, much of Europe, Australia, USA and Asia.
Frances has Master’s degree in microbiology and moved into marketing where she worked in several industries. She was Global Marketing Director at the Financial Times and held senior roles in other organisations most recently as Director of Audiences at the British Library. She recently set up a social enterprise to support environmental research and conservation. Frances is passionate about wildlife conservation and animal welfare, has been a member of BBOWT for more than ten years and joined the board in 2015. She is a keen photographer and enjoys walking in the Chilterns and surrounding countryside.
David’s passion for wildlife began when an inspirational biology teacher introduced him to the mysteries of local ponds. During almost 40 years of living in the Chilterns, this passion has extended to encompass wider issues of the safeguarding and the enhancement of biodiversity and the countryside. David has done voluntary work for, among others, the Chiltern Society, the Chilterns Conservation Board and on local commons.
David is a chartered accountant who has carried out significant paid and volunteer roles in professional practice, consulting, accounting regulation and academe. He served as a co-opted member of BBOWT’s finance and audit committee from 2016 to 2018 and is familiar with the broader role of charity trustees and the requirements of the Charity Commission through his involvement in other charities.
After a Geography degree at University of Cambridge, Jane joined the civil service as a policy advisor in the Departments of Environment and Transport. Later she became Resources Director of the Charity Commission and then HR Director of the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions. Jane moved to Oxfam as HR Director and a Deputy CEO. In 2015 she joined the BBOWT board. She is also currently a trustee of WWF UK and of OneYMCA.
Chris studied zoology at university and his PhD related to the ecology of the British freshwater crayfish. This led to a career in the conservation and management of aquatic natural resources, in particular fisheries, initially in Kiribati with the Overseas Development Administration and then Seychelles with the European Commission. Most recently he has been Managing Director of MRAG Ltd, an environmental consultancy based in London. He has managed and implemented numerous projects and programmes related to natural resource management and was involved in their strategic development and performance review. He has written and contributed to management plans for fisheries and coastal zones. On behalf of the British Indian Ocean Territory Administration and its Marine Protected Area he has been head of UK Delegation to the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission, responsible for developing conservation management measures, and monitoring compliance. At home he is a keen gardener, including promoting wildlife areas and a small patch of meadow nurtured since about 2009. He also enjoys walking and the chance to get amongst nature. He became a member of BBOWT in 2011 and a trustee in 2019.
Mike has thirty years’ experience of managing and developing nature reserves for the RSPB, including wetlands at Otmoor near Oxford and Middleton Lakes near Tamworth. He has a particular passion for habitat creation, landscape-scale conservation and connecting people to nature. Mike played a major role developing a collaboration between RSPB, Barratt and Aylesbury Vale District Council that is delivering an innovative nature-friendly housing scheme in Aylesbury. A lifelong supporter of the Wildlife Trusts, Mike is keen to support BBOWT in building our nature reserve network to play a major role in nature’s recovery.
Mike has travelled widely in the UK and overseas, visiting some of the wilder landscapes of Europe and working on conservation projects in the Caribbean and South Africa. He is also Conservation Officer for the Banbury Ornithological Society, a trustee for Wild Oxfordshire and was elected as Chair of the Gay Birders Club in 2018.
John spent a large part of his career leading technology businesses, latterly devoting much of his time as an independent director across the private, public and third sectors. He also served on the investment advisory committee for The Big Issue Invest Social Enterprise Investment Fund, pioneering the financing of social enterprises. John has been a member of the BBOWT board since 2008, a member of the BBOWT Finance and Audit Committee since that time, and as Vice Chair since 2012. John also sat on the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts’ Resources and Audit Committee.