Chair: Ben Piper

BenBen Piper is a chartered civil engineer with over 40 years experience of hydrology and water resource planning.  His experience of strategic water resource planning for water companies and regulators ranges from drought and water supply planning in South East England, to water demand forecasts and water resource investment strategies.  His experience includes policy and strategic advice to regulators and government departments.  His research includes the potential impacts of climate change on water resources, and how to include uncertainties and risks in long-term planning.

Ben lives in Oxford.  He worked for almost 20 years at the Institute of Hydrology (now CEH) in Wallingford.  He then joined the Compagnie Générale des Eaux group (now Affinity Water), where he was head of the water resources team for six years.  After almost 18 years with Atkins he is now winding down as Technical Director – Water Resources.

Andrew Callendar

img_0124-2Andrew Callender has a business background, with substantial experience in investment management, specifically concentrated in Asia, where he lived for 14 years, and other emerging countries. Andrew left finance in 2010 for a career in the environment.

Andrew has worked in a variety of roles since graduating with his environmental MSc: he has supported Treweek Environmental Consultants in its management of ecological surveys and assessments for EIA and SEA, notably helping with a brown bear survey in Armenia, and research into the management of oil sector impacts in Uganda on communities with high levels of dependence on ecosystem services for livelihoods and wellbeing. Up until July 2016, he also worked in Westminster as an environmental researcher, driving the agenda for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Biodiversity.

He has an excellent knowledge of the Thame catchment as he worked for the River Thame Conservation Trust from November 2013 to December 2015 as its inaugural Project Officer.

Andrew is a keen ornithologist and has travelled extensively across the world in pursuit of this passion.

Nicholas Marriner


Nick is married with two young children and has lived in Thame for 15 years. He has 21 years professional background in a National Governing Body of Sport, working with local County organisations to access public funding, plan strategically, improve their decision making, resource base and governance.
He has since completed a year as a Conservation Trainee with the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust, is part way through an MSc in Conservation Ecology and currently works for the Chilterns Conservation Board developing a major 5-year Heritage Lottery Funded Landscape Partnership Scheme in the Central Chilterns.
Nick also offers extensive voluntary experience in wildlife surveying. He been carrying out regular bird surveys on the Upper Ray Reserves for BBOWT for 13 years and is also involved in many surveying projects with BTO and RSPB.
He has established and manages the RTCT Wetland and Atlas bird surveying programmes and carries out monthly surveys as part of the Trust’s Riverfly and water quality testing programmes.

Keith McCullagh

KeithKeith lives beside the River Thame at Cuddington and has had a long-standing interest in wildlife ecology.  By profession he is a veterinary surgeon and pathologist and  has spent his professional career in the management of research in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. He is currently non-executive chairman or director of a number of  entrepreneurial bioscience business. Prior to retirement, he was Chief Executive of Santaris Pharma A/S, an RNA medicines business now owned by Roche, and British Biotech, a company he founded and built into one of Europe’s leading public biopharmaceutical businesses. Keith acts as the Trust’s Treasurer.

Pascale Nicolet

pascaleDr Pascale Nicolet is Director of Policy and Implementation at the Freshwater Habitats Trust (FHT). She has recently become a trustee but has been working closely with RTCT since its foundation in 2012 on catchment management projects. Pascale has worked for the FHT since 1999 as a freshwater ecologist and has extensive experience of wetland plant and macroinvertebrate surveys, ecological assessments and monitoring, and pond creation and management. She currently leads our habitats working group as a trustee whilst continuing to work on joint RTCT/FHT projects.

Charles Peers


David Wales

DaveDave is Group Health, Safety and Environment Manager for Oxford Instruments.  His interest in the future of the River Thame began in 1980 when he took on the role of Secretary of the Thame Valley Fisheries Preservation Consultative (TVFPC), which he continues to hold today. He cares passionately about the future of the River Thame, which has been hit by pollution several times over the last 35 years, and he has been closely involved in three Court cases against the polluters. Most of his spare time is spent on fisheries and pollution matters and he is in discussions with the Environment Agency and senior directors of Thames Water – as well as numerous meetings. Dave is also Chairman of the Angling Trust Thames Regional Forum (since 2011), Chairman, High Wycombe Thames Angling Club (since 1990) and Chairman, Kingsey Fishery (since 1990).  Sadly, there is little time left for him to actually enjoy fishing.

Sally Rowlands

SallyAfter reading Modern Languages at Hertford College, Oxford, Sally pursued a career in international marketing with Wilkinson Sword, L’Oréal and Gillette. The demands of five children pulled her away from London and the world of marketing back to the Oxfordshire countryside. Through living on the banks of the River Thame for 11 years Sally became increasingly aware of the need for a local, grass roots response to the increasingly urgent conservation issues and to that end established the River Thame Conservation Trust in 2012. In addition Sally has been actively involved in a number of other local charities and campaigns including the Stadhampton Community Building Project and the PAGE campaign. Sally has was chairwoman of the Trust from 2015-2019.

Key Supporters

Robert Campbell

bobBob retired from Wiley in Oxford in early 2014 after holding various senior positions; for most of his career he was responsible for Blackwell’s publishing programme in ecology and conservation. He has also lived in Stadhampton near the Thame and alongside the Chalgrove Brook since 1980. He has been chairman of several charitable/not for profit international organisations as well as businesses, and has maintained an interest in publishing as an adviser to several young companies. Bob lives and owns land in the Thame catchment and has supported countless environmental initiatives on them. Bob remains one of our key supporters after stepping down from his role as a trustee in September 2016

Doug Kennedy

S1580016Doug Kennedy is a life-long environmentalist who got involved with the River Thame following a serious pollution incident at Aylesbury in 2013. He found dead fish on the river and realised that there was no press coverage and that no-one in the local council or community seemed to be aware of the problem. Doug therefore held a conference in Aylesbury that involved all the stakeholders and so set up the Save The River Thame campaign. This  worked for 2 years on raising awareness of the River Thame for 2 years, supported by Waddesdon Estates, before merging into the River Thame Conservation Trust.

Doug is now an active volunteer who chairs the Website Working Group, contributes many photographs of river scenes and wildlife, coordinates liaison meetings with Thame Water at the Aylesbury STW and takes part in bird surveys and water testing.
He has degrees in biology and environmental studies and has led several environmental projects and campaigns.