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Our Trustees

Dr William Whyte
Reverend Professor William Whyte FRHistS, FSA (Chairman)

William Whyte has lived in Oxford for more than 25 years, since coming here as a student to read History at Wadham College. He is now Professor of Social and Architectural History and a fellow of St John’s College. In addition to chairing OPT, he also chairs the Oxford Historical Society and the Victoria County History of Oxfordshire. An Anglican priest, he is part of the team serving Wolvercote and Wytham, to the north of Oxford. He is a member of the  Board of Visitors to the Oxford Museum of Natural History and serves on the Fabric Commission of Westminster Abbey. He is also senior responsible owner for the University’s new Humanities Building. A historian, his most recent books include Unlocking the Church: the lost secrets of Victorian sacred space (2017) and Redbrick: a social and architectural history of Britain’s civic universities (2015).

HH Judge Ann Campbell
Her Honour Ann Campbell (Chair - Castle Committee)

Read Law and History of Art at Cambridge University specialising in modern architecture which has remained a keen interest.

She has lived in the North Oxford Conservation Area for 40 years.

A qualified solicitor practicing in Oxford from 1974 - 1992. District Judge in Oxford from 1992 - 2004. Circuit Judge in Reading 2004-2008. Deputy Lieutenant of Oxfordshire. Married to His Honour Quentin Campbell

John Church
John Church

Bursar, Pembroke College responsible for non-academic areas to include finance, planning and major projects including overseeing the award winning redevelopment creating a new quad for the college.He took early retirement in 2003 having spent most of his career with Barclays latterly as MD of Barclays Premier Bank and interm MD of Barclays France. He read Modern Languages at St. Catherine’s College, Cambridge graduating in 1974 and was brought up in Lincoln. He lives in Oxford and France.

Cllr Colin Cook
Cllr Colin Cook (City Council Trustee)

Was born and brought up in New Brighton on the Wirral and came up to Oxford in 1982 to read Biochemistry at Hertford College. In 1986 he did a year of teacher training at Homerton College, Cambridge, and then returned to Oxford for further study, this time in Physiology at the Queen’s College. In 1999 he was elected to represent West Ward, now Jericho & Osney Ward, on Oxford City Council and is currently the Heritage Champion. He is Chief Technician at the Medical Sciences Teaching Centre.

Charles Cooper
Charles Cooper (Vice-Chairman & Chair of Finance & Executive Committee)

Graduated from Bristol University in 1970 with a degree in Economics and Politics, and spent eight years with Courtaulds in Manchester, Munich and Brussels. He was a director of Cooper Callas from 1978 to 2014 and has been a Trustee of Oxford Preservation Trust since 1999. Charles lives in North Oxford.

Dame Helen Ghosh DCB

Helen Ghosh has lived in Oxford for 45 years, since coming here as a student to read History at St Hugh’s College.  After University, she joined the civil service and later became Permanent Secretary at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and then at the Home Office.  In 2012 she left government to become Director General of the National Trust.  During her five years there, membership of the National Trust reached 5 million, visitor numbers grew dramatically and investment in conservation substantially increased.  Under her leadership, the Trust’s strategy focussed increasingly on the natural environment and biodiversity, and on attracting more diverse audiences.  Helen is currently Master of Balliol College, lives with her family in Grandpont, and has a deep love of the City and its surrounding countryside.

Isobel Hughes
Isobel Hughes (University Trustee)

BScBArch Cardiff University, completed professional qualification in 1990.

Worked for Purcell Miller Tritton as conservation architect for 4 years.

Conservation Officer at West Oxfordshire District Council.

Architect for Oxford University for 4 years before becoming Head of Conservation and Buildings to 2015, now head of Capital Projects..

Julian Munby
Julian Munby BA, FSA

Head of Buildings Archaeology at Oxford Archaeology, where he has worked since 1990 on a wide range of historic buildings and environmental consultancy. He has produced a series of Conservation Plans for English Heritage, National Trust, and others. With an interest in medieval towns and buildings, he has worked extensively on buildings and property history in Oxford and its landscape, resulting in numerous publications. He has other interests in landscape, garden, and transport (coach) history and archaeology). JM is also Oxford Diocesan Archaeological Advisor.

Philip Parker

Philip Parker MA Hons (Cantab); Member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Philip has been Financial and Administrative Bursar at Brasenose College since 2010 and Chair of the Oxford Colleges’ Estates Bursars Committee. He has previously led the finance and administration functions for a range of charities, both as Finance Director and as Trustee or Honorary Treasurer. Most recently he was Director for Corporate Services for YWCA, Treasurer of Green Alliance and is a Director of a guest house in the Lake District.  Philip lives near Woodstock and is Trustee of the Wootton Conservation Trust, coordinator of the monthly pub quiz and captain of a very low-ranking tennis team. He also cycles, and tends his sheep and chickens.

Cllr Susanna Pressel

Cllr Susanna Pressel has been a city councillor since 1996 and a county councillor since 2009, representing part of the city centre, Jericho and the Botley Road area.

I studied French and German at Somerville College and have enjoyed a long career as a teacher, mainly in Blackbird Leys.

I have been an active member of the OPT (and the Civic Society) since first becoming a councillor.

I have lived in the North Oxford conservation area for more than 40 years and have taken a close interest in the City Council's work on conservation.

City Councillor for Jericho and Osney Ward

County Councillor for Jericho and Osney Division


Carole Souter CBE (Chair - Planning Committee)

Carole has been Master of St Cross College since September 2016. She is also the College's Equality and Welfare Officer. Carole has Chaired the Conference of Colleges Equality and Diversity Forum since 2017 and sits on a number of University committees concerned with these issues.

She was Chief Executive of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and Heritage Lottery Fund from 2003-2016, overseeing the distribution of £400m a year to projects making a lasting difference to people and heritage across the UK.

She began her career in the Civil Service and has worked in the Departments of Health, Social Security and the Cabinet Office. She has always been active in the charitable sector and as well as being a Trustee of OPT, is currently a Trustee of Historic Royal Palaces; the Horniman Museum, and the London Emergencies Trust and Chairs the Board of Visitors of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. She is also a Lay Canon of Salisbury Cathedral. She is an Honorary Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, and was awarded the CBE in 2011 for services to conservation.

David Streat
David Streat (Chair - Land Committee)

Self-employed Chartered Surveyor.

Attended school in Oxford and returned to live in the city. Has been a permanent resident of Oxford for the last 35 years.

Interested both professionally and personally in buildings, land and associated matters.

Joseph Tah

Joe Tah is Professor in Project Management and Associate Dean Strategy and Development in the Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment at Oxford Brookes University. His responsibilities include day-to-day leadership and management of the Faculty, co-ordinating Faculty strategic planning and development and deputising for the Pro Vice Chancellor/Dean across the full range of Faculty activities. Prior to his current role, he was the Founding Head of School of the Built Environment having previously been the Head of Department of Real Estate and Construction. 

He is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS), a member of the Chartered Institute of Building (MCIOB) and a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).


Geoffrey Tyack
Dr Geoffrey Tyack (University Trustee)

Fellow of Kellogg College and Director of the Stanford University Centre, Oxford since 1984. He read history at St John’s College. He wrote his M.Litt thesis on the buildings of Warwickshire country houses before working as assistant editor on VCH Middlesex and lecturer in history for Stanford University at Cliveden House, Buckinghamshire. Since returning to Oxford he has taught and lectured on architectural history at OUDCE and elsewhere in the University and beyond. He has written several books, including Oxford: an Architectural Guide (OUP 1998), Modern Architecture in an Oxford College (OUP 2005), and recently updated Pevsner for Berkshire in the England’s Buildings series. He has published numerous articles on a wide variety of architectural topics. He lives in south Oxford (and has one of the city’s boundary stones in his back garden).

Cllr Louise Upton

Dr Louise Upton was born in Shropshire, coming to Oxford in late 1980s to read Biochemistry at New College.  She spent several years in Paris before returning to Oxford in 1998 as a research scientist at the University, and now also teaches neuroscience at Christ Church.   She has been a member of OPT since 2010 living in the Old Marston Conservation Area, She was elected as a City Councillor in 2013 and has chaired the West Area Planning Committee since 2015.

Professor Heather Viles
Professor Heather Viles (University Trustee)

Professor of Biogeomorphology and Heritage Conservation in the University of Oxford and Head of the School of Geography and the Environment. She is Co-Director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering for the Arts, Heritage and Archaeology (SEAHA). Her research focuses on the breakdown of rocks in the natural environment and within cultural heritage. Recent projects include working with Historic England on developing soft wall capping methods for conserving ruins as well as investigating whether ivy on walls is a good or bad thing. Her recent research has been funded by EPSRC, the Leverhulme Trust, NASA and English Heritage. She chaired the University’s Environment Panel and sat on their Buildings and Estates Sub-Committee for three years, was on the advisory board of the AHRC/EPSRC Research Programme on Science and Heritage and was a member of the steering group of the National Heritage Science Strategy.

Vice Presidents

Malcolm Airs
Professor Malcolm Airs OBE

Emeritus Professor of Conservation and the Historic Environment, University of Oxford. He is past president of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation, the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain and the Oxford Architectural and Historical Society. He has served as a Commissioner of the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England and on the advisory committees of English Heritage, Historic England, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the National Trust. He is a trustee of the Landmark Trust. He has published extensively on both historic conservation and architectural history.

John Ashdown
John Ashdown

John Ashdown MBE, Hon MA (Oxon), FSA IHBC with a diploma in Conservation of Historical Monuments.

Worked in a London architectural practice before transferring to the Greater London Council's Historic Buildings division in 1964.

Oxford City Council Conservation Officer 1972-2000. John has a deep knowledge of Oxford and became an OPT Trustee on his retirement in 2000 -14.

Edith Gollnast

Edith studied art and design at Banbury School of Art and architectural conservation at Bristol University. For 35 years she worked with historic buildings and areas at Oxford City Council, as Assistant Conservation Officer. Edith lives in Oxford, and continues freelance illustration. The Oxford Heritage Walks book series includes her immaculate line drawings

Dr Malcolm Graham

Malcolm came to Oxford in 1970 as the City’s first full-time local history librarian, taking the same role for the County. He was Head of Oxfordshire Studies with Oxfordshire County Council, and has published extensively on local history – his first On Foot in Oxford town trail appeared in 1973. He is the author of the Oxford Heritage Walks book series, published by OPT. Awarded a PhD by Leicester University for a study of the development of Oxford’s Victorian suburbs. A Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.

Lucy Hughes
Lucy Hughes

Lucy has lived in Old Marston all her life, the daughter of the local farmer who looked after the OPT land.  Her mother was a member, then secretary of the local OPT Marston Commitree in the 1950s, something that Lucy followed on in 1980, later becoming an OPT Trustee.  She was elected Vice President in 2016.

Dr Ian Scargill
Dr Ian Scargill

Studied at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. Departmental Demonstrator in Geography, University of Oxford 1959-64 and University Lecturer in Geography in 1964- 2000. A Fellow of St Edmund Hall from 1962, he was made Emeritus Fellow in 2000.

The author of books and articles on France and Urban Geography. Outside of work he was an Oxford City Magistrate from 1977 to 2005, and is an Elder and Associate Church Secretary at the Summertown United Reformed Church. Chairman of Oxford Green Belt Network. Dr. Scargill lives in Summertown.