Our governing body is the Board of Trustees, who have full decision-making authority on behalf of the charity's members. All Board members are volunteers.

The Board of Trustees is elected by the membership at the charity’s Annual General Meeting (AGM).  Board members are elected for a period of four years and serve as trustees of the charity and as directors under the Companies Act. Mid-year vacancies are filled by co-option. Co-opted members stand for election at the following AGM. The maximum number of trustees allowed by our governing document is 10.

Board members are given induction and offered training which is appropriate to them given their personal qualifications and experience and the particular role that they play within the charity.

At all meetings of the Board and committees, if any of those present have a possible conflict of interest it is declared and, if necessary, that person is excluded from discussion on the relevant matter.

The Board meets quarterly (but also conducts its business by email or additional meetings when necessary).

Current Board of Trustees:

  • Karen Rothwell (Chair)

Karen was most recently Director of Fundraising and Marketing at Greenpeace UK, where she led a strategy that almost doubled the number of donors and income in 5 years. She has spent most of her career in conservation and environmental charities, with 10 years as Marketing Director at the RSPB and in a number of consultancy roles. She's equally happy out and about in nature (ideally in or on the sea) or exploring built heritage, art galleries and busy cities. She lives in Huntingdon with her family and two lurchers.

    • Paul Chapman (Honorary Treasurer)

    Paul has been Honorary Treasurer and a Trustee since October 2016 and has overseen the significant improvement in CPPF’s finances during his period in office. Before he retired in 2019 he was a partner of PEM, the largest independent accountants firm in Cambridge, for 30 years and served as managing partner from 2002 to 2015. He has particular expertise in the not-for-profit sector specialising in charity accounting and has worked closely with many conservation charities based in the Cambridge area. Born in Cambridge, Paul raised his family here and, after working on Station Road for nearly 40 years, he is very conscious of the unprecedented pace of change and passionate about trying to keep Cambridge special.  As a lifelong fan of Wandlebury, walking there as a child, with his own children and more recently with his young grandchildren, he is determined that our green spaces should be protected. A strong believer in sustainability, the reduction of consumerism and individual carbon footprint, Paul considers that all personal changes, however small, are significant in combating the reduction in biodiversity and slowing climate change.

    • Brian Cleary

    Brian worked in the Planning Department at South Cambridgeshire District Council from 1979 to 1993. During that time he specialised in Planning Appeal and Public Inquiry work and has a very good knowledge of the countryside and villages surrounding Cambridge. Brian then joined the RSPB and eventually headed up the Society’s Casework Team. The RSPB responds to many development proposals throughout the UK and Brian was responsible for coordinating this effort and any related campaigns including several successful high-profile cases. He worked with a number of UK and international NGO partners to assist their casework efforts. A keen birder - his other interests include aviation history (he is a volunteer at Duxford's Imperial War Museum) and playing acoustic music with local bands. 

    • David Coomes

    David is an ecologist working at the University of Cambridge, where he leads the Forest Ecology and Conservation group.  His research focuses on the development of new remote sensing tools for monitoring woodland change and using those tools to understand the processes driving change.  Before coming to Cambridge he worked for a research organisation in New Zealand, advising the government there on how to manage invasive deer and developing a national system to measure forest carbon as part of the country's commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  He spends his weekend enjoying the wildlife on his doorstep provided by Coton Reserve, accompanied by a very enthusiastic dog and somewhat enthusiastic son.

    • Dame Polly Courtice

    Polly was Founder Director of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (1989-2021), an internationally recognised centre of excellence in sustainability leadership working with business, government and the finance sector. She is a Fellow of Churchill College and an Honorary Fellow of Murray Edwards College, Cambridge, Director of Jupiter Green Investment Trust and a Non-Executive Director of Anglian Water Services Ltd. She is a Board Advisor to the British Standards Institute and serves on the environmental/sustainability advisory boards for several companies. In 2021 She was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Cambridgeshire.  She is a member of the judging panel for the Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development, a member of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Commission on Climate, and a Trustee of Cambridge Past, Present and Future, a local charity dedicating to protecting and enhancing the Cambridge area and its green landscapes. In 2016 she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for services to Sustainability Leadership. Prior to that in 2008 Polly had been made a Lieutenant of the Victorian Order (LVO) . Polly holds a BA from the University of Cape Town and an MA from the University of Cambridge. She has lived in Cambridge for almost 40 years and Wandlebury and Coton Countryside Reserve are family favourites - now just being introduced to the first grandchild.

        • Dr Cordelia Langford, FRSB

          Cordelia Langford, PhD, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology. At work, Cordelia has spent most of her career involved in developing and applying new technologies in a genomics research environment. As Director of Scientific Operations at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Cordelia leads a department of 300 scientists, researchers and technical experts working together to advance our understanding of biology and life on Earth with equality, diversity and inclusion as core principles.

          A personal member of Cambridge Past, Present & Future and the Wildlife Trusts Cordelia has a passion for nature, and is fascinated by the organisms (large and small) that cohabit with us and the role they play in the natural environment. A regular visitor to Wandlebury, sometimes accompanied by a watchful dog, Cordelia aspires to contribute towards the provision and upkeep of biodiverse spaces to positively impact our lives as well as those of our environmental ecosystems.

          • Caroline Stenner

          Caroline is a solicitor and partner at Birketts LLP, specialising in trusts and succession planning. Caroline has been a member of Cambridge Past, Present & Future for a number of years and became more closely involved with the charity when a client made a significant legacy to it. Caroline has wide experience of trust and charity governance and finance. Caroline and her husband are renovating a cottage beside the River Cam in Fen Ditton and are currently involved in a project with Wildlife Trust BCN to improve the biodiversity of their meadow by reducing fertility and reseeding to allow a wider range of grasses and flowers to flourish. Caroline feels strongly about the creeping urbanisation of our rural environment. Caroline is co-opted onto the board and will be nominated for election at the next Annual Meeting.

          • Dr Kelcey Wilson-Lee

          Kelcey is a historian of Britain, its material culture and heritage. She is Director of Programmes at the Architectural Heritage Fund, the UK's leading social investor promoting the conservation and adapted reuse of historic buildings, where she oversees grant making, evaluation and communications. Prior to this, she worked as a major gift fundraiser within the Development Office at the University of Cambridge for eight years. Kelcey's research focuses on commemorative culture, medieval women and historic spaces, and she sits on the Church Commissioners' Committee for Sculpture and Furnishings. She has lived in Cambridge since 2006 and is a regular at Wandlebury and Coton Reserve, often accompanied by her two young sons. Most of the rest of the time, she can be found in an old church lifting up carpets to see what is underneath.