The Anne Carpmael Trust CIO, previously the Anne Carpmael Charitable Trust, owns Withymead Nature Reserve which occupies about 13 acres of river frontage between Goring-on-Thames and South Stoke, a two-thirds share of Tara’s Piece which is a small riverside bank nearby, and Little Meadow, a 2-acre wildflower water meadow to the south of Goring-on-Thames. Anne Carpmael lived at Withymead for nearly 60 years. A keen naturalist, she provided a habitat that encouraged birds, both native and migratory. Prior to her death in 2003 a Charitable Trust was formed to preserve the house and its riverside land. Tara’s Piece was purchased by Anne and her husband Philip Carpmael with Lord Marshall of Goring in 1982 to prevent the site being developed and lost as a piece of original river terrace. Following the deaths of the original purchasers the land is now co-owned by The Anne Carpmael Trust CIO and the Marshall family who used to live nearby. It is managed as the original owners would have wished – as a nature refuge. Little Meadow was gifted to ACCT by the Goring and Streatley Environmental Group in February 2012.

Looking after the reserve, Little Meadow and Tara’s Piece requires a significant amount of people power and money. We are grateful to the generosity of the public, the Friends of Withymead, and our funders who support the trust’s projects and come to open days and events.

It is staffed entirely by unpaid volunteers including our resident wardens. Volunteers are from all walks of life and support us with habitat management, welcoming visitors on open days, serving tea and cake from the study centre, repairing and conserving our built heritage, and many other tasks. Their time, commitment and encouragement are invaluable, and we thank them all.

Our charitable objects

Following the emergence of a new charitable organisation model, on the 1 September 2023 the Anne Carpmael Charitable Trust (no. 1102152) was superseded by the Anne Carpmael Trust CIO (no. 1199071). This new charity is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). The trustees believe that this legal structure, which wasn’t available when Anne set up the original charity, is more appropriate to our needs. There is no change in the charitable objects or the way in which Withymead and the other properties are managed. Our charitable objects are:

  • To promote, protect and preserve wildlife on the reserve and within a ten-mile radius of Goring
  • To open its grounds to schools, conservation and research organisations, and other groups and individuals, so that students and other interested parties can enjoy and study the flora and fauna and nature
  • For the general education and benefit of the public with regard to nature
Find out more about our charity on the Charity Commission website

Our trustees

Our trustees are drawn from the local area and bring a wide range of experience and expertise to the trust. There are currently 8 trustees, who meet formally three times a year. In addition, we have several sub-committees to discuss marketing, volunteering, business and management strategies, and trustees work closely with the wardens to meet the charity’s objects. There are lots of informal gatherings too! The vision of the Trustees, in upholding the vision and values of Anne Carpmael is to:

  • successfully promote, protect and preserve the flora and fauna on the reserve and within a ten miles radius of Goring
  • facilitate learning opportunities for children and young people and encourage lifelong-learning and research by interested groups and the public about flora and fauna and increase their enjoyment of it
  • promote knowledge of the industrial heritage of the Withymead site

Trustees also work to strengthen the financial position of the trust for long-term sustainability, and to comply with charity commission, legal and regulatory requirements.

Our Wardens

Our current resident wardens are Pete Morton and Jade Van Der Merwe who were appointed in September 2019. They manage the nature reserve at Withymead, Tara’s Piece and Little Meadow. Pete is the head warden for Withymead and first point of contact. He has a wealth of experience in land management, conservation and biodiversity, being third generation in a family land and estate management business. Jade works full time as an experienced project manager and analyst. She assists Pete in the management of the reserve and helps with marketing and events. They are supported by the Trustees and volunteers in the day-today management of the reserve, including:

  • Ongoing land management and enhancing wildlife on all the reserves with the intention of having an achievable and manageable plan
  • Enabling the continuing study and monitoring of wildlife populations on the reserves by the wardens, volunteers and other interested parties
  • Allowing the forest school to operate from part of the reserves to facilitate the encouragement of interest in nature by young children
  • Encouraging and allowing access to any interested person