Oops! Our internet is currently down so if you are visiting please note we are able only to take cash for entry, in our gift shop and cafe. Thank you for bearing with us. UPDATE: This means we're currently unable to process online bookings of any sort. Please email ops@cogges.org.uk for any booking enquiries. Please note, A Midsummer Night's Dream is sold out on both Fridays.

Cogges Manor House garden view in summer
Meet the board
Our Trustees

representing communities with a range of expertise

Cogges Trustees (voluntary roles)

Cogges Heritage Trust is the charity which cares for and runs Cogges Manor Farm. It contributes by providing experience and expertise, as well as working on long term improvements, projects and fundraising initiatives to fund developmental learning programmes and refurbishment projects.

Meet the board of Trustees

To contact the Trust directly, please email the Chair of Trustees Paul Evans paul.evans44@btinternet.com

Trustee profile headshot Amanda Blythe-Smith
Amanda Blythe-Smith

Works as a valuation surveyor, within a specialist leisure and trade-related team at Savills PLC in Oxford, for the last ten years. She lives in north Oxfordshire with partner and cocker spaniel who keep her outside and active.

Trustee profile headshot Jim Bradshaw
Jim Bradshaw

Trained as a Chartered Public Finance Accountant. He worked for several organisations including Lancashire County Council and Oxfordshire County Council but the significant part of his career has been as Deputy Vice Chancellor with Oxford Brookes and Sunderland Universities.

Trustee profile headshot Jacquie Bugeja
Jacquie Bugeja

Head of Registration, Coroner’s & Cultural Services (including Museum Services, History Services, the Mill at Banbury and the Victoria County History) at Oxfordshire County Council. Before joining the Local Authority she previously enjoyed a career in Banking. Jacquie lives in the Wychwood area where she takes an active role within her local community.

Trustee profile headshot Paul Evans
Paul Evans (Chair)

Paul was appointed Chair of Trustees in November 2021. He retired from running his own management consultancy business in 2017 and prior to that was European Commercial Director for an American chemical company with responsibility for business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Paul was previously Chair of the Board of Trustees for Citizens Advice North Oxfordshire & South Northants, and also volunteers for the Environment Agency as a volunteer assistant lock keeper on the river Thames. Together with his wife Rosie, Paul has been an active volunteer at Cogges since January 2017.

Trustee profile headshot John Harwood
John Harwood

A retired civil servant.  From 1989-2000 he was the chief executive of Oxfordshire county council.  From 2000 he was the head of the national Learning and Skills Council and later moved on to head the UK’s Food Standards Agency. He retired from the Civil Service in 2008. He has been the chair of one of the UK's largest education charities, CfBT Education Trust, and also of the Earth Trust. He lives at Wootton near Woodstock, and retired as Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Oxfordshire in 2019. 

Trustee profile headshot Emily Hirons
Emily Spencer

Currently Head of Operations at Blenheim and previously Area Manager for a leading visitor attractions company, developing and operating award winning sites across the UK. Emily has worked in heritage management for the last 15 years, in both commercial and charitable fields. She lives in Oxfordshire.

Trustee profile headshot Graeme Merrifield
Graeme Merifield

Managing Director of Tribe Festivals, who run events and festivals including the 10,000 a day capacity Wychwood Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse; launched in 2005, it has been nominated Best Family Festival in the UK Festival Awards each and every year since. Graeme also set up and runs the Cheltenham Comedy Festival. He previously worked across arts and events and in music sponsorship for Elton John. He is a local resident who has enjoyed Cogges with his children for the last 13 years.

Trustee profile headshot Adam Nickson
Adam Nickson

Head of Marketing Communications for the Renault, Dacia and Renault Van brands in the UK; with over 20 years previous experience of building strong brands at Dyson, Jaguar and Hyundai too. In his day job, Adam brings together customer insight, data, creativity and an in-depth knowledge of many media channels to grow Renault’s brand and subsequent market share. Adam lives locally in Witney, with his wife and family.

Trustee profile headshot Sian Rodway
Sian Rodway

Recently retired from running her own educational consultancy business working with schools in Oxfordshire and Warwickshire. Previously worked with Oxfordshire County Council Children Services department for over 20 years, having previously worked in education for Coventry City Council and as a teacher in Worcestershire. She is currently Chair of Trustees for The Iffley Academy the largest special school in Oxfordshire and a Trustee for a Domestic Abuse Charity, Reducing the Risk, based in Oxford. She lives in a village on the edge of Witney.

Gillian Dow

Associate Professor in the English Department at the University of Southampton, Gillian specialises in the literature of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. From 2014-2019, she was seconded as Executive Director of Chawton House, an Elizabethan Manor house in Hampshire, once owned by Jane Austen’s brother. Gillian lives in Oxford.

Rachel Harber

Rachel Harber is an HR Consultant specialising in talent attraction and retention strategies. She has over two decades with recruitment and HR and is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Rachel lives near Burford and has a young family who regularly enjoy visiting Cogges.

Peter Harkness

Peter Harkness has spent most of his career on the Boards of media and finance companies, having started life as a newspaper reporter. He is a director of GlobalData plc, an international business information group. For the last 10 years he has also farmed in the Cotswolds, specialising in sheep, with six different breeds, including a flock of rare Whitefaced Woodlands. He has previously served as a Trustee of organisations managing heritage assets in Yorkshire and Gloucestershire.

Suzanne Williams

Suzanne Williams is Head of Marketing & Communications for Oxford University's Gardens, Libraries and Museums. She has over 20 years' experience in senior roles covering audience development, exhibition programming, marketing, communications and digital in libraries (Bodleian Libraries), museums (Glasgow Museums, Leicestershire Museums) and for clients such as the Toronto Film Festival and History Television. Suzanne lives in Oxford with her two daughters.

Keith Butler

A Chartered Accountant, Keith retired in 2021 after 22 years as Finance Director of a motor retail group.  He is a Trustee of his local Civic Society and is involved with the Nasio Trust, a charity working with underprivileged children in Kenya.  He and his wife live in Abingdon and have two grown up sons, both also Chartered Accountants.