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Our milestones

A history spanning 35 years

1982

We acquire Little Wittenham Wood and take on our first employee, Robin Buxton. 

1984

We acquire the Wittenham Clumps and much of the surrounding farmland.  

1987

Our farming operation and educational programme start

1993

College Farm was acquired in 1992 and a year later the the first trees were planted in Paradise Wood - a national research woodland looking at broadleaved trees and climate change.

1997

Sustainable Farming Initiative is established. We trial innovative techniques including ‘beetle banks’,  now commonly used across the UK. 

1998

We finish planting the Broad Arboretum, named after the forester Ken Broad, which has every tree native to Oxfordshire. 

1999

The Wild Waste Show starts, delivering the waste reduction message to schools via the Wild Waste bus.

2000

We start managing three local Community Meadows: Wallingford Castle Meadows and Riverside Meadows in Wallingford, and Mowbray Fields in Didcot.

2001

Little Wittenham Wood receives SSSI and Special Area of Conservation status, establishing it as one of the most important sites for wildlife in Europe.  

2004

We secure a Heritage Lottery Fund Grant and begin the renovation of derelict buildings at Hill Farm into a visitor centre complex.

2005 

Neptune Wood is planted with the help of the local community to commerorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.

2006

We move into our new environmentally friendly offices, built by volunteers.

The building subsequently wins the 'Best in British Timber' award 2008.

2007

The new Visitor Centre (Earth Trust Centre) opens to the public, with the Poem Tree cafe, Fison Barn and the Timescape Exhibition.

We hold the first Children’s Food Festival in Abingdon, with Raymond Blanc and Sophie Grigson as Patrons and over 15,000 attendees.

2008

Energy Busters project starts, taking the message of saving energy to 15,000 school children each year. The Energy Bus is launched the following year.

2009

We start managing Thrupp Lake at Radley, one of the county’s top bird sites, with the help of RWE npower (who own the Lake) and the local community.

We hold the second Children’s Food Festival on our land at Little Wittenham.

2010

We acquire 500 acres of beautiful farmland adjacent to Little Wittenham Wood.  We are now the proud owners of two and a half miles of Thames frontage.

2011

We change our name to the Earth Trust.

2012

Families flock to our Lambing Weekends, run with Camilla and Roly from our Farm Step business, and we had more visitors than ever. 

New ponds created in Little Wittenham Wood add to the perfect breeding habitat for great crested newts.

Restored steps and a new path through Beech Hangar in Little Wittenham Wood provides a new circular walk and makes the woodland more accessible.

2013

The River of Life project launches, aiming to transform 2km of the Thames riverbank we acquired into fantastic habitats for wildlife and a showcase wetland for visitors and other land managers.

 2014

We take on the management of Abbey Fishponds in Abingdon, on behalf of the Vale of White Horse District Council. 

River of Life is the joint recipient of the Best Practice Award for Practical Nature Conservation at the CIEEM Awards.

 2015

The 100th wedding reception is held in Fison Barn

Ash dieback is discovered in Paradise Wood - on the surface this is devastating news but every cloud has a silver lining and it will actually help our research.

We are awarded a one year management contract to look after some of the land that is now grassland and developing woodland within the complex of former lakes at Radley.

2016

The first Earth Trust Apprenticeships are launched.

Earth Trust Volunteers receive The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, the MBE for volunteer groups.

2017

After several years of consultation and preparation our planning application to improve visitor facilities is approved by the SODC planning committee.

We celebrate the 90th birthdays of our inspirational patrons Sir Martin and Lady Audrey Wood.