Wittenham Clumps
by Paul Nash


Sir Martin Wood, pioneer of high-field magnet technologies, has died at the age of 94. He established Oxford Instruments and the factory they created at the Wharf Stream site to build superconducting magnets continues as Siemens Healthineers, who now produce 25% of all the world’s NMR scanners. (Once on a visit to Caltech I discovered an experimental vertical NMR scanner that had been built here in Eynsham).

Not only did their company develop a wide range of important medical instruments, but Martin and his wife Audrey were exceptional philanthropists; they transformed Oxford's innovation and entrepreneurship landscape through The Oxford Trust and Oxfordshire's wildlife in particular, benefited immensely from their vision through their founding of the Earth Trust (who own the Wittenham Clumps), the Sylva Foundation, and their endowment of the Wood Chair in Forest Science at Oxford University. Their son, Dr. Robin Buxton, an ecologist, continues their vision with his conservation, research, and restoration work with Wild Oxfordshire along the Thameside around Little Wittenham. We in the Nature Recovery Network, like so many others, are in awe and are inspired by their example.

Many glowing tributes have been written about Sir Martin's extraordinary life: here is the one from the Oxford Mail.

Kevan AC Martin