The Cambrian Wildwood group comprises the many people who have contributed by planting trees or carrying out other work or donating money. It is managed by the Trustees of Wales Wild Land Foundation. The project is run and supported entirely by volunteers at present. It is very much a local community initiative, despite its national significance and potentially international interest.
Sue Jones-Davies is a Plaid Cymru Town Councillor for Aberystwyth. In 2009 she was Mayor of the town. She grew up in Pembrokeshire and as a child roamed the Preselly mountains. Her love of that wilderness and the freedom it brought has never left her.
She is a founder member of GAG (Greener Aberystwyth Group ); a group set up to protect the tree population in Aberystwyth, planting trees in schools and encouraging their presence in new developments. GAG has been particularly active in promoting and supporting the scheme to plant trees on the approach road to Aberystwyth, which resulted in a three year grant from the Assembly government. The need to promote and sustain the countryside has never been more urgent or necessary. She is delighted to be part of this visionary scheme to restore the welsh countryside back to its original wild roots.
George Monbiot is a writer and environmentalist who writes a weekly column for The Guardian newspaper and is the author of several books, including his most recent publication – Feral: Searching for enchantment on the frontiers of rewilding.
He is also a keen gardener and sea-kayaker.
For a more comprehensive biography see http://www.monbiot.com/about/
Simon is a Chartered Forester, specialising in the creation of new woodland areas and the management of native woodlands, including the restoration of plantations on ancient woodland sites. A founder member of the Wildland Network, he has been involved in the British rewilding movement for over 10 years.
Simon is motivated to play a part in repairing the damage to the natural world, by restoring habitats and making space for wildlife. His interests include bushcraft and exploring wild areas on foot and by canoe.
Mat is a Chartered Surveyor who deals with land and buildings for public sector organisations and companies and will be using this expertise to help secure the charity’s first purchase of land.
Having been brought up in a farming background Mat is keen to see traditional farming embrace alternative land uses which he hopes will improve the countryside for wildlife and the access to it.
Peter Taylor leads the ecological consultancy Ethos, pioneering work on integrating renewable energy strategies with wildland, biodiversity and community objectives (www.ethos-uk.com). He is a council member of the British Association of Nature Conservationists and author of Beyond Conservation (Earthscan, 2005), and edited the volume: Rewilding (Ethos, 2011); he is also a member of the Royal Anthropological Institute and the Wildland Research Institute.; he is currently exploring a long-standing interest in shamanic perceptions of the natural world among indigenous people.
Peter has varied interests in conservation policy, environmental strategies, climate change, and the anthropology of indigenous knowledge. He is currently in the early stages of setting up an initiative in Czech Republic for the recovery of European indigenous knowledge. This work focusses on modes of perception, causality, the nature of the sacred and traditions of inner knowledge. He believes there is a great deal that the western scientific mind-set can learn from indigenous peoples and their sources of nature-knowledge and works to build bridges between ecological science and shamanic perceptions of nature.
Milly is a storyteller and educator specialising in promoting appreciation for the natural world through performance, stories and workshops. She has a deep love of nature and animals and a belief in the importance of people maintaining a connection with nature. She has worked in schools and many outdoor venues engaging children with the natural world, both through performance and by direct experiences, and is dedicated to extending this by facilitating more opportunities for people to access nature.
She is especially keen to create possibilities for those who may ordinarily experience obstacles and who may benefit most from contact with the wild. Milly is currently studying field ecology through Aberystwyth University and is an associate of Aberystwyth Arts Centre.
Dominick is an Associate Professor in the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds. His research aims to demonstrate the importance and value of natural ecosystems. He has a long interest in ecological restoration, collaborating with the Forestry Commission to restore 800 acres of spruce plantation in the Lake District to semi-natural woodland.
He has extensive experience in applying for grant funding, expertise which he aims to put to good use in this position. He is a keen climber and kayaker and enjoys spending time in wild land.
Nicola is social media secretary for the WWLF/STGC. She moved to Aberystwyth from North-West England in the early 90’s to study Countryside Management. Her dissertation was about the feasibility of re-introducing beavers into Wales.
After graduation she found it impossible to leave Aberystwyth due to her love of the local environment and culture. Since graduating she has worked for the Welsh Government in various roles, including: G.I.S., data management, I.T. liason, and as a Tir Gofal project officer.
She is currently on extended maternity leave looking after her two small children with her partner.
Sophie is a researcher, writer and educationalist working in the fields of political-ecology; food and agriculture; governance and policy studies. Currently, she is working as a lecturer in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University. Previously, she worked for the Wales Rural Observatory, undertaking policy research on rural land-use for the Welsh Government.
She has a background in outdoor and environmental education, and has worked with the John Muir Trust, Transition Towns Movement, Climate Camp Cymru and the Common Cause Network. Her involvement with WWLF comes from a deep love of the mountains, but she is equally happy grubbing around in her back-garden and the lovely Clettwr woods behind her home in Taliesin.
Lesley joined Cambrian Wildwood as a Trustee a few months after going on a walk with the team, and being inspired by their vision. She enjoys walking in wild places and is keen to regenerate the landscape and reintroduce animals into the wildwood areas.
As a self-employed accountant specialising in small business and consultancy work, Lesley has taken on the job of Treasurer, after initially working on fundraising for the charity.
In her spare time Lesley enjoys a variety of interests, particularly those which involve spending time outside in the fresh air and countryside.