WHO WE ARE
Cambrian Wildwood, or Coetir Anian, includes the many people who contribute to our aims by carrying out work on site or donating money. The project is run by a small team of staff and managed by the trustees of Coetir Anian.
It is very much a local community initiative, despite its national significance and international interest.
Jane Davidson - Patron
Jane Davidson is the author of #futuregen: Lessons from a Small Country, the story of why Wales was the first country in the world to introduce legislation to protect future generations. #futuregen is published by Chelsea Green.
She is Chair of the Wales Inquiry of the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission and Pro Vice-Chancellor Emeritus at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
From 2000 – 2011, Jane was Minister for Education, then Minister for Environment, Sustainability in the Welsh Government, where she proposed a law to make protecting future generations the central organising principle of government; the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act came into law in 2015. She introduced the first plastic bag charge in the UK, and her recycling regulations took Wales to third best in the world. She created a Climate Change Commission for Wales, the post of Sustainable Futures Commissioner, One Planet Developments and the Wales Coast Path. In Education, she piloted major curriculum changes; the Foundation Phase for early years, the Welsh Baccalaureate and integrated Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship into the Welsh Curriculum.
Jane is a patron of the Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) Cambrian Wildwood and Tools for Self Reliance Wales (TFSR Cymru). She holds honorary fellowships from IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment), WWF, CIWM (Chartered Institution of Wastes Management), CIWEM (Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management) and an honorary doctorate from the University of Glamorgan. She contributes regularly to international expert events. She is a RSA Fellow and since 2017 has been guest faculty in the Executive Education for Sustainability Leadership programme at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
She lives on a smallholding in west Wales where she aims to live lightly on the land.
Sue Jones-Davies - President
Sue is a Town Councillor for Aberystwyth and in 2009 she was Mayor of the town. She grew up in Pembrokeshire and as a child roamed the Preselli mountains. Her love of that wild landscape and the freedom it brought has never left her.
She is a founder member of Greener Aberystwyth Group (GAG), 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 habitats and engage people with nature in this beautiful part of Wales.
Joe Hope is a farmer and conservationist. He is very new to farming, having a professional background in ecology, particularly in woodland dynamics, landscape habitat restoration, and lichenology, but he is now enjoying the fervor of the converted, combining a rediscovery of a childhood fascination with a new passion for exploring how regenerative agriculture can intertwine with biodiversity conservation. He holds an MSc from Bangor in Rural Resource Management and a PhD from Stirling in forest landscape dynamics, undertaking extensive fieldwork for both in the Caledonian Forest Reserve of Glen Affric in the Scottish highlands – a flagship project for landscape level habitat restoration.
Joe lives at Cefn Coch Farm, immediately adjacent to the Coetir Anian site at Bwlch Corog. He hopes to bring expertise in upland ecology, experience in land management and some (very!) local context to the project.
Mat is a Chartered Surveyor who deals with land and buildings for public sector organisations and companies and used 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 how traditional farming and alternative land use can work alongside each other to improve the countryside for wildlife and increase access to it.
Kara is a facilitator of all kinds of rewilding – landscapes, people, and society – offering educational courses in practical rewilding, nature connection, spiritual ecology and skills for social change. She is passionate about inspiring and empowering people to connect with and protect wild nature. Kara lectures and facilitates on short courses and Masters programs at the Centre for Alternative Technology, Schumacher College and St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation & Peace, where she is an Associate Fellow. As a freelance writer she writes about wildness, environmental issues and the human-nature relationship, contributing regularly to Resurgence & Ecologist magazine.
She has a background in ecology and has studied the behavioural ecology of lemurs in Madagascar at undergraduate and postgraduate level, in captivity and the wild, with published papers on the topic. She holds a BSc in Biological Sciences (Environmental), an MRes in Primatology, and a pending CHE in Field Ecology. You can find out more about her work at rewildeverything.wordpress.com
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 nature. Milly is currently studying field ecology through Aberystwyth University and is an associate of Aberystwyth Arts Centre.
Nicola 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.
Peter leads the ecological consultancy Ethos, pioneering work on integrating renewable energy strategies with wildland, biodiversity and community objectives. 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 focuses 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.
Sophie is a researcher, writer and educationalist working in the fields of political-ecology; food and agriculture; governance and policy studies. Currently, she is Lecturer in Human Geography in the School of Natural Sciences at Bangor University.
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 exploring the wild corners of her garden with her little boy.
Wendy has studied, lived and worked in Wales for 30 years. She has experienced much of Wales’ landscapes through her employment in the heritage, nature conservation and renewable energy sectors. Wendy’s passion lies in promoting and delivering future proofing for the ecology and environment of Wales. Qualified in a range of heritage, rural resource, climate change and sustainability subjects, which have provided the baseline to her experience. This experience ranges from massive scale heritage and ecology surveys in the USA, archaeological excavations in France, Scotland, England and Wales, leading on species recovery and habitat restoration projects such as black grouse, blanket bog and ancient woodlands. Wendy has led on government policy for woodlands and soils and water, and woodland and the historic environment.Currently, Wendy is Specialist Advisor in Forest Planning for all Welsh Government Woodland Estate, supporting teams to deliver sustainable Forest Management and maintain international accreditation. She has project managed many habitat and species restoration programmes using Prince 2 methodologies and is also an Associate Membership of the Institute of Leadership and Management.
Wendy lives with her husband, daughter and dog in mid Wales. They love the outdoors and have settled in an area they feel gives them the best that Wales can offer – mountains, sea, estuaries, woodlands and rivers. Wendy has a real mix of interests other than the natural environment that include watching films, football, surfing, fishing, camping, cooking, travelling and reading.
Jon is an expert in peatland habitats and blanket bog restoration and works as a researcher in the Department of Biosciences at Swansea University. He lives locally with his young family and owns a smallholding which he hopes will soon be home to Carneddau ponies.
Simon is a professional forester, specialising in the creation of new woodland areas and the management of native woodlands, including the restoration of plantations on ancient woodland sites. He has been advocating the restoration of large areas of native woodland in Britain for over 30 years, and has been involved in promoting more wildness in the landscape for almost 20 years. He is a founder member of Coetir Anian and has remained closely involved with the development of the Cambrian Wildwood project since its inception. Simon is inspired 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.
Katy has worked for environmental charities in Wales since 2004, including roles at Coed Lleol – Small Woods Association, the Centre for Alternative Technology, and most recently RSPB Cymru. Katy has a wealth of experience in project development and management as well as fundraising. She has previously worked on conservation of old-growth boreal forests in Russia and Scandinavia, supporting small grassroots groups with capacity building, community and policy engagement, and networking. She has a strong interest in nature conservation, habitat restoration, enabling society to respond to the climate and biodiversity emergency, and in linking people and communities with nature. Katy has lived in Aberystwyth for nearly 20 years and in her free time enjoys exploring wild places in Wales and beyond, usually with her husband and young family. She also enjoys growing vegetables on her allotment. As well as 3 children, she has two cats and four bantam chickens. She has qualifications in Education for Sustainability, Management and Modern Languages. She is fluent in Russian and German and is learning Welsh.
Education and Community Manager
Clarissa lives on a small-holding near Tregaron. With her family she has enjoyed encouraging new life onto the land by planting trees, restoring hedgerows, managing the wildflower meadows and creating ponds and wet areas. They have been rewarded with many new plants and animals making their homes on the land, most recently glow worms! She taught in local education for 13 years, happiest when getting muddy outside with the pupils, involved in nature activities.
Communications and Project Manager
Nia taught in local education for 20 years and saw first hand the importance and benefits of re-connecting young people with their environment. She is a volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Society and The Cinnamon Trust and appreciates the opportunity working with these charities has given her to build relationships with a diverse range of groups and individuals. Any spare time she has is spent outdoors – with her family she enjoys being able to explore the landscape through hiking, bouldering, swimming and kayaking. The lakes and forests of Sweden and the Yorkshire Moors are favourite destinations for adventures!
Deb started her career as a nurse and midwife, later teaching Health and Social Care in Further Education. She then moved to the charity sector where she co-led a small Bristol mental health charity, worked as a grant maker for a Community Foundation, and was the Fundraiser for a refugee charity. Along the way, she has been engaged in volunteering in many different roles, including a spell as a City Councillor and as a Trustee for a small family trust. Campaigning has always been part of her life, from running a student anti-apartheid group to co-founding Swindon Climate Action Network. She has qualifications in Geography, Management, and Sustainable Development. Her great loves are her daughter, friends, nature, and gazing at small things.
Habitats and Species Manager
Neil has migrated a short distance from RSPB Ynys hir nature reserve, where he worked for 13 years, managing woodlands, raised bog and ffridd for some of the Dyfi Valley’s most iconic species. His background is in practical land management, ecological monitoring and working with volunteers and contractors. Neil has experience of grazing animals but is hopes to learn more while managing the herd for Cambrian Wildwood. A big part of Neil’s job is to monitor and record ecological changes over time at Bwlch Corog. He lives locally with his family and enjoys playing football, running, reading and chess.
Lora grew up in Tywyn and enjoyed exploring the outdoors from a young age with her family. With a passion for conservation, she decided to study biological sciences at the University of Birmingham with a focus on nature conservation and the impact of habitat degradation on nature and people. After graduating, Lora volunteered with several organisations in Scotland to gain more practical experience in conservation and reserve management including with the University of the Highlands and Islands, RSPB Forsinard and Handa Island Scottish Wildlife Trust. After completing her 6-month season on Handa Island as an assistant ranger, Lora has returned home to Tywyn and is excited to use everything she has learnt to make a difference for nature and people in the local area.