WHO WE ARE
Cambrian Wildwood comprises the many people who contribute to the project by carrying out work such as tree planting and the many other tasks or donating money.The project is run by a small team and managed by the Trustees of Wales Wild Land Foundation.
It is very much a local community initiative, despite its national significance and international interest.
Jane is director of the Wales Institute for Sustainability at Trinity St David University. From 2007 to 2011 she was the Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing in the Welsh Government where she was responsible for the Welsh Government agreeing to make sustainable development its central organising principle. Prior to that Jane was Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning where she introduced several positive changes, such as an increased emphasis on learning outdoors. She was the Welsh vice-president of the Ramblers’ Association until 2007. Jane was the third most influential environmentalist in the UK for the Independent on Sunday in 2009 and is a member of WWF’s UK Council of Global Ambassadors.
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 part of the Welsh countryside to a wilder state.
Chair and Treasurer
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 traditional farming embrace alternative land uses which he hopes will improve the countryside for wildlife and the access to it.
Vice – Chair
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Peter 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.
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 Resources, Environment and Geography at Bangor University. Previously she was at the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University, and at 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.
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. More recently she has been involved with advising Welsh Government on appropriate environmental, access and community funding on renewable energy schemes on Welsh Government woodlands. She is also am a qualified Prince2 practitioner which has been invaluable in managing and delivering many projects.
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.
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 Wales Wild Land Foundation 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.
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.
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!