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Snowdonia-Active Board and Employee Profiles

Snowdonia-Active is constituted as a non distributive Limited Company with a volunteer board of 6 directors and 2 staff with an office in Brynrefail near Llanberis. Positions on the Board are in a voluntary capacity. The Board meets on a regular basis to shape the direction of the organisation, monitor operations and support the staff.

Mark Lynden – Chair of the board of directors

Mark is a founder member of Snowdonia-Active. He runs a successful graphic design and website development company and has been working in graphic design and communication technology since 1986. He has consistently used cutting edge systems to enhance the communications process in graphic design and has particularly focused on providing specialised support to the outdoor sector. He is a partner in – the worldwide internet based adventure search engine.

Mark has been climbing and mountaineering since 1974 and has a Jt Hons degree in Education/Physical Education from Bangor University. As a BHPA Chief Paragliding Instructor he was amongst early pioneers of paragliding in the mid 1980’s having established the first paragliding school in Snowdonia. Mark also has social enterprise and sector cluster development experience and is a founder member and director of Caban Cyf the social enterprise that manages a purpose built creative business centre at the heart of rural Gwynedd.

Graham Burns
Graham has been active in the outdoor education sector since completing his PGCE at Leeds University in 1989. He has worked as a teacher in a number of North Wales outdoor education Centres before his current role as Head of Centre at Lledr Hall, Salford City Council’s Outdoor Education Centre. Developing a passion for kayaking, orienteering and hillwalking at school growing up in Scotland, he has used these skills as a vehicle to take part in many adventures all over the globe ever since. Graham is keen to pass on his enthusiasm for adventuring in the outdoors to as many young people as possible. His involvement both locally and nationally in the Association of Heads of Outdoor Education Centres ensures that issues arising in this sector of the outdoors are brought to the attention and then influence the work of Snowdonia-Active.

Eluned Roberts
Lun worked for many years at Llanrug OEC and is a passionate advocate of outdoor education. Lun was very involved in the development of Sustainable Use of Snowdonia (SUS) , the precursor group to the North Wales Environmental Outdoor Charter Group. Lun has a ken interest in ensuring that the development of the outdoor sector is facilitated in a sustainable manner.

Ray Wood

After graduating from Bangor University he worked as an outdoor pursuits instructor in Pembrokeshire and N.Wales before turning to photography as a career. A Post Graduate Diploma in Photojournalism at the London College of Printing followed soon after and he has since combined this vocation with his passion for the outdoors as a successful business. Ray’s work regularly appears in the outdoor press and he has illustrated several books on Wales.

Ray is an experienced rock climber who at some time or other has enjoyed the wide range of adventure sports the region has to offer. Mountain Biking is flavour of the month.

Andy Newton – Director, Human Resources

Andy moved to Snowdonia in the late seventies to undertake a PGCE at UCNW Bangor after having completed a BSc (Hons) in Applied Biology at Liverpool Polytechnic. It was while at college that he graduated from enthusiastic hillwalker to fully committed climber and mountaineer. Andy holds the highest British level mountaineering qualification; the Mountaineering Instructors Certificate (MIC). Andy taught at the Cheshire Outdoor Education Centre on Anglesey for ten years. Since then he has worked as a freelance instructor/trainer/technical consultant throughout Wales and other areas of the UK.

Andy is a British Mountaineering Council (BMC ) approved Technical Legal Expert and a vastly experienced Mountain Leader Award and Single Pitch Award Course Director and Provider. Andy has chaired the (BMC) Committee for Wales and was recently Secretary of Mountain Leader Training Wales. He continues to be an active climber and is deeply involved in the production of climbing guidebooks to the area, having co-authored ‘Snowdonia Winter Climbs’ and ‘Gogarth – a climbers guide’.

Andy’s experience of climbing worldwide has helped to define his attitude to the potential for sustainable adventure activities and tourism at home here in Wales.

Gordon Neil
With a love of walking and climbing from his teen years Gordon went on to work for Surrey Youth Service running a Duke of Edinburgh Open Award Centre. Keen for a change Gordon and his family established Bach Ventures in 1998. Bach Ventures is now a busy bunkhouse accommodation and AALA licenced outdoor activity business. Catering for a wide range of groups and delivering varied activity programs Gordon has an in-depth understanding of the day-to-day issues faced by outdoor sector businesses in North Wales.

Gordon also enjoys traveling and has successfully lead a number of school expeditions abroad for Outlook Expeditions a local expedition company. Travelling to South America (Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia,Argentina), Asia (Borneo, Vietnam) and Africa (Morocco, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia).

Catherine Williams – Operations Manager
Catherine has recently completed a Master’s Degree in Social Psychology, investigating a mutually beneficial relationship between humans and nature. She have 10 years’ experience working with children and young adults and 3 years’ experience as a qualified climbing instructor. Previous roles include freelance outdoor instructing, being a dedicated presenter for a motivational, personal-development activity programme for young people, working with teenagers with emotional and behavioural difficulties in an outward bound environment, designing programmes and facilitating activities at children’s camps and various periods of voluntary work with young people both in Britain and overseas.

Dr. Emma-Edwards Jones – Green Tourism Project Manager

Emma has 20 years experience, as project manager, academic and consultant in the environmental sector. Particular areas of interest include stimulating behavioural change towards sustainability in industry and society.

Following graduation in 1991 from Imperial College, London Emma worked for the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Edinburgh and Scottish Natural Heritage, Edinburgh. In 1992 she joined Scottish Wildlife Trust as a River Valleys Officer. In this post she was responsible for the development of Integrated Environmental Action Plans for The Water of Leith, Edinburgh and the River Almond, West Lothian. Working on these projects required facilitation of stakeholder opinion and actions, public consultation, communication with the media and environmental research. She moved to Heriot Watt University as Lecturer in Environmental Modelling in 1995, where she completed her PhD ‘A participatory approach to integrated catchment planning’.

From 2006-2010 Emma ran the Green Snowdonia Project for the Snowdonia Society to promote sustainable tourism in North Wales involving facilitation of knowledge transfer within the tourism industry and marketing activities promoting sustainable tourism including website development and marketing literature. Through Green Snowdonia Emma has developed close links with the tourism industry of North Wales, in particular she has developed a growing network of ‘sustainability trailblazers’, she has worked with these businesses to disseminate their experiences throughout the industry via workshops, articles and presentations at industry events.