Catherine Williams – Executive Officer
Catherine grew up in Sheffield learning to climb on Peak gritstone. Since then, climbing has taken her to some of the most incredibly beautiful places but every day she feels lucky to call North Wales home.
Catherine has a background in outdoor instructing, psychology and psychotherapy and is particularly driven by the connection of people to nature and the benefit it can bring to both which is reflected in projects she’s involved in.
Catherine joined Snowdonia-Active in 2012, initially to launch the North Wales Environmental Charter. Since then her work with the team has included tourism-focused projects such as Pop up adventures, creating environmental resources and training for outdoor instructors. She has led a number of consultancy projects, all with a focus on developing the outdoor sector in Wales.
After her first child (now five with a three-year-old brother), Catherine came up with the concept of Babi Actif, acknowledging her own difficulties getting back outdoors with a baby in tow. Babi Actif is now in its fourth year with free sessions taking place across five counties in North Wales.
Emma Edwards-Jones – Executive Officer
Emma has 25 years experience, as a 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 where she developed management plans for The Water of Leith 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. Emma joined Snowdonia-Active as Projects Manager in 2010 and has led on the delivery of a portfolio of projects with a focus on fostering behaviour change and engendering creativity in tourism development and product innovation.
Jeanette Wooden – Babi Actif Officer
Jeanette’s early life was in south-east England and her early career in theatre management in London, but with a grandfather born in Holyhead (a proud Welshman and a native Welsh speaker), she has always felt an affinity to North Wales.
She and her husband met while working in a London concert hall and discovered a mutual love of Snowdonia. When their daughter was born they took the momentous decision to pack up their lives and move to Llanberis. In order to be able to support her daughter’s bi-lingual education, Jeanette started learning Welsh and is conversationally fluent.
The move to Wales also afforded her the opportunity to study as a mature student for a degree in English Literature at Bangor University. Since graduating she has worked in the third sector managing a number of community projects and specialising in volunteer management and community engagement. She has worked on the Babi Actif project since October 2019 and finds it really rewarding to hear about the positive impact the project has had on new parents.
Jeanette loves to get outside to enjoy the local landscape and in her spare time can be found on hills or beaches, walking her border collie or running (very slowly). She is also a recent convert to sea swimming.
Snowdonia-Active has a volunteer board of 6 directors, all with an active interest and experience in the outdoor recreation industry. The Board meets on a regular basis to shape the direction of the organisation, monitor operations and support the staff.
Ray Wood – Chair
After graduating from Bangor University Ray worked as an outdoor pursuits instructor in Pembrokeshire and North Wales before turning to photography as a career. He has a Post Graduate Diploma in Photojournalism from the London College of Printing and has combined this vocation with his passion for the outdoors as a successful business. Ray’s photography regularly appears in the outdoor press and he has illustrated several books on Wales. In 2018 Ray joined DMM as Head of Marketing. 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 the current flavour of the month.
Mark Lynden – Director, Human Resources
Mark is a founder member of Snowdonia-Active. He runs a successful graphic design and website development company and has worked 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 www.adventuredirectory.com – 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 the early pioneers of paragliding in the mid-1980s 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 business centre at the heart of rural Gwynedd.
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. Graham developed his 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. 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.
After graduating from Bristol University and gaining her PGCE, Lun taught Geography and became head of Department at Chipping Sodbury School. Here she became involved in providing outdoor learning experiences (both fieldwork and adventure) for pupils at the school. Having quickly realised that young people learn more life skills in a week outdoors than during a whole year at school she took up a Field Studies post at a Centre on the slopes of the Malvern Hills and three years later moved to Llanrug OEC where she ran fieldwork, multi-activity and NGB courses. In 1994 she went part-time and set up ER Outdoors (freelance instructor / outdoor learning consultancy). She also helped set up Sustainable Use of Snowdonia / Mwynhau Eryri’n Gall (forerunner of the North Wales Environmental Outdoor Charter Group), successfully embarked on an MEd at Bangor University, became a mentor for the Bangor University PGCE course in Outdoor Activities, and also helped run the Registered and Accredited Practitioner awards for the Institute for Outdoor Learning (IOL) in North Wales. In 2008 she took voluntary redundancy from Llanrug OEC because of severe arthritis in her knees and worked a Professional Development Manager for IOL until 2011. In addition, she became an author and co-editor of the OEAP ‘Environmental Outdoor Learning Cards’, attained Leading Practitioner of IOL and helped IOL develop two new courses for instructors – ‘Facilitating Experiential Learning in the Outdoors’ and ‘Fostering a Connection’. Apart from running ER Outdoors and being a director of Snowdonia-active, she enjoys climbing and mountaineering, creative writing, exploring Europe in a camper van and learning Spanish.
Andy moved to Snowdonia in the late seventies to complete a PGCE at UCNW Bangor after completing a Biology degree at Liverpool Polytechnic. It was while at college that he graduated from enthusiastic hillwalker to fully committed climber and mountaineer. Andy taught at the Nelson 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 holds the highest British level mountaineering qualification – the Mountaineering Instructors Certificate (MIC). Andy is also a British Mountaineering Council (BMC) approved Technical Legal Expert, a freelance Adventure Activities Licensing Inspector and a vastly experienced Mountain Training walking and climbing Awards Course Director and Provider. He is currently the Chair of the BMC Training, Youth and Climbing Walls Committee and Technical Director for Mountain Training Cymru. In 2019 Andy was presented with The George Band Award for Exceptional Voluntary Service to Mountaineering. He continues to be an active climber and has been deeply involved in the production of climbing guidebooks to the area in the past. 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 North West Wales.