Meet The Team
Meet The Team
Llais y Goedwig Staff
Maria Wilding, Programme Manager
Maria is our Programme Manager and keeps track of projects, staff and board relations at Llais y Goedwig.
She has worked with Community Woodlands for over 12 years (9 of them with LlyG), and has a background in programme management, social enterprise and volunteer support.
Sasha Ufnowska, Senior Development Officer
Sasha is based in Bridgend and her job is to help to raise the profile of community woodlands by working with new and established community woodland groups across South Central Wales, to support their development, build their capacity and provide ‘on the ground’ assistance. She joined Llais y Goedwig in 2016 bringing experience of woodland and conservation management, environmental community projects, supporting the creation of community groups and social enterprises and practical conservation skills as well as a background in producing woodland craft products and running training workshops. Sasha has worked in conservation and woods since 2005 after becoming a project officer for BTCV (Now TCV). She has been running her own bush craft training company since 2009, is a qualified forest school’s leader and trustee of Forest School Wales.
Hywel Dodd, North East Wales Development Officer
Hywel is our Development Officer covering North Wales. His background is in early education and practical conservation, working with people to achieve positive environmental improvements in their communities. Whilst working for BTCV/TCV he developed a range of practical skills in woodland management, habitat creation and timber construction, and was responsible for training volunteers and service users to become more employable through practical conservation projects across the region. More recently he managed amenity woodland at Bodelwyddan Castle where he welcomed the local community, including many primary schools to learn about the environment through a range of practical workshops and events.
Elizabeth Mutch, Communications Officer and Mid Wales Development Officer
Liz works across Mid Wales (Powys and Ceredigion), offering support to groups and organisations who want to manage or work in local woodlands. She has experience in community development, Third Sector fund raising, PR and marketing, and is familiar with the rewards and challenges of community volunteering having set up community groups and volunteered for many over the past twenty years. Her nickname amongst friends and family is ‘community meddler’. Liz is dedicated to enabling people to make a positive change in their local communities.
Steve Chamberlain, South East Wales Development Officer
Steve is the Community Woodland Development officer for S.E.Wales working in Blaenau Gwent, Tofraen, Caerphilly, Newport and Monmouthshire. Steve has worked with volunteers and Environmental organisations in South Wales for many years. His interests and expertise include Traditional woodland crafts, recycling projects, Foraging and urban re-wilding.
Jayne Hunt – Coednet and CommuniTree Officer
Jayne has worked with and for Llais y Goedwig for over 6 years in a number of different roles, she is project manager for Coednet, an online platform that promotes and sells sustainable woodland products and services. She is also supporting the CommuniTree tree nursery project.
Jaynes background is predominantly in higher education, which she specialised in sustainability. She is also an experienced project manager and developer in the environmental sector. Jayne is passionate about working with communities and woodlands; she is interested particularly interested in the social side of woodlands and how they can benefit people’s health and wellbeing. Jayne is a trained Forest School Leader. Other interests include gardening, ESDGC- Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship, feminism, baking, orchards, music and wild swimming.
Beki Price – Programme Support Officer
Beki is key to the smooth running of Llais y Goedwig and all our varied projects and contracts.
As well as managing the Forestry Hub for our staff and other environmental organisations, Beki is responsible for Llais y Goedwig finances and admin as well as event support, membership administration and circulating information to the network.
Katherine Locke – Community Activity Leader (South Wales)
Katherine (Kaz) is a Community Activity Leader who works in Bridgend area, South Wales.
Kaz works with volunteer groups completing conservation work at different sites within the county. She runs regular activities including litter picks, woodlands path clearance, invasive species management,and supports Mental Health Matters Wales and other local community groups.
Her background includes four years of voluntary work for local groups and communities.
Amanda Calvert – Goods From The Woods Certification Coordinator
Martyn Davies, South West & Central Development Officer
Martyn is our Development officer for South Central and South west Wales. Martyn’s background is in Horticulture, running a country estate in Pembrokeshire for many years, developing skills and experience in conservation and woodland management as a volunteer with the RSPB and Woodland trust. He also works for Tir Coed, delivering outdoor training, learning and well-being projects across West Wales. Heavily involved in his local community, Martyn has a passion for connecting people through a love of nature.
Llais y Goedwig Board of Directors
Chris Harris – Llais y Goedwig Director
After a varied and busy career in leisure management in Kent which included beach cleaning initiatives, a partnership with the Kent Wildlife Trust and working with The Marine Conservation Society. Chris now runs his own cottage let business and is still heavily involved in conservation; including volunteering for RSPB Cymru in Membership Development, working from Bwlch Nant Yr Arian with Red Kites, a volunteer coordinator for the Mid Wales Red Squirrel Project, and a volunteer for Denmark Farm and the Vincent Wildlife Trust.
Chris has been involved with Coed Y Bont community woodland, Pontrhydfendigaid from its inception in 2008. Chris is involved in all areas of the woodland, including the Wildlife Group and Work Party and has been influential in funding projects. He has sales and membership development experience, and was on the Board of Directors for NATUR until recently.
Joey Hughes – Llais y Goedwig Director
Joey is the founder and director of specialist fruit trees consultancy Orchard Daughters – Merched Y Berllan based in Machynlleth. A joint Masters degree from the University of Edinburgh & Scottish Agricultural College in his youth was followed by a longstanding obsession with all things apples and orchards more generally.
Prior to setting up Orchard Daughters – Merched Y Berllan, some of Joey’s previous agricultural roles include Senior Parliamentary Advisor in the House of Commons to the Shadow Minister for Food (during which he found time to complete a full Permaculture Design course) and Head of Plant Health & Biotechnology and Head of Food Policy & Strategy, for the Welsh Government. Joey is also a committed trade unionist and helped establish the XR Cymru Trade Union Coordination Group to help bring environmental and social community activists together to share ideas and skills.
Fay Sharpley – Llais y Goedwig Director & current treasurer
Before moving to the Brechfa Forest area in 2005, Fay worked in Further Education and the Careers Service in a counselling and support role with adults. Despite intending to lead a quiet life, within a year she had set up a small organic bakery and became well and truly immersed in the life of the local community.
This led to her supporting the set up in 2001 of Pobl y Fforest, a social enterprise which has refurbished a redundant forestry building and leases a small area of adjoining woodland from NRW. This in turn led to her co-founding Llais y Goedwig. She is also very involved in her local volunteer run community shop, so the quiet life is currently on hold.
Ian Thomas – Llais y Goedwig Director
Ian joined the board to share his experience of working with the Rhondda Community on the NRW and Big Lottery funded social forestry project Welcome to our Woods.
Having the opportunity of working with the Welcome to our Woods partnership based in Treherbert South Wales Valleys (where he was born and lives today), has helped Ian become extremely confident of a positive and productive future for community woodland groups across Wales. Ian believes community woodland groups can play a vital role in protecting and helping our communities and landscape face the future challenges being presented to us all. Ian is a construction trade carpenter and hobbyist green woodworker. A keen medicinal herb forager and hill walker, his favourite past time is trying to get very very lost in woodlands, mountains and other outdoor spaces with his family and friends. Other interests are permaculture gardening, social justice, history, social entrepreneurship and appropriate scale green energy generation.
David Williams – Llais y Goedwig Director
David was one of the first Llais y Goedwig Directors from formation in 2008, but stepped down for a couple of years with other things taking attention. He came back on board in 2019/20.
He is a key member of Blaen Bran Community Woodland (since inception in 2000). He has a keen interest in policy and ensuring that Llais y Goedwig can be an effective voice for community woods in Wales. He worked in local government, in the field of health and social care – before retiring in September 2021.
Susy Arnold – Llais y Goedwig Director
Susy grew up in a forces family on the move every two years or so, it was only when she settled in Blaenau Gwent in 1974 that she was able to put down roots!
Always interested in nature, walking, foraging, no dig gardening and in all things organic and local, it was a natural progression when retired ( with some coercion from Jayne Hunt ) to join Sirhowy community woodland group, initially litter picking and then to help set up a little orchard, followed by a nut grove and now a tree nursery and a community garden are in the offing
Approached by Llais y Goedwig Susy joined the board over 5 years ago and her group have benefitted from the knowledge and skills shared from Llais y Goedwig and from its members to other member groups
During that time the community woodland group has grown in to a community interest company (CiC) with a dedicated bunch of volunteers that get training and equipment to better manage the previously neglected 197 acre urban woodland at Sirhowy Hill, for the benefit of nature and the local community