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About the centre

Our staff

Climbing

Here's the place to see who works at the Centre and find out a bit about us...

Head of Outdoor Education Service

Alistair Cook

BEd (Hons) Geography and Outdoor Education

Alistair has worked in Outdoor Education since leaving university.  He is a Level 5 Inland Kayak Coach, aspirant MIA, and holds a range of other outdoor qualifications.  He has for many years been involved with AHOEC (Association of Heads of Outdoor Centres) and, for several years, undertook the role of AHOEC National Chair.  Outside work, Alistair participates in a wide range of outdoor sports and is an active member of the Ogwen Mountain Rescue Team.

Deputy Head

Faf (Cath) Bourke

BA (Hons) Interpreting and Translating, PGCE, Diploma in Geosciences

Faf holds the MIA award in mountaineering, is a kayak coach, and holds a range of other outdoor qualifications. She has taught English and Interpreting at Cadiz University and Modern Languages in Secondary schools in England. Faf also spent time working in the building trade in the Lake District. She returned to full time teaching at Plas Dol-y-Moch, where she was first inspired as a school pupil.  Faf loves the whole concept of journeying by self-propelled means, whether foot, bike or boat.  Summer breaks are spent camping high and climbing alpine mixed routes, winter breaks are a chance to get away from it all ski touring in the Alps.

Teacher

Martin Waters

BA (Hons) Sport, Health and Phys Ed., PGCE

Martin is an aspirant MIA (Mountain Instructor Award) and holds a BCU level 4 coach (inland) and level 3 (sea). Martin has 16 years of experience teaching outdoor education and has worked at Dol-y-Moch for 12 years.  Martin is an “all rounder” and is quite happy rock climbing, mountain biking, paddling, skiing or eating cakes. He has a passion for extreme sports and is keen to encourage and inspire others.

Teacher

Jonny Richard

BSc Biol (CH), MSc Marine Biol, PGCE 

Jonny grew up in Switzerland where he was an active participant in a wide range of outdoor sports.  He completed his first Science degree in Switzerland before moving to the UK where he furthered his studies. He taught in schools in Switzerland, Yorkshire and N Wales, before instructing in the outdoors, and then joined the team at Plas Dol-y-Moch.  Jonny continues to avidly pursue his interest in snow sports, surfing, kayaking, climbing, cycling, running and swimming.

Teacher

Emma Warren

BSc (Hons) Outdoor and Environmental Education PGCE

Emma taught in the outdoors and led expeditions abroad for a number of years before completing her teaching qualification, then joining the team at Plas Dol-y-Moch.  She holds the MIA mountaineering award and IML(S) (International Mountain Leader, Summer) as well as awards in a range of other outdoor activities.  She also teaches Field Studies.  In her free time she is an avid climber, both on rock and amid the high Alpine peaks.

Teacher

Anne Lumsden

BSc (Hons) Plant Sciences, PGCE

Anne holds a broad range of outdoor qualifications including the summer and winter mountain leader awards and is currently working hard to complete her UKCC Level 3 sea coach award. She has taught in both fieldwork and adventure education centres across the UK and in the USA.  She has a great passion for the natural world and enjoys sharing this knowledge, especially with the geography and biology A-level students who attend the centre. In her free time, she is most commonly found out on the water or mountain biking in the surrounding hills.

Teacher

Deb Cook

BA (Hons) Outdoor Education, Accredited Practitioner – Institute of Outdoor Learning (APIOL).

In common with the other staff Deb is qualified to lead all our activities but she is best known for being on the water and enjoys kayaking and canoeing both on rivers and the sea. Deb has been a member of the British White Water Rafting team for the last 13 years and competed successfully at European and World Championships. She has guided rafts and led expeditions around the world and acts as a technical adviser for overseas expedition providers. Deb has worked in the Outdoors for nearly 20 years, in residential educational centres, university, and overseas. When not on the water, Deb loves to get out mountain biking, running, climbing and exploring the coastlines of North Wales.

Teacher

Jude McNae

BA (Hons) Geography/ Sport and Recreation Studies, PGCE

Jude holds a broad range of outdoor qualifications and has sea kayaked, canoed, climbed and skied in the UK, Europe and worldwide.  She taught in school and in a number of outdoor centres before coming to Plas Dol-y-Moch in 2000.  Jude has a keen interest in sustainability and sustainable development, in both local and global senses, and uses this knowledge and passion to enhance her course planning and deliver

Teacher

Poppy Thomas

BSc (Hons) Outdoor and Environmental Education

Poppy is an aspirant MIA and has a range of other Outdoor qualifications. She spent a season teaching kayaking in the Alps, and worked in the outdoors for several years with Centres in the UK before joining us at Plas Dol-y-Moch. In her free time, Poppy participates in a wider range of activities, enjoying kayaking, climbing and snowsports.

Teacher

Conor Forshaw

Conor has progressed through the Plas Dol-y-Moch Trainee scheme to become a permanent member of staff.  He holds a range of outdoor qualifications and in his free time is an avid mountain biker.  He also loves to explore the underground environment.

Trainee

Euan Wilson

Euan joined the team in July 2017.  He has had previous experience working in a Centre and loves to get out and about with the pupils.  He is an avid mountain biker and enjoys mountaineering and kayaking too.

Trainee

Kelly Osborne

Kelly joined us in September 2017.  A Coventry girl, Kelly first came to the Centre as a child and has never lost her enthusiasm for the Centre.  Kelly is a keen mountain walker and also enjoys climbing and kayaking.