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About the centre

Our staff


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 has been an active member of the Ogwen Mountain Rescue Team.

Head of Centre/Operations Manager

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 many years, both paddling and coaching, and has 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.


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 many 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.


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


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 is an aspirant MIA, and he continues to avidly pursue his interest in snow sports, surfing, kayaking, climbing, cycling, running and swimming.


Anne Lumsden

BSc (Hons) Plant Sciences, PGCE

Anne holds a broad range of outdoor qualifications including the summer and winter mountain leader awards and a range of kayak and other activity awards. 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.


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.


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.


Diane Lee

Business Studies qualifications, NLP Practitioner, Coaching practitioner

Diane holds a range of outdoor qualifications. She has worked in the outdoors for many years and she has a great passion for the natural world. She enjoys sharing this knowledge, as well as developing ways to implement awareness of the natural world and mindfulness in the outdoors. In her free time, she is most commonly found out and about among the hills with her dogs, or on her motorbike. 


Conor Forshaw

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