Change starts with people. We've got a small, agile team, a supportive and active board of trustees and a knowledgeable and influential advisory board.

Amanda Page

Amanda Page

Outreach and Development Lead

Founder of Community Interest Company, Gap Learning, delivering a programme of courses for all ages to over 1000 learners and winning an ‘Excellence Award’ from Cambridgeshire County Council. 

Ben Rawlence Portrait

Ben Rawlence

Chief Executive

BMC co-founder. Award winning writer, activist, former speech writer to Sir Menzies Campbell and Charles Kennedy.

Read more about Ben’s latest book, ‘The Treeline’.

Bethany Prosser

Communications and Outreach Officer

Currently studying Marketing Management BSc with previous work experience within the public sector, working alongside the community. Bethany specialises in internal and external communications, social media content coordination and strategy, as well as supporting Amanda with increasing BMC’s outreach.

Christianne Wakeham

Chief Operating Officer and HE Admissions Tutor

Christianne led the foundation year in science and was a tutor on the bio-medical engineering programme at Worcester University as well as an admissions tutor for first year students. She will be delivering some of the science elements within our Degree, and keeping a close eye on student well-being as well as overseeing both Higher and Further Education operations.

Ellie Curran

Marketing and Design Officer

A Marine and Natural History Photography Graduate from Falmouth University, with a love for the natural world. Ellie is passionate about protecting our national parks and preserving their wild spaces. At BMC, she specialises in design, social media, and a variety visual content creation.

Tom Sperlinger

Prof. Tom Sperlinger

Academic Lead

Tom Sperlinger is Professor of Literature and Engaged Pedagogy at the University of Bristol, author of Romeo and Juliet in Palestine and co-author of Who are universities for? He has set up a range of programmes aimed at students who have not followed a conventional route through education, and is currently academic lead for civic engagement at Bristol’s new Temple Quarter campus.

Professor Owen Sheers

Ambassador & Co-founder

Owen is an award-winning poet, playwright, author and Professor in Creativity at Swansea University. His climate-related work includes a BBC Proms youth oratorio The Water Diviner’s Tale, a BBC One drama The Trick, and a forthcoming opera for WNO, Sea Change. In 2021, in collaboration with Dhaka Lit Fest in Bangladesh, he curated Everything Change, a week-long series of events focused on creativity and the climate crisis.

Richard Luff

Key Volunteer and Short Course Support

Richard is an international public health engineer and former-director of the National Forest Gardening Scheme. His life work is now focussed on well-being in nature, through involvement in green social organisations and green issue campaigning/activist groups. Richard has been a key volunteer for BMC and has supported with various short courses.

Vicky Curran - Student Support

Vicky Curran

Operations Coordinator

A first class graduate of Cardiff Metropolitan University in Events Management, with a focus on Corporate and Sustainable Events, Marketing, HR and Finance. Prior work experience within HR and recruitment, and Level 3 qualified in Business Administration. Vicky’s role at BMC involves all things Operational and HR based, supporting the team in any way.

Tutors

Alice Weston and blossom

Alice Weston

Tutor - Regenerative Horticulture

Experienced horticulturalist, with a wide range of expertise, from managing a team of landscapers, to creating new gardens, to being employed as head gardener on a private estate. Multi-talented Alice is also our Finance Officer on days she is not teaching!

Ben Kelleher

Ben Kelleher

Tutor - Coppicing and Greenwood

A green woodwork and coppicing craftsman, who started as a forestry student looking for an alternative route into the world of trees and wood. He learnt his trade through an apprenticeship with the Greenwood Centre and the Bill Hogarth Memorial Apprenticeship Trust, and has since formed his own business.

Jed needs Coppicing tutor

Jed Needs

Tutor - Coppicing and Greenwood

Jed is chair of the Talgarth Community Woodland Group and a director of The Green Valleys CIC. Jed is a passionate advocate for community energy and local energy resilience, keen to pass on knowledge and experience of coppicing using sustainable methods and low impact techniques. He has a wealth of experience in Allotment Management, Woodland Management and Community Engagement.

Joanne Price Placeholder Image

Joanne Price

Core Skills Tutor

Black MOuntains COllege Regenerative Horticulture FE Course tutor with rake in garden

Rashid Benoy

Tutor - Regenerative Horticulture

Passionate about the plant world and the joys it brings.  Founder and Director of Flora Cultura, a charity which aims to help people through social and therapeutic horticulture.

Youth Panel

Guoda

Guoda Šulskytė

Youth Panel

An interdisciplinary designer, researcher, and filmmaker, working in the intersection of art and science. Guoda is an award-winning graduate of Goldsmiths, University of London and is a current learner at Make Your Own Masters programme.

Maurice Luffman - BMC Youth Panel member

Maurice Luffman

Youth Panel

As a passionate outdoorsperson, I love to share the joy and inspiration I find in nature. My perfect Sunday comprises a wild walk and swim, admiring the natural world.

Ryan Belhadj

Ryan Belhadj

Youth Panel

18 year-old climate activist previously involved in UKSCN and the Youth Strike Movement in Cardiff. Now studies Physics at Manchester University

Thomas Keel

Youth Panel

London NERC DTP PhD student based at Kings College London.

Trustees

Alice Taherzadeh

Trustee

An activist, facilitator, community organiser, and an agroecology researcher. Their activist and research work is based on the belief that we can create empowering, radical, and non-hierarchical spaces of learning and action through grassroots and community organising.

chris blake

Chris Blake

Trustee

Director of Green Valleys CIC renewable energy company and energy entrepreneur.

Dr. Bill Newton Smith

Dr. Bill Newton Smith

Trustee

Philosopher of science and for 20 years head of George Soros’s higher education programme, establishing over 20 universities around the world.

George Littlejohn

George Littlejohn

Trustee

George Littlejohn is a chartered accountant, and senior adviser to the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment. He is a governor of Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance in London, and was formerly a journalist with The Economist.

Havard Prosser

Havard Prosser

Trustee

Former Chief Environmental Adviser at Welsh Government with particular focus on issues of energy and land use for climate change mitigation/adaptation and environmental protection. Strong interest in the sustainable future of the uplands as my family has farmed in the Black Mountains for many generations.

Karl Wills

Karl Wills

Trustee

Karl is a serial inventor and entrepreneur who has started, built, developed and sold a number of highly innovative businesses, and has a strong background in management, information technology, logistics, raising investment and bringing products to market.

Mari Fforde Portrait

Mari Fforde

Trustee

Experienced heritage consultant with an interest in education, community involvement and diversity. Film maker, arts consultant, Governor of Clyro Primary School, and Activities & Learning Manager at Hay Castle.

Prof. Keri Facer

Trustee

A Professor of Educational and Social Futures, and co-investigator on the ‘Transforming Education For Sustainable Futures’ network at the University of Bristol, visiting Professor in Education for Sustainable Development at Gothenburg University, and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. A member of the core team of UNESCO’s Futures of Education Commission who has spent 20 years researching the relationship between education and disruptive change.

Shirish Kulkarni

Trustee

Shirish is an award-winning investigative journalist, researcher and community organiser, with 25 years’ experience working in all the UK’s major broadcast newsrooms. More recently he’s worked on a variety of journalism innovation and inclusion projects, and on the People’s Newsroom Initiative at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

Academic Advisory Panel

Dr Natalia Eernstman headshot

Dr. Natalia Eernstman

Academic Advisory Panel

Senior Lecturer MA Creative Education : Making Learning at Plymouth College of Art.

Artist, researcher and educator specialising in community learning for sustainable development through artful and performative means. She has run a range of research projects and has been published in the field of environmental science, as well as education and the arts. Her projects have been in collaboration with organisations such as the National Trust, Tate Modern and the Environment Agency.

Hanna Poikonen

Hanna Poikonen

Academic Advisory Panel

Hanna is a researcher in neuroscience of movement, dance and music, and she applies her knowledge in higher education at ETH Zurich and in rehabilitation at Örebro University Hospital. Based on her academic work and education in dance and somatic methods, she has created the WiseMotion method on neuroscience and creative movement which she has taught in North America, Europe, Asia, and on different online platforms.

Ian Rappel (BSc, MSc Econ, MSc)

Ian Rappel (BSc, MSc Econ, MSc)

Academic Advisory Panel

A geographer and conservation ecologist by background, working in conservation for NGOs and in academia since 1993. He was CEO for Gwent Wildlife Trust for 5 years and is currently the Wales Development Manager for the National Association of AONBs, and holds advisory positions for the College for Real Farming and Bath Spa University’s emerging BSc in Wildlife Conservation. He lives in Talgarth on the northern fringes of the Black Mountains.

Jon Rae headshot

Jon Rae

Academic Advisory Panel

Jon is a father, husband and brother and works in education, enterprise and publishing. His underlying interest is our deepening affinity for the abundance, diversity and interdependence of life and cultures, and how this finds expression in our lives and livelihoods. Jon is an educational consultant and sits on the boards of Sterling College in Vermont,  Thoughtbox Education,  Schumacher Society  and the Deep Time Walk.

Kathy Hooper

Kathy Hooper MA (Psychology)

Academic Advisory Panel

Kathy began her career teaching Home Economics and successfully engaged disaffected learners. She has advanced qualifications in Child Development and in Counselling. A senior inspector and examiner, her extensive experience of education in schools and colleges in the UK and abroad, led her to understand the potential barriers to young students’ educational success. She is noted for challenging and mentoring educational institutions to raise their game.

Kirsty Simon

Kirstie Simson

Academic Advisory Panel

Kirstie Simson (UK) is an award-winning, captivating performer and a renowned teacher.  Called “a force of nature” by the New York Times, who has “immeasurably enriched and expanded the boundaries of New Dance” according to Time Out Magazine, London.  After thirteen years working as a professor of dance at the University of Illinois, in September 2020 Kirstie returns to her home in Wales, from where she will continue her work teaching and performing throughout the world.

Mona Nasseri

Academic Advisory Panel

Mona Nasseri is a senior lecturer and programme lead on the Ecological Design Thinking MA programme at Schumacher College, Dartington Hall. Mona’s main area of teaching and research is participatory approaches to socio-ecological transition.

With a background in Craft and material culture, she moved to the field of design and sustainability whilst carrying curiosity about the relational qualities of craftsmanship.  She was awarded a PhD from the University of Dundee in 2013. Her PhD thesis, “In the Making”  explores the role of embodied experience in transition towards a sustainable future.

Paul Sinnadurai Placeholder Image

Paul Sinnadurai

Academic Advisory Panel

Paul is Senior Ecologist at the Brecon Beacons National Park, an honorary research fellow at Cardiff University and an experience ballet teacher and former professional dancer. For the embodiment of an integrated science and arts perspective, look no further!

Advisors

Baroness Rosie Boycott

Writer, broadcaster and food and farming specialist.

Colin Tudge

Writer, thinker and co-founder of the Oxford Real Farming Conference and the Real Farming Trust.

David Helfand

Prof. David J. Helfand, a faculty member at Columbia University for 45 years, served nearly half of that time as Chair of the Department of Astronomy. He is the author of over 200 scientific publications and has mentored 22 PhD students, but most of his pedagogical efforts have been aimed at teaching science to non-science majors. In 2005, he joined an effort to create Canada’s first independent, non-profit university, Quest University Canada, where he served as President & Vice-Chancellor from 2008-2015.  He also completed a four-year term as President of the American Astronomical Society and is currently Chair of the American Institute of Physics. His first book, “A Survival Guide to the Misinformation Age” appeared in 2016.

Diana Beresford-Kroeger

Botanist, scientist, climate activist and pioneer of new ways of thinking about forests and trees

Dr. Jane Davidson

Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of Wales, Trinity St Davids and former Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing in the Welsh Government.

Dr. Libby Pearson

Partnerships Advisor

Libby was a former Director of Student Experience and Academic Quality at Navitas,  where she designed and built the student experience of 10 European pathway colleges.

Edmund de Waal

Writer and artist.

Hugh Martineau

Sustainable Agriculture Consultant

Jay Griffiths

Writer and activist. Author of Wild and Why Rebel?

Lord Chris Smith

Master of Pembroke College Cambridge, former Culture Secretary and former Chairman of the Environment Agency.

Peter T. Howe

Principal of UWC Atlantic College

Prof. Alan Lovell

Former Dean, University of Glamorgan, Business School.

Prof. Brigid Hogan

Chair of Cell Biology, Duke University, USA.

Prof. David Helfand

Chair, Astrophysics, Columbia University and President Emeritus, Quest University, Canada.

Prof. Owen Sheers

Award winning writer, professor of creativity at Swansea University and co-founder.

Robert Macfarlane

Writer and academic.

Sir Tim Smit

Entrepreneur and founder of the Eden Project.

Sophie Howe

Well-Being and Future Generations Commissioner for Wales.

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