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

Community Training Coordinator

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

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

Emma Bald

Emma Bald

Director of Communications

Former project director and health sector lead at Central Office of Information and marketing consultant for broad range of businesses. 

Louise Grove White

Louise Grove-White

Development Officer

Experienced business development and project manager.  Previously worked for Prince’s Trust Cymru, National Museum of Wales and ran the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition

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.

Vicky Curran - BMC Admin

Vicky Curran

Team Administrator

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.

Tutor

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.

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.

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.

Cris Osborn BMC Coppicing Tutor

Cris Osborn

Tutor - Coppicing and Greenwood

Cris works in local woodland environments and has teaching experience across a wide range of educational settings.

Jed needs Coppicing tutor

Jed Needs

Tutor - Coppicing and Greenwood

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

chris blake

Chris Blake

Trustee

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

Councillor Emily Durrant Portrait

Cllr. Emily Durrant

Trustee

Former activist, participatory research and corporate responsibility consultant and now Wales’ only Green Party County Councilor. Chair of the Policy Forum at Brecon Beacons National Park Authority.

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

Film maker, arts consultant and Governor of Clyro Primary School.

Sue Pritchard Headshot

Sue Pritchard

Trustee

Chief Executive of Food, Farming and Countryside Commission, with a mission to bring people together to find radical and practical ways to transform our food system and improve our climate, nature, health and economy. Sue lives with her family on an organic, permaculture, livestock farm in Monmouthshire. The farm is also home to the Silver Birch Foundation, a charity providing education and development for young people with additional needs.

Academic Advisory Panel

Dr Natalia Eernstman headshot

Dr. Natalia Eernsterman

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

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.

Advisors

Baroness Rosie Boycott

Writer, broadcaster and food and farming specialist.

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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