Walk Leaders Oct 2013

Alan and Shirley Jones

Alan and Shirley Jones have lived in the Abergavenny area for more than twenty years, and have always been involved in leading various walking groups. They love sharing their knowledge and joy of this beautiful part of the world with fellow walkers.
Alan has a keen interest in the social and industrial development of south Wales and has given many talks and trips to various clubs and societies over the years.

Angela Bishop

Angela has been lucky enough to have lived and worked in Abergavenny all of her life and has always enjoyed all of the outdoor activities the area has to offer, including walking, caving, climbing.
In the past she has been a Scout and Guide leader and worked full time in a GP practice. Recently she reduced her working hours and now enjoys spending more time walking her dog or with others as a walk leader.
Angela has walked in many parts of this country including completing Offa’s Dyke to raise money for the local hospital and she is looking forward to spending more of her leisure time walking.

Chris Brown

Monmouthshire is a beautiful and in some parts undiscovered county for walkers. For many years I have enjoyed walking in the area with family and friends and I am still discovering parts that for many people remain hidden. My involvement as a volunteer with Monmouthshire Countryside Service and as one of the organisers of this Festival is my way of encouraging others to discover what Monmouthshire has to offer. I also hope that at some point I might meet Kate Humble on my travels!

Clive Williams

Clive Williams has worked as a Warden for the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority for more than twenty years based in Abergavenny he covers the Black Mountains where he was born and brought up. His role as Area Warden involves implementing land management on upland sites owned by the National Park as well as working with landowners to ensure the Rights of Way network is maintained. As a mountain leader, leading walks and encouraging people to get out and explore this special area is an important part of his role.
‘It’s always nice to take people to places they have not been before and pass on some information which helps them understand this special landscape a little more ’.

David Smith

David is an experienced walker and walk leader and was actively involved in the highly successful 2010,2011 and 2012 Monmouthshire Walking Festivals.

Since retiring in 2008 from his day job as University of Wales Professor in Creative Industries and Associate Dean for Research and Enterprise in the Newport School of Art, Media and Design, David has worked as one of a team of volunteers helping to maintain footpaths in Monmouthshire. He has also planned and led guided walks in various parts of the county.

Diana Standing

Whilst walking in the Wye Valley Diana had noticed and been grateful for the footpath signs, stiles and gates. When she retired a friend asked if she would like to help keep these paths open so Diana became a volunteer with the Monmouthshire County Council footpath care team. Diana especially enjoys leading walks and introducing people to the area she loves. Her interests are varied enabling her to give a brief picture of the geology, landscape, and the natural and industrial history when walking. In return she gets to meet new people and walk paths she had not ventured onto before.

Angela Flynn is Diana’s seconder. She is the friend who introduced her to footpath care and both live in the Forest of Dean.

John Winser

John has always been a keen outdoors enthusiast with a love for everything “countryside” and sharing that passion with others. He started “serious” walking on a family camping holiday in the Lake District only a few years ago. From then, he found a love for long distance trails and ‘bagging’ those elusive peaks.

John is originally from Cardiff and still lives in the city but considers himself lucky to be surrounded by the wonderful countryside we have. He spends as much time as he can in Monmouthshire and the Brecon Beacons National Park.

He often says “If I’m on any kind of walk, it’s a good day, whatever the weather!”

Kaf and John Faragher

Kaf and John Faragher have been involved in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme for over 20 years, training and assessing Bronze, Silver and Gold Expeditions. As an ex- Venture Scout and Ranger Guide, they have spent many a weekend yomping the hills and mountains of Britain. They are also volunteers with the Monmouthshire Countryside Service and Blaenafon World Heritage Rangers, so have extensive knowledge of what Monmouthshire has to offer in the Great Outdoors.

Louise McGuinness

Louise was chair of the team who started the Monmouthshire Walking Festival a few years ago. She works as Festival and Events Officer for “adventa” the Rural Development Programme for Monmouthshire. Louise says that one of the best things about her role is the opportunities it gives her to explore all parts of this beautiful county and to meet and work with a wide range of interesting and knowledgeable people.

Mark Langley

Mark has been very fortunate to have been brought up in the beautiful county of Monmouthshire. Since 1987 he has been a member of the county’s Countryside Service and has been involved in helping members of the general public discover the wide variety of landscape and local history the Monmouthshire has to offer. Mark has a particular interest in the folklore of plants and the influence they have played in the life of past generations. He thinks the walking festival is a great opportunity for people to find out more about our unique county without having to worry about getting lost along the way!

You can follow news from the Monmouthshire Countryside Service on their blog.

Mike Ogden

Mike started to walk in the 1960s and is delighted to be able to spend more time making the most of the wonderful walking in and around Monmouthshire now that he is retired. Mike thinks that the best way to enjoy nature, get good views, explore the history of an area, and get some good healthy exercise, is to get out there on your own two feet. Oh, and you sometimes get a free shower as well!

Phil Brabon – Shirenewton Local History Society

Phil is Treasurer of Shirenewton Local History Society and has a wealth of knowledge of the area. Phil is a regular hill walker, every week come rain or shine. Phil has also been involved with Chepstow Agricultural Society over many years and has lifetime interest in rugby, both as player and supporter

Click  here for Shirenewton Local History Society website

Rob Wilkinson

Rob has lived almost all his life in South Wales, where he taught for 33 years. Now he has much more time to explore the fascinating landscapes of Torfaen and Monmouthshire which provide a brilliant mix of history and geography. Rob is a very experienced walker and is a leader for Cardiff Ramblers and the Long Distance Walkers Association. All his walks will contain some climbing as that’s the best way to guarantee some excellent views !
Away from walking, he enjoys most sports, music, travelling and studying psychology.

Steve Smith

Steve has worked for the National Park for nearly ten years. Based in Abergavenny he is responsible for the public rights of way in the most South/Easterly region of the Park, an area close to where he has lived all his life. He works closely with partners at the Blaenavon World Heritage Site and manages various volunteer groups. Steve is particularly interested in moorland habitat management and is a licensed bird ringer with the British Trust for Ornithology. He is also interested in rare breed sheep and currently owns a small flock of the Hebridean breed.

He feels that through guided walks we can share knowledge and make friends with similarly minded people in the most fabulous environment that is Monmouthshire and the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Sue Hogan

Sue is a volunteer walk leader for Monmouthshire County Council and was involved in the 2010, 2011 and 2012 Walking Festivals. She has been a keen walker and photographer for 25 years and has walked extensively in South Wales as well as other areas of the U.K. and France. She particularly enjoys sharing her love of the countryside and wildlife with others. She has lived in Abergavenny since the age of 9 and would not want to live anywhere else.