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Scheme Manager: Esther Wakeling


Esther Wakeling is the Assistant Scheme Manager for the Elan Links Scheme and took up this role at the beginning of 2022.  Esther spent the last 5 years working for the Cambrian Mountains Initiative and grew up on a farm in rural Ceredigion.

Esther is enjoying this new challenge and is pleased to have the opportunity to put her BSc in Rural Resources Management and MA in Local Economic Development to good use.  She is enjoying working in this dynamic team on such an exciting and beneficial project.

Natural Heritage Officer: Fiona Gomersall


Fiona Gomersall joined Elan Links as Natural Heritage Officer in December 2020.  She will be responsible for managing projects related to enhancing nature and wildlife. 

Fiona worked for Shropshire Wildlife Trust as their Conservation Officer for 15 years and more recently as a Farm Adviser for Severn Rivers Trust.  She has a BSc in Zoology and an MSc in Environmental Science.  She lives in Felindre, near Newtown.  Fiona is looking forward to carrying on with the range of nature and farming projects which her predecessors set up and to working with the people who helped to create this wonderful landscape.

Volunteering and Training Officer: Gayle Atherfold-Dudley


Gayle Atherfold-Dudley is the Volunteering and Training Officer for Tir Coed, based within the Elan Links team.  Gayle will be delivering the training projects within the scheme, as well as overseeing volunteers.

Before starting at Tir Coed, she predominately worked in third sector, with families undergoing change.  Gayle has also worked for the NHS and Police, as well as working as a freelance photographer. 

Engagement, Education & Events Officer for Archaeology and Heritage: Gary Ball


Gary Ball joined the team in 2022 and is responsible for the delivery of heritage projects that engage and educate, alongside the creation of events that tell the stories of Elan Valley’s past.

Gary has worked in the third sector for over 20 years combining his passion for archaeology, historical reenactment and community engagement.  A recent MSc graduate in Sustainable Heritage practice, he has worked on projects from searching for lost medieval battlegrounds to recording quarries and wells, involving volunteers from around the globe.

Engagement, Education & Events Officer for Arts: Rosie Slay


Rosie joined the team in 2022 and is responsible for the delivery of arts, education and community engagement projects for Elan Links. 

Rosie loves to build unusual partnerships, and is interested in finding ways in which art can engage people with places and issues. In the past she has facilitated public sculpture projects, heritage trails and youth-led media campaigns. She lives just outside of Machynlleth.

Finance Officer: Michelle Thomas


Michelle joined the team in 2022, and lives in Llandrindod Wells. She does
accounting tasks for the Elan Links Scheme, and helps everything stay on track
financially. She has worked in accounts since 1986, so she has a broad range of
experience and knowledge to bring to the team.

Outside of work, Michelle is a keen amateur geologist, and organises several events
each year for 2 geology groups. She also hosts a French Conversation Group, and
has been trying to learn Welsh since 2018!

Powys Mentor: Ben Flynn


Ben is the mentor covering Powys, working with the Elan Valley Links project for Tir Coed.  His role is to help and support all attendees prior, during and after attending the Tir Coed Courses, to enable them to get the most out of their experience.

Project Archivist: Matt Rose


Matt Rose is the Project Archivist with responsibility for assessing, recording and making accessible heritage material relating to the Elan Valley.