The New Welsh Wildlife Centre Team!

The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales would like to introduce you to our new management team at our flagship Welsh Wildlife Centre in Cilgerran, Cardigan. Each of the three key members has written an introduction to themselves below and are ready to welcome you to the centre when it re-opens on Saturday 7 February 2015.

Mark Hodgson
Hospitality Manager

Mark

Mark Hodgson

Hello, I would like to introduce myself, I am Mark Hodgson.

Many of you may already know me as I have worked for the Wildlife Trust at the Visitor Centre in Cilgerran for six years.

I grew up in rural Shropshire surrounded by wildlife  and with parents who ran four companies, it was this upbringing that led me to have my own successful business at 21 years of age.

I have many years of practical business and personnel management experience. In my previous role managing the Café at the Welsh Wildlife Centre, I have applied these skills to greatly improve the profitability on a yearly basis.

I have recently taken on the new post of Hospitality Manager here. This means that along with the running of Glasshouse Café, I am responsible for the running of our on site holiday accommodation and along with my colleagues, the running and maintenance of the Visitor Centre.

As part of the new team, I will be putting together a diverse and exciting events program for the coming year to ensure that we increase both visitor numbers and raise the profile of the trust.

On a less serious note, I have an A – level in pottery and studied textile design at college giving me a creative and fresh approach to events and activities at the Visitor Centre. Along with my colleagues, I can say that we are putting everything that we can in place to make this the best year ever for our Visitor Centre and we all look forward to seeing you in 2015.

Martin Jones
Facilities Manager

Martin Jones

Martin Jones

Hello, my name is Martin and I will be filling the new role of Facilities Manager at the Welsh Wildlife Centre. Within this role, I will be managing the running of the Gift Shop and aspects of the Visitor Centre alongside the other members of staff and a highly valued team of volunteers. I will also be involved with the planning and creation of the annual events programme at the Centre.

I grew up in Carmarthen and was a student at Queen Elizabeth High. Following my school days, I worked in numerous shops gaining experience in the retail industry.

I have always had a keen interest in nature, particularly ornithology and after four years working in high street retail, I decided to pursue a career with a wildlife organisation.

I first joined the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales as a volunteer at the Welsh Wildlife Centre in 2012, helping out on the information desk and in the Gift Shop, as well as being a part of the weekly outdoor volunteer work parties on Teifi Marshes. Later on, I started to work in the Glasshouse Café as a Counter Assistant before becoming Retail Manager as maternity cover, and later job sharing in the same role. This complemented my studies with the Open University where I have completed courses in Environmental and Business, Retail and Marketing studies.

I used to visit the Welsh Wildlife Centre frequently with my parents when I was a child and absolutely adored it. It became an ambition of mine to one day work at the Centre and so I am extremely pleased and grateful to be working here now. It is of great importance to me that our visitors, including the next generation of wildlife enthusiasts, have a truly wonderful time at the Centre; much like I did when I was younger and ensuring this will be my principal aim in this role.

Nia

Nia Stephens

Nia Stephens
People & Wildlife Officer

Hi!  I’m Nia and I’m the new People and Wildlife Officer at the Teifi Marshes nature reserve.  My main role is to make links with local communities and to encourage people’s awareness and use of the nature reserve.  I am also responsible for the management of Teifi Marshes and I will be working with staff and volunteers to manage and maintain the reserve through monitoring, survey work and habitat management.

I’m a local girl, I grew up on a farm just outside Cardigan (which overlooks the Teifi Marshes), I went to Preseli school and am a fluent Welsh speaker.  My degree in Environmental Science from Aberystwyth gave me a good background knowledge in nature conservation and since graduating I have gained practical experience through working for the RSPB and working for the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales since 2013.  In 2013 I was assistant warden on Skomer island and last year I was the Water Vole Officer for west Wales.

Teifi Marshes was the first nature reserve I ever visited and one that I feel a special connection to so I’m really excited to be working here and to be a part of the excellent work the Wildlife Trust do.  I think it is extremely important that we educate as many people as possible about the important role nature plays in all our lives and my aim is to try to get people more connected with nature through running events here at the Teifi Marshes.