Welsh Council Members

Rob Owen – Chair

Rob Owen WCEC Member

Originally from Anglesey, Rob now lives in the Vale of Glamorgan where he enjoys exploring the network of paths and discovering more about the area’s rich history and wildlife. Through his professional career, which started as the Coastal Project Officer on Anglesey, Rob has been involved in encouraging more people to access and enjoy Wales fantastic countryside and coast. During his time with the Countryside Council for Wales. Rob led on the development of the Wales Coast Path, a landmark achievement for a small nation.

In joining the Welsh Executive Council Rob hopes that his experience and knowledge will benefit Ramblers Cymru in encouraging the sort of transformational change which will lead to more and more people regarding walking as part of their everyday lives, fostering new social networks and a deeper understanding and appreciation of Wales’ beauty and heritage.

Chris Hodgson – Vice Chair

Chris Hodgson WCEC Member

Chris is a committed walker, walking in all parts of Wales and covering more than 1000 miles every year. His walking has led him to take a great interest in the condition of our paths, their improvement, and in encouraging other people to experience the joy of walking. Chris feels the Ramblers is the organisation to achieve these things.

His work as Treasurer of Ceredigion Area and Membership Manager of the Aberystwyth Group gives him a good insight into two important areas of the work of the Ramblers. Chris is a former Chair of the Welsh Council Executive Committee; he feels there is still much to do and his contributions to the Committee can help Ramblers Cymru further enhance itself as an organisation working for walkers.

Gwenda Fitzpatrick – Member

Gwenda Fitzpatrick WCEC Member

Gwenda is a member of the Committee for the Vale of Glamorgan Ramblers, her role is part of the communications team, which involves working with the members who look after the web page and the social media side of the comms. Gwenda is a keen advocate for the importance of exercising within local communities.

Her working background is in Adult Education, both as a tutor and within the administration team. She has worked within the Third Sector, working as Membership Officer for the RNIB, and working at the University of Wales Hospital as part of the Action on Hearing Loss team.

Gwenda is a Welsh speaker. 

Joanna Slattery - Member

Joanna Slattery WCEC Member

Joanna been a member of Ramblers Cymru for 12 years and before that Ramblers in England. After her three children started school she worked as a primary school teacher. Joanna is currently a Walk leader, North Wales Area secretary and Webmaster for the North Wales Area and Conwy Valley websites.

She is keen to share her love of the countryside, mountains and walking and that motivates her to be active in the Ramblers. Joanna wants everyone to have access to open spaces and she thinks it is important that different organisations work together on shared aims such as protecting the environment and promoting wellbeing. 

Joanna is currently learning Welsh.

Maggie Thomas – Member

Maggie Thomas WCEC Member

Maggie has been a member of Ramblers for about 20 years. She is an active walk leader and has promoted her own area by leading walks for Cardiff Ramblers and Caerphilly Ramblers for a number of years.  

She is very involved in Rights of Way work and is a member of the Ramblers Cymru Rights of Way and Access group since its inception.

Elwyn Williams – Member

Elwyn Williams WCEC Member

Elwyn was a Course Tutor for the Open University for many years teaching Health Science. He also taught on the MSc in Public Health and Health Promotion course at Bangor University and the Masters in Public Health at Glyndwr University. In the past, he has been an Assistant Director – Public Involvement with the North Wales Health Authority. He has also been an assessor for the Welsh Assembly Government Corporate Health Award and has been since its foundation over seventeen years ago. He is also an assessor for the Welsh Assembly Government National Quality Award for Healthy Schools.

He has been a member of the Ramblers since 1992, Chair of the Clwydian Ramblers for over the past six years and has led many walks during this time. In 2011 he was elected as chair of the North Wales area and is very active in contributing to Ramblers Cymru. He has climbed many mountains over the world and has completed all the in Nuttalls in Wales, all the Munros in Scotland and some Alpine peaks. He is also a keen cyclist.

Elwyn was born in North Wales and is a fluent Welsh speaker.

Alan Austin – Co-opted member

Alan Austin WCEC Member

Alan is Chair of Powys Area and has been a Ramblers member for 30 years. His special mission is protection and improvement of rights of way. In his professional life he specialised in the effective management of people within organisations. He has worked with organisations of all sizes across a range of business sectors. Recently he carried out senior HR roles with Tarmac, O2 and Scottish Provident. Alan is a strong believer in clear communication.

He is equally at home in the Board Room or on the Shop Floor and has a talent for getting to the roots of issues, especially people issues. Practical, real-world solutions are his specialty. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Personnel and Development. Passionate about the development of HR people, he has played an active part in the Institute as a Branch Chair and an External Examiner. He has presented on a range of people management subjects at conferences, public courses and to professional groups. Alan is now retired from full-time employment and undertakes a range of voluntary roles in his local area near the Elan Valley in Mid-Wales.

Andrew Stumpf  - Co-opted Member

Andrew Stumpf  WCEC Member

Before retiring from Canal & River Trust, Andrew spent over 40 years working in the public and third sector on and around waterways in a variety of roles. Andrew has always been a keen walker and sometimes a cyclist, but that enthusiasm shifted up a gear during a period working in Scotland.

Andrew is determined to do what he can to promote access to and creation of open space close to people’s homes and to make our countryside as accessible as practicable to everyone. He wants to ensure those spaces are appreciated, cared for and free from the blight of litter and degradation. It is for those reasons that Andrew became a trustee for Keep Wales Tidy, a Green and Blue Flag judge, and joined Ramblers Cymru.
Andrew is learning Welsh.