Our small team is led by our Project Manager and co-founder Rob Penn. Rob is supported by our sole full-time employee, our General Manager.
We are reliant on our Woodland Creation, Nursery and Office staff all of whom work on a part-time or voluntary basis. In addition to this core team, we couldn't complete the work we do, to the standard that we do, without our network of supporting professional friends - Thank You!
Introducing the people behind Stump up for Trees
Dr Keith Powell is a seventh-generation Black Mountains farmer and a vet.
He studied veterinary medicine at Cambridge University and lives with his family off-grid in the Brecon Beacons. He has planted tens of thousands of trees since childhood and once drove from Wales to Madrid with a car boot full of conkers, which he planted by the roadside (he ran out in Cognac). In 2017, he initiated the project to plant on Bryn Arw common, adjacent to the Powell family farm.
Co-Founder and Project Manager
Robert Penn, former lawyer, round the world cyclist, journalist, best-selling author and broadcaster, moved to a house beside Bryn Arw, fifteen years ago.
He wrote The Man Who Made Things Out of Trees, about the ash tree and Woods: A Celebration, published by the National Trust. He wrote and presented Tales From the Wildwood, a series for BBC4 about woodland management. He is patron of the Small Woods Association and he set up a local community woodland group.
Woodland Creation Officer
Jenny grew up two hills down the river from Stump. She brings expertise in education, environmental land management and the importance of land manager expertise and lived experience.
Dr Jenny Knight joined us as General Manager in December 2022. She completed her PhD at the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research, has a Masters in Science and Technology Studies, and has significant management experience in education and teaching. She is also an expert panel member of the Trees and Timber Deep Dive Welsh Government Advisory board and has past involvement with the National Forest for Wales.
Having travelled the country over the last 20 years, Jenny is delighted to be home. She has walked and talked on these hills for as long as she can remember and is excited to be working with and for the community and within the landscape she loves.
Jenny Parry is a local farmer and admin aficionado working part-time in the office. She works really closely with our land managers and has key oversight of nursery stock and tree logistics
Andrew is a finance professional, woodland owner-manager and woodworker. He has spent most of his working life in and around finance.
Gravitating naturally to the ‘commercial’ end of the sector, Andrew holds a number of Finance Director posts with small UK businesses and start-ups. Additionally, he has been appointed to manage the financial, contractual and commercial side of specific major projects. His background is in media and communications and also UK Furniture Designer-makers. More recently, Andrew has brought his experience to Charities and Community interest Companies: he is engaged in supporting a number of social enterprises in southwest England. A ‘youthful’ 58, Andrew lives in the Cotswold household with his wife and two sons.
Volunteer Coordination and Strategy
Phil Middleton worked in event management in Indonesia during the 1990s.
He returned to the UK to work in the conference industry, co-founding The Insurance Network in 2004, which company he stills runs with particular responsibility for sponsorship.
Our trustees, who are all local to the Brecon Beacons and equipped with diverse skills, play a significant role in supporting the charity. They meet regularly.
James Suter runs the multi-award winning Gliffaes Hotel, near Crickhowell in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park. The hotel has a remarkable collection of specimen and native trees.
The son of a Dorset farmer, James served in the Coldstream Guards and worked for United Distillers (now Diageo). He has volunteered for the Brecon Mountain Rescue Team and served as a Welsh Assembly Appointee on the Brecon Beacons National Park Committee.
Andrew Erskine worked in the tourism industry for over 30 years, including two decades establishing, managing and selling a successful, family run tour operating business.
He has over seven years’ experience working on community energy projects in rural communities. He was chairman of Crucorney Environmental Group and director of The Green Valleys CIC (developing micro-hydro projects throughout Wales) for six years, with oversight of community interests and development.
Richard Roderick has an OND in Agriculture from Aberystwyth University. He is a Farming Connect mentor, an HCC Scholar, an associate of the Royal Agricultural Societies and in 2020-21, president of the Brecon Agricultural Show.
He is also chair of the Beacons Water Group, part the Dwr Cymru Welsh Water’s ‘Brecon Beacons Mega Catchment’. For 35 years, Richard has farmed at Newton Farm in the Usk Valley, a family business producing quality beef and lamb. The farm, part of environmental schemes since 2000 creating streamside corridors, planting hedgerows and trees and preventing riverbank erosion, has won the prestigious FWAG Silver Lapwing Award.
Hugh Colvin has planted or overseen the planting of 250,000 trees.
Since 1980, he has been directing, advising or raising funds for a wide range of forestry, environmental, community and arts projects, and looks after his own small woodland in the Brecon Beacons.
Bob worked in the Water and Environmental Sector across England and Wales for over 40 years.
He started his career focussing on land drainage and water supply, then managed teams covering catchment management issues including Forestry, Agriculture and Geoscience issues across Wales. This broad catchment wide approach has brought into sharp focus the challenge of making the best sustainable use of the services that the environment delivers to all of us.
In balancing the often conflicting needs of society with those of the environment he led the NRW programme to deliver new innovative solutions to these challenges. He advised Government and NGO’s on Water, Forestry, Agriculture and Catchment issues.
He is now retired but is still engaged in advice and support to Welsh Water’s Brecon Beacons Mega Catchment initiative, local history projects, and is a director of the Elan Valley Trust.
Our Board of Trustees is supported by an Advisory Board.
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