Staff

Outdoor educators

for activities & outdoor residential courses

The reason we believe we can provide excellent outdoor courses is because our staff are highly experienced and qualified. We assign a member of staff to each group for the duration of the course, so that they can build a rapport and understand all their abilities socially and physically. As we don’t need to work to a strict programme, our staff can therefore choose the best activity and venue on a daily basis to maximise the groups learning and development.  Friendly and helpful, we will make sure you have a great time!

Qualifications: Mountain Instructor Certificate (MIC),  Level 4 Inland Kayak,  Level 3 Sea & 5 star,  Level 2 Canoe,  MSci Geophysics

Gareth Davies

Operations Manager

Gareth has been working as an outdoor instructor since 2002 running courses across the UK and abroad. He holds the highest UK mountaineering qualification (MIC) and coaches kayaking on grades of white water and on the sea.

He is a joint director of Arete Outdoor Centre and oversees all the courses and bookings at the centre. He also manages Sea 2 Summit and has many years experience running outdoor education residentials in North Wales.  

Passionate about the outdoors, he believes in the advantages of adventure activities in developing real life skills and confidence building for individuals. His sessions are always tailored for each group allowing everyone within the group to maximize their enjoyment and benefits from the activities and challenges. He has both an academic and outdoor background, with his earlier years spent studying at the University of Leeds to gain a MSci in Geophysics, allowing for a rounded approach.

With a thorough knowledge of the outdoor venues in North Wales and a patient understanding of how people learn, he will make sure the courses at Arete Outdoor Centre will exceed your expectations

Richard Link

Centre Manager

Richard has worked in outdoor education centres for over 16 years, including at Arete Centre under its original name of Llanrug Outdoor Education Centre. He fully believes in the positive outcome that outdoor education has, having witnessed the impact it has on the development of young people and adults alike. Through his career he has gained a range of qualifications including his Winter Mountain Leader, so that he can guide groups up any UK mountain, over all season and Level 4 coach for kayak and canoe enabling him to coach in all conditions on the sea and rivers. 

The outdoors is his passion, with a wealth of knowledge and essential experience, built up through leading kayak expeditions to most continents, climbing in the Alps, Himalayas, USA and South America. This enthusiasm easily spills out during sessions, captivating and motivating groups.

He has a true desire to further the opportunities for the young people and feels privileged to currently provide ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunities for those attending an Arete course.

Qualifications:  Winter Mountain Leader,  SPA,  Level 4 Inland Kayak,  Level 4 Sea Kayak,  Level 4 Open Canoe,  Level 2 Mine Leader,  Mountain Instructor Award (MIA) training

Qualifications:  Winter Mountain Leader,  SPA,  Level 2 Kayak,  3 Star Canoe,  Level 2 Mine Leader,  BSc Outdoor and Environmental Education

Crystal Patton

Senior Tutor & Course Director

Crystal’s commitment to using the medium of the the outdoors for the personal and social development of pupils is readily apparent to anyone who works with her. She takes every opportunity to promote pupils’ understanding of how they can make positive contributions to their relationships with others, and never forgoes an opportunity to enhance their knowledge and understanding about their surroundings.

Crystal has gained a wealth of experience through instructing in both South and North Wales and was an instructor at Llanrug Outdoor Education Centre before it became Arete. Her continuity through this change is therefore a valuable asset to the centre for her understanding of the different client schools and their specific needs.

Crystal’s enthusiasm for the outdoors reflects both her appreciation for the powerful learning experiences that can be enjoyed there, and her passion for exploring those environs in her own time. She is a keen mountaineer and canoeist with a love of rock climbing and sea kayaking in particular. And she enjoys getting out and about on her mountain bike or walking with her famous dog Maisy!

Crystal holds a BSc in Outdoor and Environmental Education from the John Moores University, Liverpool.

David Barnard

Senior Tutor & Course Director

Dave is passionate about the educational potential offered by outdoor activities. He has taught both physics and outdoor activities in three schools across North Wales, and worked as an outdoor edcation instructor for two local outdoor centres. Throughout this long apprenticeship he has questioned and refined his brand of pedagogy. He is therefore able to bring a vast amount of experience to bear in his new senior position at Arete and particulary likes to make explicit links between learning inside and outside of the classroom.

When not working Dave enjoys getting out on the mountains, rivers, cliffs and sea with friends and his young daughters. He has climbed all over the UK, in France, Spain and even Luxembourg but he is more likely to be found in a kayak these days. He has been on many paddling trips to the Alps, Scotland, Ireland and many regions of England, but most of all loves the continually renewed challenges offered by the many white water rivers and tidal races to be found on his doorstep in North Wales.

As well as his instructional qualifications Dave has a BSc. in Environmental Science, an MSc. in Science, Technology and Industrialisation, and a PGCE in Outdoor Activities and Physics.

Qualifications:  PGCE,  Winter Mountain Leader,  Mountaineering Instructors Award (MIA),  Level 3 Inland Kayak, Level 3 Sea Kayak,  3 Star Canoe,  Level 2 Mine Leader.

Students look at undergrounds map and choose where to go next on their educational residential course

Qualifications: Winter Mountain Leader, Single Pitch Award, Mountain Instructor Award training, Level 2 canoe & kayak, 4 star sea kayak leader, LCMLA Level 1 Mine Leader with Level 2 training, Surf coach lifeguard, Mountain Bike Instructor, Level 2 Forest Schools Trained,  BA Media 

Sophie Holdstock

Senior Tutor & Course Director

Sophie enjoys having adventures whether they are on the rock, in a boat or out with groups on our outdoor education courses. She has a positive attitude, which rubs off onto the groups and spurs them on to complete the next challenge. With over 10 years of experience she balances the content, so that the group are continually engaged, with achievable and worthwhile goals to aim for.

A passionate rock climber she is often exploring the local cliffs of North Wales, while taking trips further afield for mountaineering in the Alps and sport climbing in Italy and Spain. She is equally adept in a boat with sea kayaking expeditions up in Scotland and exploring the rivers of Slovenia and Austria to name a few.

Jon Elliot

Senior Tutor

Qualifications: PGCE,  Mountain Instructor Certificate (MIC),  Level 2 Mine Leader, Level 4 kayak,   Level 3 Canoe.  30 years experience including being Head of Centre for Llanrug OEC.

Rod White, Senior Tutor.

Qualifications: PGCE, Mountain Instructor Certificate (MIC),  Level 2 mine leader,  Level 4 kayak and sea kayak,  Level 3 canoe with 5 star leader.

Rod White

Senior Tutor

I am passionate about all aspects of the outdoors and, as a teacher and parent, have seen the benefits of outdoor education for all ages.  At a time when we are increasingly detached from the natural world, I believe it is incredibly important that as many young people as possible are given the opportunity to experience real outdoor adventure experiences.  North Wales is an amazing place to work and it is really rewarding to be able to facilitate memorable and education experiences for young people here.

Louise Beetlestone

Senior Tutor

Qualifications: Mountain Instructor Certificate (MIC), 4 star in kayak, sea kayak and canoe, Level 3 kayak coach, Level 2 canoe coach

Group of pupils looking towards the mountain.

Qualifications: Mountain Instructor Certificate (MIC), Level 2 Canoe coach, Level 1 mine leader with Level 2 training.

Paul James

Senior Tutor

Konrad Doyle

Senior Tutor

Qualifications: Mountain Instructor Certificate (MIC), Level 1 Canoe coach, 4 star sea kayak leader, Level 1 mine training

Group of pupils looking towards the mountain.

Qualifications: PGCE, Winter Mountain Leader training, Level 1 coach with paddle sport leader, Single Pitch Award

Holly Moseley

Outdoor Tutor

Matthew Hawkins

Senior Tutor

Qualifications: Mountain Instructor Certificate (MIC), Level 2 mine leader, Level 4 inland kayak, Level 3 canoe with 5 star canoe leader, 4 star sea kayak leader, Level 1 raft guide