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!

Gareth’s Qualifications: Winter Mountaineeing & Climbing Instructor (WMCI),  Level 4 Inland Kayak,  Level 3 Sea & 5 star,  Level 2 Canoe,  MSci Geophysic

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 all 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 maximise 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 seasons 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.

Richard’s Qualifications:  Winter Mountain Leader,  Rock Climbing Instructor (RCI),  Level 4 Inland Kayak,  Level 4 Sea Kayak,  Level 4 Open Canoe,  Level 2 Mine Leader,  Mountain Instructor Award (MIA) training

Crystal’s Qualifications:  Winter Mountain Leader,  Rock Climbing Instructor (RCI),  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 in 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 education 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 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 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.

Dave’s Qualifications:  PGCE,  Winter Mountain Leader, Mountaineering & Climbing Instructor (MCI),  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

Sophie’s Qualifications: Winter Mountain Leader, Rock Climbing Instructor (RCI), Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor 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

Jon’s Qualifications: PGCE,  Winter Mountaineering & Climbing Instructor (WMCI),  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.

Rod’s Qualifications: PGCE, Winter Mountaineering & Climbing Instructor (WMCI),  Level 2 mine leader,  Level 4 kayak and sea kayak,  Level 3 canoe with 5 star leader.

Rod White

Senior Tutor

Rod is 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, he believes 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

Lou  is always excited about the outdoors and loves spending time journeying through the mountains, down rivers and along coastlines. On her adventures she has canoed in Canada, sea kayaked in Norway, summited peaks in the Alps, rock climbed in the Arctic circle and walked across volcanoes in Iceland.
Outdoor education has been a part of her life for 20 years. It is very rewarding to facilitate learning in the outdoor environment, and see young people finish a course with new skills and knowledge which will enhance their futures. 
Outdoor Instructor Louise Beetlestone

Lou’s Qualifications: Winter Mountaineering & Climbing Instructor (WMCI), 4 star in kayak, sea kayak and canoe, Level 3 kayak coach, Level 2 canoe coach

Paul James Outdoor Instructor

Paul’s Qualifications: Winter Mountaineering & Climbing Instructor (WMCI), Level 2 Canoe & Kayak coach, Sea Kayak Leader trg, Level 2 Mine Leader, Level 2 Orienteering Coach, Chemistry BSc (Hons).

Paul James

Senior Tutor

Paul has been living and working in North Wales for 15 years. He is enthusiastic for
adventurous activity, be it rock climbing, canyoning, coasteering, mountaineering or mine
exploration. Being a keen mountaineer and climber he has climbed  extensively in the UK and in many places around the world  which includes the European Alps, Africa – Atlas and Kenya, Turkey, Jordan (Wadi Rum), Western USA states (Big Walling in Yosemite, Red Rocks, Joshua Tree). He is currently working on his love for floating down rivers and on the sea in a kayak!
Working in the beautiful and varied adventurous landscape of North Wales is a privilege. Being able to educate groups whilst taking part in adventurous activities is incredibly rewarding. Each week another new set of faces, with different backgrounds and aspirations, gives a fantastic dynamic to his job. It gives great satisfaction finding different ways to develop and educate the participants finding positive life learning experiences.

Konrad Doyle

Senior Tutor

Konrad has been an instructor for over 10 years and holds some of the top qualifications in the
UK. He is passionate about the development of young people through outdoor activities and helping provide opportunity for people to choose adventure and challenge.  He sees himself as a climber, mountaineer, skier, boater and traveler.
Konrad’s current ambitions are to free dive in Papa New Guinea, climb the North face of the Eiger and Ski the San Joaquin Colouir. Guilty pleasures are building rustic furniture, binge eating Toblerone.
Konrad Doyle Instructor

Konrad’s Qualifications: Winter Mountaineering & Climbing Instructor (WMCI), Level 1 Canoe coach, 4 star sea kayak leader, Level 1 mine leader.

outdoor instructor Holly Moseley

Holly’s Qualifications: BA (Hons) in Physical Education and Teaching, Winter Mountain Leader training, Level 1 coach with Paddle Sport Leader, Rock Climbing Instructor (RCI), Level 1 mine leader.

Holly Moseley

Senior Instructor & Director of Empathy

Holly is passionate about working with young people. She aims to inspire and motivate students to realise their full potential. She has worked with young people as a P.E. teacher, on outdoor education residentials and on overseas expeditions. Believing that outdoor adventure is the perfect vehicle to develop transferable skills and confidence to everyday life, Holly encourages her students to reflect on their experiences to aid understanding and development.

A perfect weekend in North Wales would be either getting wet coasteering, or surfing followed by a mountain scramble plus a bivvy somewhere wild. And if we are lucky enough to have snow on the Welsh hills you’ll find her on a pair of

Matthew Hawkins

Senior Tutor

Matt’s Qualifications: Winter Mountaineering & Climbing Instructor (WMCI), 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