The Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014–2020 delivers the second pillar of the Common Agriculture Policy in Wales. The WRN manages communications for this area.
In accordance with EU best practice on governance of national rural networks, a Wales Rural Network Steering Group has been established to advise and assist with the implementation of the Wales RDP.
The Steering Group is specifically tasked with:
- Advising and assisting with the development of a work-plan, which involves stakeholders, improves the quality of RDP implementation, informs the broader public and potential beneficiaries about the RDP, and fosters innovation.
Eirlys Lloyd - Steering Group Chair
Eirlys works as the Community Partnerships Manager with Ceredigion County Council where she manages the delivery of the Ceredigion RDP LEADER programme 2014-2020.
Eirlys’ key skills include -
- Experienced project leader and manager, with proven track record in delivering rural development projects.
- Knowledge and understanding of European Funding and European Regulations.
- Collaborative working with partners/stakeholders – a recent example includes contributing to the development of Food Innovation Wales.
- Rural community development, focusing on rural isolation/exclusion.
- Development of supply chain networks, working with producers, processors and hospitality sector.
She is currently acting as Centre Manager for Food Centre Wales which offers technical support to the food & drink industry along with the management and day to day operation of food incubator units, Aberystwyth Farmer’s Market and a number of food fairs. Her career background is in rural community regeneration and she has experience in working with European and National funding programmes.
Einir works for Menter a Busnes on the Farming Connect project as Regional
Development Manager for North Wales and finds it a privilege to play a part in
providing the benefits of the new Farming Connect programme to our farmers
and foresters in Wales.
She was a Farm Liaison Officer with the Welsh Government until 2015, where
she offered guidance and support to farmers on the Glastir Entry, Glastir
Advanced and Glastir Commons schemes.
In 2014 Einir became a business partner in the family farm with her parents
and partner. The first step they took was to take advantage of the opportunity
for a grant assisted professional Strategic Business Plan through Farming
This proved to be a turning point in the farm’s history, as it allowed
them to form a strategy of their aims and objectives for the business over the
From a social and community point of view, Einir has seen Rural
Development funding make a significant difference locally, with grants being
received for the renovation of the Village Hall - an all important tool against
loneliness that can be prevalent in remote rural Communities.
Cllr Goronwy Edwards
Goronwy has been a member of the farming community for over fifty years
and in that period has become increasingly involved in seeking to ensure that
both our agricultural industries and rural communities are well placed to taken
on the ever changing challenges and opportunities that lie ahead .
Over the years he has been involved in many complementary roles in relation
to both Agriculture, local government and rural development. These roles
have included -
- An elected member of both Conwy County Borough Council and its
- forerunner Aberconwy Borough Council since 1991.
- A Cabinet member for Economic development Tourism and Leisure.
- A period as Leader of CCBC Cabinet.
- Membership of the Snowdonia National Park Authority.
- Membership of The Snowdonia Green Key sustainable transport partnership.
- Membership of The council of the National Eisteddfod of Wales.
- A member of the North Wales Tourist Board.
- A member of the Governing Body of the Universities of Wales.
- A member of the Welsh Books Council.
Goronwy was also The Chair of the original Conwy Local Action Group and
has also previously been involved with the Wales Rural Network and the UK
Rachael and her husband farm 1200 acres in Gwynedd as a beef and sheep
enterprise. The majority of the holding (nearly 80%) falls within the
classification of upland, and therefore she has a comprehensive
understanding of the agricultural pressures of such areas and their position in
The farm has an organic holding with a strong focus on agri-environmental
practices and a commitment to sustainability within their own business model.
Rachael is a motivated and committed individual working at a senior level in a
retail tourism agricultural business in North Wales. She has been a senior
manager in the food retail sector for the past seven years and has managed a
couple of farm shops, latterly managing a large farm-diversification retail
business focused on the tourism industry.
Following maternity leave in 2012, Rachael returned to the Rhug Estate to
manage business development and operations for the retail arm of the
business including off site selling, and the development of a destination
strategy plan to make the Rhug Estate a tourist destination.
John currently works as Resource and Business Manager at Pwllpeiran Upland Research Centre for Aberystwyth University, a platform formed to develop new sustainable innovation in Upland areas.
Trials include development of Agro-ceutical products, development of weather tolerant legumes, long term extensification grazing plots, Sustainable intensification, miscanthus for livestock bedding. And an Integrated constructed wetland. The platform is a nominated Farming connect Innovation and development site.
His previous roles have included Centre Director at Food Centre Wales, a state of the art development Centre for the Agri- food Industry throughout Wales, NFU Policy adviser and a livestock procurement officer for a livestock coop.
John’s present and previous roles has provided expertise in Agriculture, forestry and food enterprises. John provides a wider role of special adviser to the Cambrian Mountain Initiative and Pentir Pumlumon He’s been involved in Community economic development, and developed a bid for the Aberystwyth indoor market and is currently Chairman of Ceredigion Local action Group, administrating the Leader programme.
Tony is a fifth generation tenant farmer in the Elan Valley, Powys. The farm business is focused on delivering environmental objectives, Tony has embraced environmental schemes; the farm is in the Glastir Advanced and Organic schemes. Several hectares of new woodland have been created under various planting schemes.
Tony has sold meat online and currently processes biochar and charcoal, these diversification enterprises have given him first hand experience of working with GLASU (LEADER +) and many other RDP schemes.
Tony has a Masters Degree in Renewable Energy and is both a Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC) and a Nuffield Farming Scholar (NSch).
As well as many previous engagements Tony is currently chair of the ‘Nature Friendly Farming Network, Wales‘, ‘Rhayader Running Club’ and sits on the organising committee of the ‘Royal Welsh Spring Festival’. Under the Farming Connect mentoring scheme Tony offers support and advice on renewable energy projects to other farmers.
Delyth has extensive experience of working with the Agriculture and Food
sector as well as European Structural Funds and has also been strongly
involved with rural issues and projects. She has a strong strategic and project
management background and vast and varied experiences of working and
networking within both the public and private sector.
Delyth is currently Head of Dairy Development Wales at AHDB Dairy and her
key skills include -
- Working within the agri-food sector
- A broad knowledge base and involvement with agriculture relatedsubjects i.e. climate change, environmental sustainability, employment etc.
- Project development, management and evaluation
- In-depth knowledge and experience of European Funding
Nikki has worked in Local Government for 15 years developing a deep
understanding of rural, economic and social regeneration challenges and
solutions. Managing the RDP in Torfaen for the past 7 years, she has built up
her skills and knowledge base around the key priorities under the Wales Rural
Her background as a Social Inclusion Officer and Community Development
Worker, means her knowledge and understanding of the complex needs of
rural communities across Wales is vast and she has a particular interest and
expertise in tackling poverty and social inclusion, rural regeneration and
community economic development.
Nikki’s career with the RDP has resulted in good working relationships with
key partners throughout Wales, practicing close working relationships with all
Rural Development Managers, Senior Executives in Welsh Government and
associated partner organisations.
Arfon has been directly involved with Welsh agri-environment-climate (RDP)
schemes for over twenty years. A recent notable achievement was his
participation in the independent review of Glastir Advanced which made
recommendations to Government.
In his capacity as Land Use Manager for RSPB Cymru he was fully engaged
in the recent reform of the CAP. His aim, along with UK colleagues and EU
Birdlife partners was to progress the CAP towards a policy that drives and
maintains sustainable land use.
Arfon’s other skills and responsibilities include -
- He represents the environmental sector on the current PMC
- He is on the Glastir Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (GMEP) advisory group.
- He spent two years as Welsh Government’s policy lead on Freshwater Fisheries.
- Running his own successful ecological consultancy.
Within RSPB Cymru, Arfon is responsible for a number of landscape scale initiatives which includes ensuring that they have appropriate monitoring and evaluation programmes.
Dr Elizabeth Lewis-Reddy
Liz is a Senior Policy and Research Consultant in RSK ADAS’ Policy and Economics team and has recently joined ADAS after more than a decade of work in the Welsh Conservation Sector.
The focus of her work is on the subject of ecosystem service delivery through sustainable land management. This has involved liaising with all the stakeholders in the rural community to carry out practical works whilst also working with a range of partners from all three sectors to progress the development of Payments for Ecosystem Services across the UK. Liz has extensive experience of the design and implementation of agri-environment schemes and communicating the philosophy and practicalities behind ecosystem services and public payments for public goods.
Over the course of the past five years Liz has been selected to participate in two programmes aimed at inspiring leaders and entrepreneurship in both the agriculture and conservation sector:
- Farming Connect Agri-Academy Leadership Programme 2014
- The Wildlife Trusts Business Skills Development Programme 2013 – 2015
As an Organic beef and sheep farmer she also has a keen understanding of the pressures and opportunities facing the Welsh agricultural sector during this time of significant change.