Wild Ground’s vital conservation work to help nature and habitats is only possible thanks to the support of its devoted volunteers and dedicated staff.

One of those staff members is Leah Williams who is Wild Ground’s Ecology & Conservation Manager.

Leah first joined Wild Ground back in 2014 when it was then known as North East Wales Wildlife (NEWW). Leah works closely with the Reserves Officers and external organisations and specialist contractors to ensure that the charity’s nature reserves are managed appropriately.  

Many of Wild Ground’s reserves are designated sites, such as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) which support a wide range of protected species including great crested newts, bats and otters. Part of Leah’s role is to ensure that Wild Ground’s work is delivered in accordance with the required protected species and habitats licences and permits, and to work with staff and contractors to design, plan and implement habitat improvements such as pond creation and restoration, and the control of invasive non-native species. Leah also leads on Wild Ground’s programme of spring-time amphibian surveys, monitoring a suite of 153 ponds – a number that grows year on year! 

Leah said, “I feel really lucky to do the job I do. I love wildlife and have been fascinated by the natural world for as long as I can remember. I feel very privileged to be able to play a small part in giving nature a helping hand, especially in the current context of unprecedented habitat loss and fragmentation and the challenges of climate change. I love the fact that my job allows me to constantly learn new things about nature, and I’m also a big re-wilding fan. I would love to one day see wild boar rootling around our reserves!”

An interesting fact about Leah is that she can pilot a glider, completing her flying training at Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) Yeovilton in Somerset.