WU’s Sustainability and Environment Team ensure that the University operates as sustainably as possible.

Lead by the University's Director of Operations Lynda Powell, the team acts as a focal point for all aspects of sustainability within the University and manages a variety of projects, from biodiversity on all campuses, engagement schemes such as green champions, and WGU’s growing facility to sustainable development within the curriculum. SAF works closely with WgSU and their WgSU sustainability officer. 

Content Accordions

  • Lynda Powell - Director of Operations

    Lynda Powell

    At Wrexham University, Lynda aims to make a significant contribution to Campus 2025- an £80m strategy to enhance the university’s campuses (Land, buildings, and infrastructure) to ensure that students have the best facilities and learning environment. As Chair of the University’s Sustainability Action Forum, Lynda is also providing leadership and support in ensuring that the University becomes a more environmentally aware, energy efficient and ethical institution.

  • Mike Hamer - Head of Estates & Campus Management

    MIKE HAMER - Mike.Hamer@wrexham.ac.uk

    Coming from varied career in the Built Environment , Mike joined the University as Head of Estates & Campus Management in March 2016.  A carpenter by trade, this was followed by many years of continuous study and development that led to Mike being awarded a Degree in Building Maintenance Management form the University if Wales in 2007.   

    Always looking for the next collaboration, Mike in is regular contact with staff, students, HE sector peers and local agencies sharing knowledge and best practice to enable positive environmental change.  Since joining the University in 2007, Mike has undertaken many schemes of modernisation to improve the internal and external learning environment.  A desire to reduce carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency is at the heart of any scheme along with the introduction of renewable technologies that with pave the way on the Universities Journey to net Zero.   A passionate ‘Green Champion’ and active member of the University’s Sustainability Action Forum, Mike’s Team are responsible for the implementation and monitoring of initiatives in order to reach key targets set out in the Universities Environmental & Sustainability Strategy.

    Mike is passionate about sustainability in both the natural & built environment taking a hands on approach to building conservation,  restoration of wild habitats and the improvement of waterways. He is a keen fly fisherman with an interest in the preservation of Wild Brown Trout and Atlantic Salmon spending much of his free time with the Kingfishers and Dippers on the banks of the River Dee

  • Jenny Thomas - Safety Health & Environment Manager

    jenny thomas

    JENNY THOMAS - Jenny.Thomas@wrexham.ac.uk

    With a background in Environment, Health & Safety roles in the manufacturing sector, Jenny joined the University as the Senior Safety, Health and Environment Advisor in January 2020. With her degree in Environmental Science, Jenny works enthusiastically to collaborate with staff, students and local environmental groups drive positive environmental change.

    Since starting at the University, Jenny has championed sustainability projects, including joining Refill.org.uk and increasing the number of publically available water fountains, signing up as a Plastic Reduction Champion as part of the Plastic Free Wrecsam campaign and signing up as a Hedgehog Friendly Campus. Jenny leads on the University Sustainability Action Forum and works on various environmental initiatives with the aim of achieving the key targets set out in our Sustainability Strategy.

    Jenny is passionate about sustainability and the natural environment. In her spare time she volunteers for the RSPB at Burton Mere Wetlands and is a founding member of Mold Plastic Reduction, which achieved accreditation from Surfers Against Sewage as a Plastic Free Community in 2020.

  • Dr David Sprake - senior lecturer in mechanical engineering

    DR DAVID SPRAKE - david.sprake@wrexham.ac.uk

    David is a Senior Lecturer in Engineering and Programme Leader for Renewable and Sustainable Engineering. Before entering higher education, David spent 10 years working in engineering (contracting and consulting) projects such as power stations, road construction, sea defences, public health (fresh water), topographic surveying and structural engineering.

  • Andy Meincken - Building Services Manager

    ANDY MEINCKEN - Andrew.meincken@wrexham.ac.uk

    Andy Meincken joined Wrexham University full-time in January 2011 as the maintenance supervisor, and in February 2018 was appointed the role of Building Services Manager. Andy is responsible for the Maintenance Team and Building Services Assistants.

    Andy is also a member of the Green Champions. He leads his team in implementing sustainable practices within his department focusing on heating, lighting and emissions. Andy thrives when presented with new opportunities for reducing energy within the University, and works closely with the Environmental and Sustainability Co-Ordinator to do so. Andy and his team are currently focusing their efforts on sustainable lighting and how we at the university can increase recycling of larger waste items.

    Andy delights in looking after the office plants and on his days off Andy enjoys spending his time outdoors, working in his garden.

  • Darren Griffiths - Contracts & Compliance Manager

    DARREN GRIFFITHS - darren.griffiths@wrexham.ac.uk

    Darren Griffiths has worked full-time for Wrexham University since 2001, originally in the position of Building Surveyor. In 2018, Darren was appointed to the role of Contracts and Compliance Manager.

    Darren is a keen member of the Green Champions and is enthusiastic about reducing his carbon footprint. During any construction or redesign projects, Darren implements new energy technologies to ensure that WU is always hitting its sustainability targets. Darren also focuses on the re-diversion of construction waste to minimise the waste created by the new projects. Darren is working hard towards Campus 2025 to ensure our estate is sustainable and efficient going into the future.

    Darren enjoys spending his time in nature and relishes spending the weekends with his family caravanning and teaching them about our environment. 

  • Dr Christopher White - Lecturer in Health, Mental Health and Well-Being

    Chris White Image

    DR CHRISTOPHER WHITE - christopher.white@wrexham.ac.uk

    Research interests and expertise in Active Travel. A recent study explores the standing of AT as a public health issue, focusing on the public health workforce of Greater Manchester (GM). GM was identified as an area of interest because of the unique context presented by two recent ‘devolvement deals’ in health and transport.

    Read more 

  • Pip Francis - Residential Life Coordinator

    PIP FRANCIS - accommodation@wrexham.ac.uk

    Pip Joined WU full-time in 2015 as a site assistant looking after students, residents and land at Northop Campus. In 2017 she became part of WU’s sustainability team and the green champions, taking care of the universities sustainability comms, promoting behaviour change, raising awareness, encouraging participation and has been voted WgSU’s Sustainability Champion of the year, three times, for her voluntary work on the sustainability agenda. 

    In 2021 she became Residential life coordinator at WU’s Wrexham Student Village and has made it her mission to create a WSV community by organising events/activities, competitions and day trips for residents to get involved with. Pip’s background in hospitality has enforced a strong commitment to delivering excellent customer service, and becoming a mum of two has given her a new found appreciation of the importance of love, care and support. 

    She’s an advocate for groups such as White Ribbon, Green Glyndwr, LGBTQ+, Fairtrade, Carers for Wales, and has been trained as a Mental Health First Aider, Fire Marshal, First Aider and Responder.

  • Carl Payne - Northop Campus Site Assistant

    CARL PAYNE - northophelpline@wrexham.ac.uk

    Carl originally came to Wrexham  to obtain an undergraduate degree in Wildlife and Plant Biology and since graduating has worked within the estates department on a casual basis at Northop campus until being employed full time in December 2021 where he works as the site assistant.

    Since then, Carl has joined WU Northop's mission to create a campus rich in biodiversity. He has worked with Dennis Powell writing the biodiversity plan and keeps the university’s biodiversity reports updated.

    Carl was responsible for the Bioblitz in 2019 producing nearly 600 records and 398 species in one day with a team of recorders and is our link to our Local Environmental Recording Centre and wildlife trusts having recorded in the past with the BSBI (Botanical Society for the British Isles)

    He has taught botany for the university as a sessional lecturer as part of a short course and is a keen entomologist. Carl has excellent connections to most specialist areas in the field of natural history. He sits on SAF and as a Green Champion has organised forest training for staff and students with PDT. He is a member of the Royal Biological society and Hedgehog Friendly Campus group and is trained as a Fire Marshal, First Aider & First responder.

  • Alec Shepley - Associate Dean for Research

    ALEC SHEPLEY - Alec.Shepley@wrexham.ac.uk 

    Associate Dean for Research, Professor of Arts and Society at Wrexham University and leading two large-scale research projects, the EPSRC-funded project 'Ecological Citizens' and the AHRC-funded project 'Public Map Platform', both of which are major projects focused on the green transition in north Wales.

    Alec is an award-winning leader in Higher Education with many years experience. Originally trained in fine art, and maintains a successful art practice combining it with research across discipline boundaries to extend the language of art, community and place. His research has attracted funding from the Arts & Humanities Research Council; the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council; the British Council; the Arts Council of England; and the Arts Council of Wales.

    His artwork has been exhibited widely, both nationally and internationally, with examples held in a number of public and private collections in north America, Europe and Asia. A member of the Royal Society of Arts, a Senior Fellow of Advance HE, a Journal Reviewer for Austrian Science Fund (FWF) Program for Arts-based Research (PEEK), a Fellow of the Royal Cambrian Academy, and a member of European League of Institutes of the Arts.


Content Accordions

  • DR AMIYA CHAUDHRY - Senior lecture in science

    DR AMIYA CHAUDHRY - amiya.chaudhry@wrexham.ac.uk

    Dr Amiya Chaudhry received her BSc (Hons) (1998) in Environmental Science and a PhD (2004) in Polymer Chemistry from the University of Sussex. Her PhD, funded by the Atomic Weapons Establishment UK was based on the characterisation and degradation of a typical room temperature vulcanized (RTV) filled foamed poly(dimethyl)siloxane rubber.  In 2004 she was appointed as an associate lecturer at the Open University on a number of technology and science courses. In 2005 she joined the Materials Science Research Centre at Wrexham University as a knowledge transfer associate on a two-year research project funded by the Department of Trade and Industry and Almetron Ltd.  In 2007 she took a permanent academic position and is now a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She is currently a senior lecturer and a programme leader for MRes Analytical and Forensic Chemistry and BSc (Hons) Biochemistry at the University. Her research interests lie in the broad area of polymer degradation and biopolymers, and works within two research centres: The Centre of Water Soluble Polymers and Advanced Composite Centres. She also teaches on the Forensic Science programmes and has extensive research experience in forensic analysis. She is passionate about women in STEM and actively involved in inspiring girls and women to study and pursue careers in STEM fields

  • Dan Knox - Programme Leader in Product Design and Co-Investigator of Ecological Citizens project

    Dan Knox image

    DAN KNOX - daniel.knox@wrexham.ac.uk

    Research interests and expertise in:

    • Product design engineering and adept at creating enduring, functional products.
    • Extensive career spanning various design and engineering industries, including performance fabrics, premium electronic consumer goods, and FMCG.
    • Experience includes roles at Dyson and Unilever's Global Design Technology Hub.
    • Specialised in consumer research, prototyping, testing, and design for manufacture.
    • Developed strategies aligned with Unilever's Sustainable Living Plan.
    • Shares diverse industry knowledge and experience as a lecturer.
    • Co-Investigator in the Ecological Citizens Research Project, funded by UKRI's EPSRC, collaboration with Royal College of Art and University of York's Stockholm Environment Institute to establish the Ecological Citizens Network+.

From WGSU:  Katie Taffinder    Marc Caldecott   Carrie Bennett  WSU Sustainability officer

Student Representatives on University committees 

Green champions

Wrexham University is committed to environmental sustainability through Education for Sustainability, creating opportunities for partnership and engagement and to reducing environmental impacts such as drive to carbon neutral, reducing waste, preventing pollution, promoting sustainable travel, and championing biodiversity. To help us address a full spectrum of environmental sustainability themes, we have a team of staff and student Green Champion volunteers to help us all to be more environmentally aware in the workplace, to bring the best thinking of our employees and together help treat our planet’s resources more carefully and considerately. 


Each year, there are lots of opportunities to get involved with environmental and sustainability activities including: 


  • Managing and maintaining the Communal Garden and other wild patches 
  • Biodiversity assessment and improvement 
  • Resource Use/Waste reduction/Circular Economy schemes 
  • Energy/Carbon Neutral projects 
  • Community outreach projects 
  • Sustainability events for staff and students 


Being a Green Champion gives training opportunities, as well as invitations to sustainability lectures, events and campaigns to get involved in. A regular green champions newsletter keeps everyone up-to-date with Wrexham University’s sustainable news and provides inspiration in how to inspire others.  


If you are interested in being a Green Champion, you can contact sustainability@wrexham.ac.uk 

View our latest WU Green Champions News

Safety, Health and Environment Committee

The committee consists of staff from both academic and professional services. This group discusses and implements the objectives from the strategy and reports through to the Vice Chancellors board.

WGSU’s CEO sits on the SHE committee, ensuring all duties are carried out within the organisation. Having a member of WGSU on the SHE committee ensures that best practice can be shared amongst students and throughout departments. The University takes its role within the wider community seriously and is committed to establishing and strengthening partnerships with local business, charities and other organisations.

Collaboration/partnerships already established:

  • Flintshare- a community led growing group.
  • F&DBKA- local beekeepers association.
  • British Heart Foundation.
  • Food Bank.
  • Flying Start.

Safety, Health and Environment Committee tackles issues of mutual concern to local residents, students and the University. The committee meet regularly. Reports on sustainability are made to the committee from the Sustainability Action Working Group, including a review of community issues raised and dealt with throughout the year.

Sustainability Action Forum

In 2016, the University established a Sustainability Action Forum (SAF), which includes student, academic, professional department and union representation. In 2023 the group established 3 clusters to give greater focus on the key priorities in the Environmental Sustainability Strategy:

  • Education for Sustainable Development
  • Partnerships and Engagement
  • Environmental Impact of Campus 2025

The clusters meet quarterly to plan, implement and review the University's sustainability agenda and progress against targets based on their focus topic. The cluster chairs meet three times a year with the Executive Director of Operations who chairs SAF..

Progress against targets is reviewed annually and approved by Executive Director of Operations, who chairs the Group.

The Sustainability Action Forum advise and make recommendations to the University on all aspects of sustainability and help to promote social responsibility within the University. They implement and review sustainable policies and promote the engagement of the University’s curriculum and research with issues relating to sustainability and social responsibility. They recruit and appoint green champions and disseminate information to the wider University community.

The Sustainability Action Forum reports to the Safety, Health and Environment Committee, whose membership includes student union, professional, academic and union representation. Currently, SAF is working to achieve targets set out in the Environmental Sustainability Strategy, Low Carbon Transition and Delivery Plan and maintaining its position in the People & Planet league table.

Alongside this, the Students’ Union has been working hard on the sustainability agenda and we are delighted to announce that they achieved an Excellent award from Green Impact with support and partnership from the University and the Sustainability Action Forum. The Green Impact panel recognised how small the institution is and commended the great partnership between both organisations in this area. 

Green Communities

We're commited to supporting local green community groups to help people lead a sustainable lifestyle. Find out more about the community groups below.

Content Accordions

  • North Wales Wildlife Trust

    Carl Payne, a WGU Wildlife & Plant Biology graduate, has become Vice Chairman of the North Wales Wildlife Trust

    The North Wales Wildlife Trust has a wealth of knowledge in practical conservation, and is always keen to pass on information. A collaboration between them and the University is an opportunity to share knowledge, resources and promote education.

    The Trust have the resources to ensure that conservation activities are supported; through a reciprocal agreement with WGU.

    The Trust also give support and supervision during pond clearance providing qualified personnel, with a newt licence. The offer to the Trust includes access to the different habitats to survey or perform other activities within the realms of conservation. 

    North Wales Wildlife Trust has a willing team of volunteers. There may be instances where theoretical concepts of what is to be executed in the field need to be discussed or taught. Some of these concepts will fall neatly into areas of conservation which are part of the curriculum, and therefore students can attend. 

    WGU Northop has a fantastic species list put together by Carl Payne that he regularly updates, and we hope to execute a bio-blitz in the near future. 

  • Flintshare

    Are you passionate about the environment, would you like to get involved with planting your very own fruit and veg at WGU? Head to our Northop Campus to get a patch in one of our five poly tunnels and between July – October and pick your own apples from WGU’s orchard.

    The University’s Northop Campus growing facility is run by a collaboration of community growing group Flintshare and WGU societies BotSoc and ZooSoc. You can get involved and learn about planting different seeds, weeding and transplanting and pest control. You will develop a practical understanding of horticultural techniques by understanding how to make compost, dig beds, as well as gain knowledge about different plants, insects and the eco system.

    Working in the growing facility provides a great distraction from your busy life and you can enjoy some fresh air while taking in the stunning views from our rural campus. It promotes the mental and physical health benefits of being outdoors, getting physical, being part of bigger change, meeting and connecting with people and enables the University to create connections with growers and local charities as a way of engaging with a larger community.

    So if you would like to get involved in growing your own healthy food with no carbon footprint- all free of charge, join Flintshare or WgSU Societies and get a patch at WGU’s growing facility.

  • Flint & District Beekeepers Association

    Populations of honeybees are in decline in the UK and around the world. WGU has teamed up with Flint & District Beekeepers Association providing some land for the installation of 14 beehives on its Northop campus.

    This is a fantastic opportunity to support and study the honeybee and emphasizes our efforts to become a more environmentally friendly organisation.

    Without insect pollination, about one third of the crops we eat would need to be pollinated by other means, at great expense. Bees are the predominant and most economically important group of pollinators in most agriculturally significant regions. 

    The aim of the association is to promote within their membership; good beekeeping practice, provide guidance and support, provide ongoing information and awareness, and introduce and support new beekeepers in the area.

  • Incredible Edible

    Incredible Edible are an informal network of self-organising individuals and groups, who are creating spaces in Wrexham where food is grown for anyone to access freely. They plan and share ideas for planting and growing.

    Any level of experience is welcome - all support needed to help tend, nurture and grow these free food growing projects.

    Our Health & Safety Green Champion Claire Doran, and Union Sustainability Officer Katie Saxby, applied for, received and co-ordinated planting for 100 mainly edible native trees on campus.


  • Think Green

    A place to share Sustainability related information, resources, projects and volunteering opportunities for students, staff, graduates and WGU related environment project workers. Think Green have been at the forefront of removing single-use plastics from WGU and promoting the universities free Refill stations, they helped the University achieve Fairtrade status. Sustainability and Fairtrade Network also won the Students Union Award for ‘Contribution and Collaboration’. Follow our Think Green Facebook page. 

  • Communal Garden

    Our Communal Garden is a place of peace and sanctuary for anyone to take some time out and enjoy the peace and tranquillity or get involved in growing. The wildlife pond makes a great space for quiet reflection to see what you can spot in its depths. If you’re luck you may catch sight of a newt swimming in the depths.

    The garden is jointly managed by the University and the Students Union to make a space to attract pollinators and other wildlife and for students to get involved with growing produce. Raised beds and the garden layout make it easy for everyone to participate. Students are encouraged to volunteer to maintain the space and get involved.

    Check out our Green Glyndwr social media pages to keep up to date with whats going on in the garden

     Communal Garden

    Campus map with garden location