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Phew, what an Autumn!

Well, it’s been a very pleasing conclusion to my autumn series of workshops for mountain leaders and mountaineering instructors. I finished off with a ‘Teaching Navigation- a Pragmatic Approach’ last Friday for members of BAIML. I’d like to thank everybody who did manage to make it and I’m sorry for those who didn’t due to the virus lockdown situations.

One thing that did shine through bright and clear is how much we all appreciated being out, talking, listening, thinking, and moving over the hills. We all agreed the workshops did us all the power of good for our mental health not simply our CPD. It is really important for us to remember, at the moment, that if we feel like that than lets spare a thought for all those people who’ve missed out on the outdoor experiences this year and for those who’ve lost their incomes due to the loss of outdoor experiences this year. Residential Outdoor Centres have had the worse possible year. Whilst some are supported financially most are not. I do hope you’ve been able to sign the petitions about restarting school trips and about some direct government funding towards Outdoor Centres.

I really like the idea of the Outdoor Education Centre line It just shows a continuum from early years to later years of progressive exposure to nature and the outdoors. It is, for me, important to remember that outdoor education, if it doesn’t start at home, starts on school fields, and for many it doesn’t and that is where our ‘push’ really needs to be looking forward. Residential visits, though of fundamental importance, are the tip of the outdoor education iceberg and it’s going to be a while before schools are comfortable organising trips away I’m afraid, but let’s make sure the building blocks are there.

Raising the profile of the outdoor sector can only be made easier by the coming together of representative bodies such as UK Outdoors I love that health and adventure are in the tag line. I have wondered if trying to follow and enhance traditional school curriculum subjects might not be the best for us and that an agenda of health, physical and mental, through guided adventures is what we really do. Anyway, I’m just glad our representative bodies are coagulating. Maybe the BMC and the Ramblers should join together, maybe Mountain Training should come into that as well, I’m sure you can think of others. Until we can sit next to the NFU and the Countryside Alliance as, apparently, one organisation we will never get the political say we deserve, particularly given our commitment to environment and the health of people.

Maybe, if any budding young volunteers are to break into the serried ranks of grey hair mature gentlemen that represent us, then maybe, they should come on a mission to pull us all closer together, one voice for the sector… imagine that!

But, back to me! Nature of Snowdonia goes from strength to strength at the moment and I have now released loads of workshop dates for the spring of 2021. I’ve avoided January and most of February as I fear more lockdowns, but surely, we’ll be safe to plan things for March and April!? There are a few new workshops for next year. Dates for ‘Down on the Farm’ are awaiting confirmation. If you’ve enjoyed one of my workshops previously then not only would it be great to see you again, but perhaps you could recommend to others please. All details are on my website

Look out too for my Podcasts, YouTube videos and other bits and bobs, if there’s anything you’d like me to do next year, then just let me know.

Merry Christmas



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