GetOutside Champions: Jen and Sim Benson
Jen and Sim Benson are endurance athletes and authors/photographers of outdoor adventure guidebooks.
Katie is an artist and marine conservationist who's followed her love of wild places to a new life on the Isle of Skye.
After spending most of her twenties enjoying the fast pace of London, Katie decided to leave city life behind in 2013 and start anew somewhere closer to the nature. She arrived on Skye with nothing but a few belongings and never looked back.
Katie now wakes up to the sound of waves (or, more often, howling gales!). Inspired by the place that she lives, she creates artworks inspired by the colours Hebridean seas and the shapes of the landscapes around her.
When not in the studio she spends much of her time organising beach cleans or campaigning and volunteering for marine conservation causes. She has taken part in whale rescues as an active Marine Mammal Medic with BDMLR and is a Regional Rep for Surfers Against Sewage.
A love of the water means that Katie finds it hard to resist dipping into a clear loch or plunging waterfall. Luckily she's not bothered by Scottish snow and ice
Katie is no stranger to being outside as she once spent a year living wild in the woods as part of a television project. Although she is now happily back 'on grid' she still enjoys taking time away from modern life to immerse herself in nature and camp out on the Skye hills or shores.
Living outdoors is now second nature to Katie and she's looking forward to a trip later in the year when she'll be spending 40 days and nights on a remote island inhabited only by puffins.
Katie believes that spending time outdoors is immensely beneficial for our mental health and that it is important for us to feel connected to nature in order to help conserve it for the future.
She hopes to show people that you don't need to be an endurance athlete to enjoy getting outside and that simply sitting under a tree with a cup of tea can be equally rewarding.