• OS Champion

Chris Webster

Meet Chris Webster – Geographer and coastal fieldwork leader, connoisseur of millionaire shortbread!

Tell us a bit about yourself

I run an independent outdoor education centre and as a fieldwork tutor spend my working week teaching students on the beaches of Suffolk. Encouraging youngsters to engage with and understand the natural world is the best bit of what I do.

Why do you love the outdoors?

Having been raised on an upland farm in Shropshire, growing up I spent many days trudging up hills chasing sheep and generally living a life connected with the seasons of the year. Although I no longer live in the hills I still love exploring new routes to find (slightly flatter) beautiful and natural views.

How do you get outside?

I get outside all day, every day at work! I work with students visiting the Suffolk coast, helping them to investigate the processes which shape the shore and the management which protects the properties and people who live there. I love being outside, even when its raining and cold. A bad day at work outside is still miles better than a good day in the office!

What’s your favourite route?

beautiful route around the coastal marshes between the Suffolk coastal communities of Southwold and Walberswick.

Chris cold water swimming

Have you got any adventures planned?

Always! However, all of my trips are team efforts these days, and include my wife, kids and dogs. We’ve challenged the kids to love walking as much as our dogs do, which is almost impossible! As we live in East Anglia, we always plan trips away in the school holidays to landscapes which are different to those in our local area, the Shropshire hills, the Yorkshire Dales and the mountains of Snowdonia are all on the hit-list over the coming year.

What’s the most essential thing on your kit list?

My glasses! I’m fairly short-sighted so if I’ve forgotten my specs and get to the top of a hill without them it can be pretty frustrating!

Who inspires you to get outside?

My dog Bonnie who from about 8am every day sits and looks longingly out of our glass patio door out into the garden! She knows there’s adventures to be had out there even if it’s just in the garden!

I better give a nod to my mum too, she’s part of an active walking group in the Stretton Hills in Shropshire and will head off out all year round with the enthusiasm and agility of a mountain goat!

What do you prefer: Paper or digital map? (Controversial we know!)

Paper – as you can line them up on your shelves like a cartographic CD collection!