GetOutside Champion Debs Butler takes us on her stand up paddleboarding river trip in the Midlands.
Meet Deborah North - Lover of mountains, presenter, writer, wheelchair user, adventurer, tea drinker
What drives you to spend time outside?
I love the freedom of the hills. The higher I can go the better. I love the views and that feeling of achievement when you do something that you didn’t think was possible, but then you make it happen. And you look back and say, “I did that.” Has to be the mountains and the hills. I’m a Yorkshire lass and love the Dales – but give me any hill or mountain to climb and I’m happy.
Where are your favourite places to go?
Has to be the mountains and the hills. I’m a Yorkshire lass and love the Dales – but give me any hill or mountain to climb and I’m happy.
What is your favourite thing to do outdoors?
Finding new accessible routes to follow. And I do enjoy an alfresco cup of tea! Tea with a view – you can’t beat it.
Who inspires you and how?
My old school teacher – Mr Fletcher from City School Sheffield. He took us on school camps and introduced me to the world of orienteering. It was those school days that led to my love of the outdoors. Forty years on – he’s still one of my closest friends.
What are your focuses this year to help people get outside more often?
To travel around the UK developing stile free walk. These walks are then filmed for promoting on The Outdoor Guide. People enjoy our films as they can watch them and make an informed decision as to the suitable of their wheelchair for the walk. To have more camping adventures and show people with disabilities that outdoor activities are possible. To take on some more challenging walks in Scotland and Wales. I want to do some more Munros and some more Wainwrights too.
What are your 3 biggest life achievements?
Surviving all the crap that has been thrown at me through ill-health and emerging a stronger more determined person. Travelling Coast to Coast in an all-terrain wheelchair. What a feeling that was to arrive in Robin Hood’s Bay and be able to say, “I did it.” Fourteen marshmallows playing ‘Fluffy Bunnies’!
3 words you live by…
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
Talisker whiskyClick to see all 100 GetOutside Champions