What drives you to spend time outside?
After some serious health scares and near fatal accidents over the years I’m always determined to spend as much time outdoors as possible. You only get one life and I intend on making the most of it. There’s nowhere I feel more alive than being out on the fells of Lakeland walking or wild camping and being in tune with Mother Nature. Cut me and I bleed the outdoors.
Where are your favourite places to go?
I enjoy anywhere outdoors truth be told. I’m a bit geeky in that I enjoy studying maps and seeking new places to visit or explore on or off the beaten tracks (preferably the latter). Be it green spaces in towns and cities, walks by the shores of a river or bimbling about on moors and rocky summits; I’m at my happiest outside. Best of all, I’m fortunate enough to live in the least densely populated district in England and Wales and so the Eden Valley and the Lakeland fells are my favourite areas to go.
What is your favourite thing to do outdoors?
This may sound peculiar to some but the one thing I enjoy the most outdoors is finding a nice spot with a fine view and staying put for several hours! This could be during a walk or on a wild camp. I absolutely adore watching the changing weather and light and soaking up the sounds of nature. It’s something I’m very passionate about and seek to inspire others to do the same as I feel too many people nowadays have lost touch with the natural world, not only for raising awareness of protecting the environment but equally for our sense of physical and mental well-being.
Who inspires you and how?
My late grandmother inspires me more than anyone. Having come to the UK as a refugee after surviving the concentration camps of World War 2, she instilled a profound sense in me from a very young age to always learn from history, appreciate and respect different cultures along with heritage and to make the most of life. Such sentiments linger in the back of my mind every single day and drives me on to enjoy the outdoors no matter what obstacles may be in the way.
What are your focuses this year to help people get outside more often?
Places like our national parks (or any green spaces really) can and do change lives. It’s something I’m very passionate about and always try to convey in my documentaries featuring the Lake District. Dress like Bozo the Clown and most folk will act like Bozo the Clown. I’m a big believer in that the environment shapes us on so many levels. Consequently, I always endeavour to promote the beauty around us. No matter how big or small, or easy or challenging. We all need to get outside more and I always make it my mission in life to encourage aspirations in others and to inspire with the delights many take for granted or don’t know exists. Small steps always lead to bigger steps and instills confidence and self-enlightenment. Through social media I try to share the beauty I see on my doorstep or whilst out filming. Something I hope will shine through as I complete my final ‘Life of a Mountain’ documentary featuring Helvellyn.
What are your 3 biggest life achievements?
‘Life of a Mountain: Scafell Pike’, ‘Life of a Mountain: Blencathra’ and hopefully ‘Life of a Mountain: Helvellyn’. Three documentaries two of which have been seen by millions and continue to inspire. Given I’m still currently producing the latter, I ought to add my lovely wife as one of my biggest achievements. Without her support and love I wouldn’t be where I am today!
3 words you live by…
Live, learn, compassion.
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
I’m a sucker for a good old fashioned country pub and real ale. Something I have in abundance within Cumbria and for me there’s no better way to end a day’s walk on the fells than a thirst quenching pint, socialising with friends and locals and reflecting on a fabulous day out.
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