It’s been a very interesting and difficult year for everyone and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. It seems Pandemics like Covid19 are going to be the norm rather than a rare occurrence. We have to change our way of life if we want to improve our chances of survival. It suddenly occurred to me that the human race is a type of Virus. We take more than we need, we plunder natural resources, we feed off the weak and we don’t care enough about the beautiful world in which we live.
Is it too late? I decided nearly 20 years ago to stop feeding the machine – fast fashion, disposable living, being wasteful, driving everywhere and buying things I don’t need. I quit my full time job and worked as a volunteer naturalist for 3 months, then took a part-time job and also began working for myself, eventually becoming a full time Freelance Outdoor Instructor. My life is spent in the outdoors, walking, climbing, cycling and encouraging others to embrace and respect nature.
Most people I meet in my job are like minded; other instructors, clients and members of the public who need to spend time in the outdoors for their mental and physical well being.
One of the greatest things I saw once Lockdown 1 was lifted was the number of people heading to their local beauty spots and enjoying nature and being out in the fresh air, but the amount of rubbish left by these new adventurers was the saddest things I saw. It was thoughtless and heartbreaking. Why go there in the first place to enjoy it and leave it so defaced?
All over the world, areas of outstanding natural beauty are getting smaller and smaller, every day up to 150 species are becoming extinct. Soon the only animals we see will be in zoos, private collections or wildlife parks.
I tend to only work with small numbers of people in the outdoors which limits the impact on the environment and has enabled me to work within the government restrictions. And, with the support of Mountain Training I follow strict protocol that protects myself, my clients and members of the public.
Meeting and working with clients from all walks of life and inspiring people to become independent climbers and navigators is such a privilege. I am passionate about my job and in spite of my fears for the future I have a positive outlook on life and love to spread joy to people’s lives.