Leigh and Neil Heseltine run a traditional hill farm in Malham in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. They place an emphasis on leaving room for nature and Regenerative Agriculture.
Anna McNuff is fascinated by the powerful and delicate relationship that exists between mind and body. She ran 90 barefoot marathons through Britain to see if she could do it.
Jo Moseley is @healthyhappy50. She is the first woman to SUP coast to coast across the UK. She describes herself as a Joy Encourager, Midlife Adventurer & Beach Cleaner. Somebody else called her 'a fruitbat on a glorified surfboard' much to Jo's delight!
I never thought I could make a living from expeditions - I just stumbled into it. Living Adventurously 38
Matt Kettlewell was born and raised on a remote farm at the head of a long valley. There is no through road. Matt had travelled very little when he accidentally got a job that required him to move to Africa!
Tom Orde-Powlett's family have lived in Bolton Castle for 800 years. The Bolton Estate plays an important role in managing and caring for the beautiful area of Wensleydale. Tom considers it his duty to hand things over to the next generation in a better condition than he inherited it. Tom served in the Army for 7 years and was awarded the Military Cross. These days he is a passionate conservationist.
Anna Ashfield describes herself as "a kind of can't-be-arsed girl (who is really a middle aged woman). If an opportunity to do something arises, I test it by thinking, "when I go to bed at night and the opportunity has passed, will I regret it?" Fear alone is not an excuse to say no. But, if I simply don't want to do it, that is the best reason of all to say no, not for me."
Rose and Richard Bannister are busy dentists and parents. In their spare time they are also on a mission to live as adventurously as possible.
Graham Wilson retired from the Police and is now on a mission to walk 120 marathons in 120 days (along with his dog, Tilly).
Diana Page was raised by her soldier Grandfather and hippy Father in an unconventional upbringing for a little girl in the seventies. A childhood that necessitated teaching herself self-reliance skills led to a university post-graduate education in Criminal Psychology and teaching at college. Three children later, Di gave up academia to raise her children alone and off-grid
Mike Sowden is a curious writer and he is a fantastic person to share ideas and bounce thoughts around with. Mike describes himself online as an archaeology student turned writer and story geek, as well as a travelling disaster...
Clare Nattress and Matty Waudby cycled round the world together. Clare is a PhD Candidate Arts Researcher & Lecturer and an artist. Matty is an adventurous creative with a love for bicycles, camping and the great outdoors. He aims to create inspirational imagery that documents human interaction with nature and to show that there is always more than we realise outside the front door. (Matty created the funky logo for my podcast!)
Charlotte Evans, at 20 years old, was the youngest person I interviewed on my ride around Yorkshire. She describes herself on Twitter as a Notts County supporter, singer/songwriter, geographer and occasional radio producer from up North currently studying at the University of Nottingham. I was interested to get a different perspective on things that I think I know well - the world of adventure, its accessibility (or not) to women, and the barriers that stop young women like Charlotte from travelling as widely as they may wish to do.
'Yorkshire Rows' are four mums, friends, businesswomen who rowed 3000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. The expedition resulted in an intriguing variety of outcomes: the same journey impacting on different personalities in very different ways. We talked about the perceived stigma of 'irresponsible mothers' swanning off on selfish adventures, about the struggle of life after huge adventures, and the differences in risk between running a business and rowing the Atlantic.
David Oakes is an actor known for his role in "The Borgias" and Prince Ernest in the ITV show "Victoria". David also runs the Trees a Crowd podcast "for those curious about the world around us."
Theresa Robertshaw helps the elderly get back on bicycles by taking them for rides on an adapted electric tricycle. The mission of Cycling Without Age is to create happiness among our fellow elderly citizens by providing them with an opportunity to remain an active part of society and the local community.
Chris Goddard is the Yorkshire Map Maker. He has been exploring and mapping his local landscapes ever since he was a child, spurred on by curiosity and a love of being outdoors. Chris dedicates his passion for exploring the minutiae of the world to creating intricate, beautiful books about the woods and moors around his home.
Jamie Wardley is a professional sand artist who creates far more than the sand castles I joked about. In his own words, "I am a mixed bag with a dose of art, a sprinkle of theatre and an education in Environmental Sciences. I have always tried to do things that bring enjoyment, as I believe if you do, then there is a real chance you will be successful and fulfilled.
Steve Bate has a condition that is slowly robbing him of his eyesight. He has now lost most of his vision, and because the condition is degenerative, Steve will go blind. He was devastated when he heard the optician tell him that he was going blind. Steve was working as an outdoor instructor at the time. It was 3 months before he began to find his way out of depression. By then, he worked out there wasn’t much he could do about his degenerating eyesight. But he had total control over what he did next. Just like everyone else, Steve isn't going to be on this planet forever, so he might as well make every moment count. And how much he let his condition get in the way of that was completely up to him.
Brant Richards is the Co-Founder of HebTroCo which smashed Kickstarter funding targets and grew into a Made In Britain menswear brand from the ground up.
Rob Cowen is the award-winning author of Common Ground, selected as a ‘Book of the Year’ in the Times and featuring in the Guardian’s Top Ten Readers’ Choice. After moving from London to a new home in Yorkshire, Rob found himself on unfamiliar territory, disoriented, hemmed in by winter and yearning for the nearest open space. So one night, he set out to find it – a pylon-slung edge-land, a tangle of wood, meadow, field and river on the outskirts of town. Despite being in the shadow of thousands of houses, it felt unclaimed, forgotten, caught between worlds, and all the more magical for it.
Michaela Hanna has completed IronManUK, the Lakeland50 ultra mountain marathon, cycled from Edinburgh to London and across the Western Cape of South Africa. She therefore has personal experience of the significance of precise and relevant nutrition and places a high level of importance on the nutritional value of the food. Having spent time working in fine-dining restaurants, high-end event catering companies and as a private chef alongside her day job, the time came for Michaela to follow her joy and feed people full-time again as a private chef.
Ben Dave ran a lap of Yorkshire because he needed a big challenge after running changed his life, helping him lose 30kg and stop smoking a couple of packets a day. Running also helped Ben with his mental health. When he was feeling down and lonely, Ben could only think of going to the pub as an option. Therefore he set up the Early Bird Run Crew - a friendly, daily, early 5km run in his home town to connect the community, making everyone happier and stronger individuals.
I'm Out Of My Depth, Let's Do It // I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again. Living Adventurously 19.
Boff Whalley, from the band Chumbawamba is a keen runner, never happier than when mud-splattered and gasping up on the windy hills of West Yorkshire. He is also a playwright, the founder of Commoners Choir, and the author of Run Wild - an account of his experiences as a fell runner.
Annie Berrington is the founder of Get Out More, a social enterprise working to help people engage with nature to feel better in mind and body. She is a qualified forest school practitioner, a busy mum, and a keen microadventurer.
Tim Frenneaux is a former martial arts instructor and nine to fiver. He decided to return to the outdoor life that had brought him so much happiness growing up, and that the best way to make the difference he wanted to see in the world, was to start a business founded on social and environmental principles: Gather Outdoors.
Imran Mughal was the first British-Pakistani to cycle round the world. Over a delicious curry cooked by his mum the proud Yorkshireman told me how going out to explore the world was not encouraged within the Pakistani community. But the decline in health of his dad was a wake-up call to Imran that good health is not a given, nor does it last for ever. That, combined with redundancy, spurred him into action.
Ben Cummins is on a mission to deliver a piano from Liverpool to London. On a home-made raft. That he propels himself. Within 25 years... So far it has taken Ben seven years to push his raft the 127 miles along the canal from Liverpool to Leeds! This adventure / art project / way of life began when Ben asked himself a brilliant question, "what is it that I want from my life?"
Thom Barnett runs Mamnick, a clothing brand passionate about cycling. The tagline is "one thing at a time, as beautiful as possible". I cajoled Thom out of bed at early o'clock and we cycled out of Sheffield together, nipping down the back alleys and cycle paths he knows so well. Over breakfast I asked the fine arts graduate about life as a fashion designer, loving what you do, and Thom's love for exploring the hills and lanes of the Peak District.
Professor Ian Rotherham is an expert on a range of environmental issues, including urban wildlife, extreme weather, flooding and climate change. He has published extensively in academic journals, and has released a number of books on UK wildlife and the environment. Ian is a man positively bursting with enthusiasm and knowledge and ideas. Ian poured forth a cheerful stream of lessons on the environment, eco-tourism and rewilding. We talked about the cultural severance between cities and wildness, and the reassuring dictum that you can change the world, a little bit at a time: perhaps by beginning with rewilding your back garden.
We Need to Reclaim Time to Think in Our Life if we are to Do Meaningful Things - Living Adventurously #12
Sophie Stephenson was living the life she’d always wanted. She had a well-paid dream job in Australia, lived in a beautiful place and felt secure in the knowledge that this could go on, indefinitely. But she was, she realised, unfulfilled. She was not, it turned out, truly happy with this life at all. By chance Sophie came across a reference to Nancy Kline’s book Time to Think. She described a way of being with one another that is both incredibly simple, and incredibly rare. We don’t give ourselves, or others, the freedom to think without interruption, or judgment, or time limits, or an obsession with outcomes. We limit our thinking, our conversations, our relationships and our entire lives by confining our minds. Sophie began to question the life she had chosen. She began to ask what she really wanted, to explore the ‘authentic’ me, her instinctive mind, and gradually, she began to reclaim what really mattered. Sophie left corporate life, moved back to the UK, and met the man who is now her husband and father to her two children. We need to reclaim time to think in our life if we are to do meaningful things with our life. I was struck by how deeply Sophie listened and quickly figured me out. It was almost bizarre, in a nice way. I asked her how I could become a better listener, and how to ask better questions - both pretty crucial things for a novice podcaster to get to grips with...
Jon Barton is the founder of Vertebrate Publishing. It sits at the very heart of British adventure writing and outdoor sports. Jon says that "we publish books to inspire adventure. It’s our rule that the only books we publish are those that we’d want to read or use ourselves. We endeavour to bring you beautiful books that stand the test of time and that you’ll be proud to have on your bookshelf for years to come." I asked Jon about the lessons he's learned from starting a company, the discrepancy between male and female authors in the outdoor world, and his scorn for self-titled 'Adventurers' (like me) who spend a lot of time talking about themselves on the internet...
Don't stand on the edge of the diving board with your toes over the edge for hours - Living Adventurously #10
Tomo Thompson is Chief Executive of the charity Friends of the Peak District who work to safeguard the landscape of Britain’s first national park. Tomo is a retired Army Officer, with a recent background in business management consultancy. He also enjoys and instructs outdoor pursuits and is an encyclopaedia of knowledge about expeditions, equipment and fine places to unroll your bivvy bag for the night. I asked Tomo whether the word 'adventure' was inappropriate for a career in the military. One similarity in our lives was that military life gives you restlessness and an appetite for uncertainty. Now caring for one of the most beautiful corners of Yorkshire, Tomo believes that a small thing which greatly improves life is to go to the top of a hill, sit down, turn off the phone, accept what the weather's doing, and accept both how big and how small you are. Wise words indeed.