Exploring the most splendid playground in the world! Recording UK marine wildlife.

“The seashore is the most splendid playground in the world. There is so much to do and so much to see that we never grow tired of being there. No matter how long a time we may spend at the seaside, there are always new treasures to seek, fresh discoveries to make – always something more to interest or amuse us.”                                                                                      
                                                                                                           The Sea Shore by F. Martin Duncan

Those words were written over a hundred years ago in a book for children but they are still true today, and just as true for adults as for kids – in my case anyway! You will find me exploring the marine environment at every possible opportunity, snorkelling, diving, turning over boulders on the seashore and peering into rockpools.  Continue reading

Beetles, flies, bugs, bees, wasps and ants!

Here’s a bit about myself and how my passion for insects developed. My interest was sparked more than 60 years ago at primary school. Our house in Uckfield backed on to a flowery meadow occasionally cut by hand for hay. I was aged about 10 when I noticed the variety of insects present, including many different butterflies and, with the aid of an Observer’s book, I soon learnt to recognise them.  Continue reading

Snowshoes, hot tents and contentment in Sweden

Like quite a lot of people, I suspect, I once considered the onset of winter, with the mountains locked in snow, as the end of play. Not being a particularly good skier, deep snow meant a full stop to three seasons of boreal travel. My discovery of snowshoes has radically changed things. Continue reading

Crossing Australia – no weak link

When I pack for an overseas film shoot my first thought is ‘what can I pack that I don’t mind destroying?’. Usually I can expect the shoots to be in pretty extreme environments (think mountains/ deserts/ jungle). As a result I have an enormous drawer full of crapped-out clothing which include: a pair of combat trousers with more stitch marks than a rag doll, another pair which are gaffa-taped together and pretty much all of my shirts have holes in places there shouldn’t be holes. This is what I have worn on adventures for almost a decade – disposable clothing – because nothing tends to survive long in the field when you’re crawling through the dirt and dust, running up mountainsides, jumping in rivers and then sleeping in these same clothes. Continue reading

The right tools

Arriving at any new venue, it is easy to expect that you will be able to capture the perfect “Google” photo – that classic ‘wow’ image that appears when you tap a location into a search engine. It is a natural reaction and one we are all prone to.  But the weather gods are fickle, often conspiring to scupper our preconceptions when we actually get out of the car. Continue reading

Spectacled Bears protected in the Páramo

Páramo’s long-term carbon-balancing and conservation partner, World Land Trust (WLT), has announced that the Ministry of Environment of Peru has recognised a private conservation area (ACP) that will protect a large Páramo vegetation zone of the South American Andes. The community of San Juan de Sallique has pledged to protect approximately 8,650 acres (3,500 hectares) of Montane Forest and Páramo.

This reflects three years of work by the communities and WLT’s partner Naturaleza y Cultura Peru (NCP), securing the protection of this important habitat in perpetuity – an important step for wildlife such as Spectacled Bears and endangered Mountain Tapirs, but also a triumph for the communities dedicated to preserving their water sources through conservation and sustainable agricultural practices. Continue reading

Designing for Winter

Greg Care has been designing and field-testing outdoor gear for Páramo for over 20 years. Country Walking magazine asked Greg what guides his thinking when it comes to cold weather… Continue reading

If it’s good enough for an otter…

I have been living and working in the Lake District for over 17 years. I teach wilderness bushcraft and expedition skills, instructing on everything from wild foods and tracking to axemanship and woodcraft, spending well over one hundred nights a year living outdoors under canvas in the UK, and travelling overseas to lead expeditions in the colder months, from dry desert to coastal tropical, and from steaming jungles to frozen sub-Arctic environments. Continue reading