I was introduced to mountains and all that is associated with them in 1959 at the age of 13 when my father took me on a youth hostelling trip to the Lake District. I have never looked back since.
In the UK, I am mostly familiar with the South Pennines on my doorstep, the Yorkshire Dales, the Peak District, the Lake District and Pembrokeshire where my partner, Angharad, and I have a fixed caravan. I also know fairly well various parts of the Scottish Highlands and Snowdonia. I have walked the Pennine Way once and the Pembrokeshire Coast Path twice. I have completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks walk every year except for two since 1978.
Abroad, I am a Pyrenees fanatic since going there for the first time in the 1990s. With Angharad I have traversed the entire range twice and explored several areas in some detail. I have also hiked in the Austrian Alps, the White Mountains at the northern end of the United States Appalachian Trail, and along some US Pacific Coast hiking trails.
I spent the first half of my working life as a campaigning journalist, including articles about limestone quarrying and footpath restoration in the Yorkshire Dales.Then I became an academic with the Open University, contributing to a large number of written course materials, books and academic journals.
Retired since 2012, I retain the title of Emeritus Professor of Environment and Development at the Open University and so continue with research interests. I now, however, devote considerable time to my passion – hiking. I’ve also written my first outdoors book about the Pyrenees traverse as a guide that combines trekking, nature, human lives and a sense of history along this mountain frontier. It was written partly with my generation of hikers in mind, but also for anybody of any age who shares the attitude to mountain walking that it portrays.
Writer of educational course materials at all levels of Higher Education;
Specialist in IT pedagogy in Higher Education;
Leader of multidisciplionary and international teams;
Writer on climate change, environment and international development;
Outdoors writer and lecturer, specialising on the Pyrenees, the South Pennines and Pembrokeshire; and on an approach to mountain-hiking that seeks a total physical and human experience.
2015 Space for wonder: a guide to trekking the mountain frontier of the Pyrenees (100+ photographs, 282 pages). ISBNs: paperback 978-0-9934422-0-9, kindle 978-0-9934422-2-3, iTunes ad other eBook 978-0-9934422-1-6.
2015 The lived experience of climate change: knowledge, science and public action. Springer International: London. (With Dina Abbott).
2009 Learning for development. Zed Books: London (with Hazel Johnson)
2009 Environment, development and sustainability: perspectives and cases from around the world. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (With Pamela Furniss and Richard Kimbowa).