Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Outdoor Leadership top-up by Blended Learning course

The UCLan Outdoors team have a blended version of their top-up course which is aimed at practitioners working in the outdoor industry. The course is part-time, delivered at weekends and is supported by online teaching resources and tutorials.

The programme has been designed to match the requirements of full-time industry professionals in a wide range of outdoor industry employment, being student-centred and applying learning to the industry in conjunction with the relevant academic perspective.

The ethos of the programme is to consider how engagement with the theoretical aspect of the subject can inform, challenge and support practice.

This usually takes two years and offers a unique opportunity to engage in academic study in a practical manner, whilst providing you the opportunity to learn with other practitioners in the industry, sharing ideas and developing a new community of practice.

Modules can also be attended individually to be used as continuing professional development, or as bridging modules onto a Master's programme. The subjects on the course are as follows:
  • Leadership and Change
  • Research Project or Consultancy Project
  • Sustainable Outdoor Practice
  • Conditioning for Adventure Sports
  • Performance Coaching
  • Personal, Social & Emotional Development through Outdoor Activities
The course allows you to develop your knowledge of theory and research in the outdoor industry, subsequently complementing and enhance your practice in the industry. There is the opportunity within the University for you to continue your studies at Master's/Doctoral Level. Graduates from this programme have also gone on to teacher training opportunities.

Graduate testimonials for the course include:

"It's a programme that covers more subjects than expected. They were all relevant and, importantly for me, all transferable into the rest of my life situation. Juggling moving units, departing the Army and a new civilian job has been very challenging, but was achievable and help was never far away. If you're just considering it, then just do it. I recommend it for all for a greater understanding and personal development in your chosen discipline."

"This course provided me the fantastic opportunity to use my previous experience to gain a recognised qualification. The amount of information I gleaned has had a profound effect on me. I now have a passion for learning and furthering my knowledge. The information I've received from the first class instruction has had a direct impact on my teaching, with the benefit of that information also being transferred to all of my students."

For further information please email Rosemary Powell or Helen Hooper.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Students support GB team's championship preparations

UCLan Outdoor undergraduates have been helping the Great Britain Masters Raft Team prepare for the World Championships 2015.

The group of second year students have been collecting data to investigate the most efficient paddling technique in a white water raft.

For more information about the GB Masters Raft Team please click here.

Monday, 10 November 2014

UCLan teams up with top mountain sports centre

UCLan students will benefit from practical lessons with one of the country's top providers of outdoor adventure activities, following a partnership agreement with Plas y Brenin, the National Mountain Sports Centre, to help deliver some of its sports and outdoor courses.

This unique partnership between UCLan and the Sport England National Centre means UCLan students studying on the outdoor leadership and adventure sports coaching degrees will benefit from the expertise of staff from Plas y Brenin, as well as that of staff at UCLan, in one of the UK's most popular outdoor activity locations.

A combination of UCLan and Plas y Brenin staff will jointly deliver a range of modules at the National Centre in Snowdonia that develop the students' practical, coaching and leadership skills. This includes mountaineering, rock climbing, white water kayaking, sea kayaking, mountain-biking and canoeing.

In addition, the University's Institute of Coaching and Performance will work closely with Plas y Brenin on research projects, such as understanding the judgement and decision making processes of experts in adventure sports that will help influence the future development of the outdoor profession over the next decade.

UCLan Senior Lecturer and former Head of Department at Plas y Brenin Loel Collins said: "This exciting partnership with one of the focal providers of outdoor adventure in the UK will allow our students to gain hands-on, practical experience with some of the best instructors in the industry in a unique environment.

"Along with my colleagues from the Institute of Coaching and Performance I'm looking forward to working with Plas y Brenin on some innovation research projects that will hopefully set the standard of expert practice in the outdoors industry."

Dave Cheetham, Marketing Manager for Plas y Brenin, commented: "We're delighted UCLan has selected The National Mountain Sports Centre as the base for its outdoor leadership and adventure sports coaching degrees.

"UCLan has a reputation for bringing out the best in its students, helping them go on to develop long-lasting and fulfilling careers in the outdoors. As an organisation its standards and values are firmly in line with our own, and we're convinced this unique partnership between two of the most highly experienced and respected providers of outdoor training will result in an unrivalled learning environment for its students.

"In addition to enjoying top-class coaching, world-class facilities and equipment, the students will be immersed in the exciting and inspiring world of a National Sports Centre. Every day they will be surrounded by high performance athletes, coaches and enthusiasts all eager to help enthuse and inform.

"Aside from their day-to-day studies, they will rub shoulders with many of the country's most successful climbers, paddlers and riders have the opportunity to engage directly with decision makers from the governing bodies of those sports.

"We have no doubt their future careers be influenced by every moment of their stay with us."

UCLan's outdoor leadership and adventure sports coaching students are also given the opportunity to gain practical experience abroad as well as in the UK and have taken expeditions in Norway and Canada in recent years.

Currently celebrating its sixtieth year, Plas y Brenin is based in Snowdonia, North Wales, and is one of Sport England's three National Centres.

As The National Mountain Sports Centre, Plas y Brenin runs a year round programme of mountain sports and adventurous activities catering for every level of competence, experience and ability. Plas y Brenin is managed by The Mountain Training Trust on behalf of Sport England.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Slovenian adventure boosts learning experience

UCLan Outdoors student Jonathan Bradley spent two weeks whitewater kayaking on the River Soca, Slovenia, earlier this year.

He was joined by around 20 first and second year Outdoor Leadership and Adventure Sports Coaching undergraduates, who travelled across Europe for a course designed to enhance their learning experience.

Jonathan has kindly provided us with a blog about the trip:

The Soca Valley offers stunning scenery: 2000m peaks covered in pine forests and capped with snow rise above the valley floor, whilst the River Soca winds its way through the valley like a turquoise ribbon, crystal clear and sparkling under the sun.

We set up camp right next to the river in a small town south of Bovec, which would serve as our base camp for the trip. The plan for the duration of our stay was to paddle different sections of the Soca, starting with easy Grade 1/2 sections before progressing onto harder 2/3 and 3/4 sections of the river.

The coaches that joined and guided us on the trip were of the highest level and provided us with valuable knowledge of the river and assisted myself and the group in acquiring the necessary skills to run harder and harder sections of the river. Kayaks North West were also extremely helpful in lending us some boats to use for the trip.

The first two days were spent on Grade 1/2 sections of the river, not particularly challenging, but hard enough for someone like myself with little kayaking experience, to offer me something to think about whilst allowing me to get used to the river. We practised the basic skills necessary for paddling harder river sections, such as ferry gliding across the flow from eddy to eddy and breaking in and out of eddies.

The third and fourth days we progressed to paddling some Grade 2/3 rapids. Whilst originally challenging, it was on this level of whitewater that I really began to crack the basic skills we’d been practising on the easier rapids.

On the fifth day the group was given the opportunity to test themselves on a Grade 3/4 section of the Soca. This was well managed by the coaching staff and allowed us to get an idea of the level of attention and commitment to a line that you need to be able to run this grade of rapid.

The final two days in Slovenia were spent on Grade 2/3 sectors of the river, however the sections were a lot more technical than those we’d previously run. This required us to use all the skills we'd acquired over the week and it really showed how far we had come in such a short space of time. These last two days were also by far the most enjoyable for me, as the river section was extremely fun and challenging.

As well as running these river sections throughout the week, we also got the chance to do a lot of rolling practice and were given the opportunity to practice our play moves, such as surfing and playing in stoppers, which are both great fun.

Personally, I managed to successfully complete my first two rolls on the trip which was a huge achievement for me. These disciplines also had a practical application as if we were able to perform them at a consistent and good standard, we were allowed to pass and obtain our 3 Star and 4 Star kayaking white water awards.

Lastly, we also took our whitewater safety and rescue course, in which we practised recovering boats and people from whitewater in different scenarios, which could prove to be extremely helpful in future situations when we are out kayaking on our own without instructor aid.

Our final day was spent paddling on the River Ammer in Germany, where we tackled a 12km stretch of Grade 2 whitewater, which includes an awesome weir slide and was a great way to round off the trip.

I would recommend this trip to any future undergraduates taking up Outdoor Leadership or Adventure Sports Coaching at UCLan. It is a great way to round off the year and can be beneficial to both experienced and novice paddlers.

I used the trip as a means of discovering whether kayaking was an activity I might want to continue to pursue in the future, as up until this trip I'd dismissed it as something I wasn't particularly good at and therefore something I didn't want to do long term. Slovenia changed my perceptions completely!

After paddling the Soca and the Ammer I discovered how enjoyable kayaking can be, especially when your skill level allows you to paddle harder and faster sections of river.

I'd encourage anybody holding any doubts about whether kayaking is for them, to not make any assumptions until they've been on this trip or at least paddled a whitewater river in Europe. As well as having an amazing time, you'll also receive instruction from some of the best coaches in the business, who will always push you to reach your full potential.

I know my paddling improved tenfold just in those two weeks thanks both to the standard of coaching and the testing nature of the whitewater. This trip has given me the confidence and the desire to go and paddle Grade 2/3 sections in my own time, something I wouldn't have even considered beforehand.

All-in-all this trip is a fantastic way to end the year doing something awesome in a beautiful setting and improving your skills whilst working towards your qualifications. Just do it!

Monday, 20 October 2014

Frontier Education Programme

The Frontier Education Programme aims to facilitate personal development and promote learning in the outdoors.

Members of the SSTO Outdoor team deliver the programme for UCLan in a number of locations, including Snowdonia National Park, North Wales.

The programme is primarily a chance for students to get to know others on their course and develop a course identity. It provides them with the opportunity to experience and really understand the value of team work and supporting their peers to achieve a goal. This helps with future group tasks or assignments, whilst also assisting each other with the challenges faced on their course.

Students can explore ‘Team roles’, to understand what their preferred roles are and those of their fellow team members. Students also develop key employability skills including communication, decision making, problem-solving and leadership skills. Activities include canoeing, gorge waking, climbing and abseiling.

Sports Coaching and Development undergraduates from UCLan's School of Sport, Tourism and The Outdoors are just one of a number of groups to take advantage of the programme in recent weeks.

Feedback included: "The programme helped us come out of our shells with our peers and will help us get the best out of our three years together" and "The trip helped me understand my strengths and weaknesses, giving me a platform to build on and improve as the course goes on."

For further information about the programme please email Sharon Rosser.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Mountain stars set for UCLan visit

Two of the world's top mountain athletes are coming to UCLan to showcase the virtues of Mountaineering, Climbing and the Greater ranges Sherpa.

Kenton Cool and Neil Gresham will deliver lectures and host a discussion about mountaineering and rock climbing.

The event, organised by Preston Mountaineering Club, will follow an early evening of climbing masterclasses at West View Leisure Centre featuring Neil and Ed Hamer.

The purpose of the evening is to help raise awareness and monies for the Paldorje Education Fund. This provides much-needed head-start scholarships to less fortunate Sherpa children in Nepal.

The event takes place on Friday, 31 October, 2014. For more information, including booking details, please click here.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Congratulations to our Top-up graduates

Well done to everyone who recently graduated from our Blended Outdoor Leadership Top-Up degree.

The programme is aimed at practitioners who work in the outdoor industry, and our graduates have studied part-time for two years to achieve the degree.

The course is delivered on weekends, one module at a time, and supported with online learning and elearn tutorial sessions.

The graduates have studied topics such as Leadership and Change, Conditioning for Adventure Sports, Performance Coaching and Sustainable Outdoor Practice.

We have a new cohort each year, so the current cohort will soon be joined by our new intakes of students. For more information please click here. Alternatively you can email Course Leaders Rosemary Powell or Helen Hooper.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Lodge hosts welcome week activities

First year undergraduates visited a local outdoor education centre as part of their induction week programme.

The group took part in a team building trip to Hothersall Lodge in the Ribble Valley, where they enjoyed a range of outdoor activities designed to whet their appetites for the months ahead.

Hothersall offers students the chance to gain experience and National Governing Body qualifications throughout their time on the UCLan Outdoors programme.

For more information about the Lodge please click here.

Monday, 15 September 2014

A new academic year begins!

UCLan Outdoors staff are back from their summer vacations and are looking forward to the new acdemic year.

Our team have been busy widening their knowledge of the outdoors, with staff trekking in Morocco and Corsica, undertaking Kayaking expeditions in North Wales and Canoeing in the Scottish Highlands.

We hope our new and returning students enjoy a productive year. If you haven't already done so, please follow us on Twitter @UClanOutdoors for regular updates and news stories from around the Division.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Graduate continues his personal development

UCLan is recognised for its outstanding course provision which gives students the skills, knowledge, and personal attributes necessary to succeed at the University and in their future careers.

Adventure Sports Coaching graduate Karl Domeracki has enjoyed a variety of experiences since leaving UCLan. We spoke to Karl to find out more:

"I currently volunteer as a climbing instructor at West View Leisure Centre, Preston, and train with Liverpool University Officer Training Corps which has provided me with a unique challenge. I've completed various military exercises, community projects and adventure training including an eight day skiing expedition in Les Contamines, France, and a nine day sailing exercise in The Baltic Sea.

"I'll be taking part on exercise 'Airborne Student', an intense week consisting of the Paratroopers' gruelling selection process. Following this I'll do my ML training at Tyn Dwr in Llangollen, North Wales.

"This summer I've attained work as a canoe expedition leader in Canada, where children are taken out on expeditions around the great lakes situated in Algonquin Park.

"The professional development and opportunities offered during my time at UCLan moulded me into a highly motivated student, passionate for the outdoors. I'm now planning to further my knowledge by undertaking an MSc in Outdoor Education later this year."

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Students embark on Canadian expedition

A group of UCLan Outdoors undergraduates are set to travel to Canada as part of their BA (Hons) Outdoor Leadership course.

Second year students Hannah Smith, Luke Duckworth, Robin Naylor, Callum Munnelly and Ben Henderson will tackle 16 days of extreme subartic weather conditions in Kluane National Park.

Hannah said: "I'm really excited about what's in store for us. It's going to be a fantastic experience and one which will test us to our physical and mental limits. It's mandatory for our course that we take part in an expedition of at least four nights, but we decided to go all out.

"We've done lots of research and training to make sure we're as prepared as possible and we've had great support from the UCLan."

Along with the physical and mental endurance needed for this expedition, the group will collect data for their dissertations. Throughout the trip they will carry and drag their basic survival equipment, including camping gear and 16 days of dehydrated food supplies, in rucksacks and on sleds.

During part of the venture they will be four days away from civilisation in temperatures which could drop to -40C.

"We've decided spreading the load in rucksacks and sleds is a better option than carrying a heavy rucksack but pulling it through very deep snow will be physically tough," Hannah added.

"As we've not got the same conditions in Preston we've been practising by pulling tyres behind us on the Guild Wheel. We've also spent time on winter skills courses and mini-expeditions in the Lake District.

"We'll have to melt a lot of snow to hydrate our main meals and our snacks will be chocolate, jelly and biscuits so we've got enough energy to walk the eight to 10 kilometres a day through snow that could be three metres deep.

"Teamwork is going to be the most important skill when we're out there. We've put in all the training so now we just have to enjoy it. It's going to be wonderful and a trip we'll remember forever."

For safety reasons they will carry a satellite phone. The University's Travel Bursary Scheme has contributed towards the trip while RAB, a leading outdoor clothing company, has provided them with discounted top-of-the-range equipment.

Course Leader Alli Inkster said the group have shown they're ready for the challenges which lie ahead: "The group will continue the excellent standards set by previous planned expeditions from the Outdoor Leadership cohort. Our staff recognise the huge amount of work that has gone into organising this trip.

"The intricacies of expedition planning are complex. From the outset the students have undertaken research and motivated themselves beyond any course and modular requirements.

"There has been training plans to develop skills in areas they don't have and research to gather as much information as possible, to assist with decision making en-route and dealing with weather conditions.

"The trip will enable them to discuss expeditioning and outdoor leading to any future employer. Last year the external examiner stated the students' expeditions were at an excellent level, well above expectations and requirements. The Outdoor Division continues to utilise its staff expertise to support the high standards the students aim to achieve."

Monday, 24 March 2014

A letter from Professor Lynn Anderson

New York State University's Professor Lynn Anderson recently took part in our public debate - 'Access v the Environment - where do you draw the line?'

Professor Anderson has kindly sent a letter about her time with us in Preston: "I write to formally thank you for the wonderful opportunity to visit the University of Central Lancashire as a part of the Distinguished Visitor Programme. I very much enjoyed meeting with faculty, staff, and especially students as a part of my visit to your campus.

"I was impressed with the Outdoor students who attended several of the sessions I presented during the week. The students had interesting ideas and stimulating contributions to discussions, as well as thought-provoking questions.

"I felt there was great benefit comparing and contrasting our fields of study between our two countries, both for the students and for myself and other faculty. I was pleased to see the large number of students who attended the public talk I gave, 'Going Outdoors: The Therapeutic Benefits of Nature.'

"The students seemed highly engaged in the topic and some have requested follow up information from the talk.I especially thank you all for your wonderful hospitality I received throughout my stay. Your graciousness was truly appreciated, and I could not have had a more enjoyable stay.

"If there is anything I can do in follow up to my visit, please let me know. Again, thank you for an exceptional experience at the University of Central Lancashire as a Distinguished Visitor."

UCLan Outdoors wishes to thank Professor Anderson for visiting us and we hope to continue to develop our collaboration in the future.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Scottish Winter Skills Enhancement

Our students recently tackled the Scottish Winter Skills Enhancement course as part of their studies.

Two of the group - Hannah Smith and Jack Whiteside - have provided UCLan Outdoors with a record of their time in Scotland.

Jack's video can be viewed above, while to read Hannah's blog please click here.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Students team up with BMX champion

Adventure Sports Coaching students and a BMX junior champion have teamed up as part of a mutually beneficial collaboration.

UCLan Outdoor undergraduates Peter Haggan and Karl Doneraki are helping Ross Cullen with strength & conditioning and nutritional advice, as he strives to progress to the top of his chosen sport.

After dominating the UK national series, Ross became a force to be reckoned with on the Euro circuit during 2013, consistently making A-finals.

He was one of 14 young athletes from across Lancashire to be awarded a grant and support from UCLan through the 'Rising Stars' programme.

Associate Lecturer Keith McGregor said: "Following the Division's recent link up with young climber Connor Byrne, this is another excellent opportunity for our students to work with one of the country's most exciting sporting prospects.

"We're delighted to be able to assist Ross and hope we can help him achieve his ambitions of success at world level."

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Access v the Environment - Where do you draw the line?

(L-R) Lynn, Jamie, Robin & Kathryn
This interesting and current question was the topic of discussion at a debate hosted during February by the Outdoors Team and the SSTO's Sustainability Lead at the University of Central Lancashire.

The event was chaired by UCLan's Professor Richard Sharpley and heard presentations from Professor Lynn Anderson (New York State University), Jamie McPhie (Cumbria University), Robin Horner (RSPB) and Kathryn Beardmore (North Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority).

Students and members of the public heard the speakers' perspectives live and online and asked the panel questions. Those online tweeted or emailed their questions whilst watching the debate live on the internet. The perspectives of the speakers were summarised by one of the audience:

"Professor Lynn Anderson drew the starting line by proposing a biocentric approach using evidence from her outdoors work with persons with disabilities. She saw access to wilderness experiences as essential for everyone but stated that it should be 'wilderness on wilderness'' terms rather than incorporating any modifications (e.g., footpaths, jetties) to facilitate access.

"Robin Horner took the perspective that access should be seen as a balance and a privilege. Whilst vital to allow access to nature, consideration must be given to the different tolerances and needs of species within the natural environment when making access decisions.

"Robin shared the RSPB decision not to open certain areas of Morecambe Bay to walkers due to the lower numbers of protective bird species found in the open access areas. Yet other areas, e.g., Leighton Moss, enable easy access for most visitors to view other species that are more tolerant to sharing habitats with humans.

"Kathryn Beardmore discussed the Yorkshire Dales National Park as a 'lived-in landscape' (in contrast to the wilderness areas found in the USA). A non-exclusive perspective on access was exemplified with slides of Malham and its footpaths, shops and cafes.

"Yet the expressed need of many users for unspoilt, peaceful outdoor experiences was the justification given by YDNP for reevaluating its policy on vehicular access to Green Lane, in which the most sensitive lanes have been restricted to non-motorised transport only.

"The final speaker, Jamie McPhie, took a contentious academic perspective on the dialectic of oppression and privilege in which affluence is seen as enabling access, and conservation agendas as excluding vast numbers of people from our natural environments.

"His position was based on a belief that, if we recognise that we are in a crisis situation ("the 6th mass extinction") and are given responsibility for access to our natural environment, we will be able to work out ways of living more sustainably within our environment."

The event brought up many interesting, and difficult, questions and after the event the discussions continued online, in the audience, with the speakers and hosts and with the students in subsequent lectures. Thank you to all the speakers and the team of students who helped out during the event.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Students brave the elements

Undergraduates from our Outdoor programme have been honing their skills in the Scottish mountains.

Based at a bunkhouse in Fort William, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd year students spent a week climbing in the areas Glencoe and Cairngorms led by instructors Sam Leary and Stephen Saddler.

The group faced some extremely challenging conditions, with winds in excess of 50mph and a high risk of avalanche all week, but they remained professional and focused throughout.

Sam commented: "The students brought so much energy and enthusiasm to the week which really helped make it. They were a real credit to themselves and the University. I'm really impressed with what they achieved given the weather and avalanche forecasts."

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Outdoor expert praises UCLan teaching

Professor Lynn Anderson is a renowned expert in the fields of outdoor, therapeutic and inclusive recreation, with her 2011 book, 'Inclusivity Assessment Tool and User Guide', considered a seminal work within the recreation and leisure studies discipline.

As part of UCLan's Distinguished Visitor Programme, Professor Anderson (left) travelled from the State University of New York to take part in our recent public debate - 'Access v the Environment - where do you draw the line?'

The event, also streamed live, attracted a packed audience to UCLan to see Professor Anderson and three other guest speakers present case studies of where decisions had to be made to allow or prevent access to natural countryside areas and discuss the principles underlying those decisions.

We spoke with Professor Anderson after the debate to find out more about her interests.

How did you become involved in the outdoors?

"I grew up in Minnesota near a lake and have enjoyed recreational pursuits my entire life. As a young girl I would spend all summer on the lake – it was ingrained in my blood to be outdoors. I come from a big family with several sisters and one brother. My Dad used to take me fishing, so we didn’t really have a lot of rigid gender structures."

What caused you to be interested in therapeutic recreation?

"As I made my way along my academic and professional path, I discovered there are many issues facing people with disabilities in the outdoors. I firmly believe that time in the outdoors is integral to our well-being as people – it helps us reclaim parts of ourselves we can get disconnected with. The effect on someone with a disability can be even greater, but being outdoors can help the healing process and make them feel better about themselves. It can be very empowering."

Can you describe some of the challenges someone might face?

"There are numerous functional challenges a disabled person could meet in the outdoors. I once worked with someone who was completely blind on an outdoor adventure in North Minnesota. Just seeing him enjoy the wilderness and help him negotiate the challenges was very rewarding.

"There were reciprocal benefits too, as he was able to draw my attention to things I hadn't even heard – it was symbiotic the way we helped each other enjoy the experience. I've seen many people achieve things they didn't think they could do and go on to apply that to their everyday lives. It's really satisfying to help people overcome or adapt to those challenges."

How did your visit to UCLan come about?

"I was teaching in the USA while Helen Hooper (right) was working on her Master's there around 20 years ago. She's currently using one of my books in her teaching and that reignited the connection. It's been fun to learn about your outdoor programme.

"There are a few differences between here and back home – our degrees are four years rather than three and we don't have the same level of practical hands-on skill development your students are exposed to. UCLan graduates leave with very technical skills – we're working hard towards improving that on our programmes."

Are there plans for more collaborative work with UCLan?

"We've discovered areas of mutual research interests in the therapeutic use of the outdoors. I'd love our students to be able to come here to see how your programmes operate and vice-versa. There's lots of possibilities - you have a strong programme and we'd definitely benefit from a link up."

How do you relax away from your professional life?

"In the outdoors! I enjoy snowboarding, cross-country skiing, windsurfing, hiking and cycling with my husband. We really enjoy travelling – he's building a plane at the moment, so hopefully we'll be able to do more short trips in the future. I've enjoyed watching the Winter Olympics while I've been here – it's been great to watch sport without the commercialisation you get in the USA."

What are your goals for the future?

"As part of my work I direct an inclusive recreation research centre. Its mission is to teach people how to include all abilities in their programmes and increase accessibility of environments. I'm currently working on projects to bring the training online.

"It's been field tested over the last five to seven years and has proved very effective in improving knowledge and attitudes. It's exciting to think this may have a broader impact on the world at large."

UCLan Outdoors would like to thank Professor Anderson for this interview and her input to our programmes during her visit.

We also wish to thank Jamie McPhie (University of Cumbria), Robin Horner (RSPB) and Kathryn Beardmore (Yorkshire Dales National Authority) for their contributions to the debate.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Students shine at Outdoor Conference

UCLan Outdoor undergraduates made a big impact at the recent Institute for Outdoor Learning (IOL) Northwest Conference 2014.

A group of 2nd and 3rd year students attended the event, presenting research ideas and dissertation data to expert audiences.

Feedback from employers and practitioners at the event was extremely positive, with the students praised for their exceptional skill levels, highly relevant work on reflective practice and professional development and their ability to show critical awareness across a challenging range of studies.

Andy Robinson, CEO of the IOL, said: “UCLan is in the vanguard of improving the quality of Higher Education in the outdoors. The student research presentation highlighted the quality of the investigations being carried out and reflects exceptionally well on the staff and students of UCLan alike."

Senior IOL Delegates said the Conference was a great success, with Jon Miller commenting: "UCLan students made an outstanding contribution to the conference which was a great concept and a superb initiative. The student/practitioner interactions were impressive and invaluable for all concerned, highlighting the quality of the research carried out by these young people."

UCLan Outdoor Division is now set to host the Inaugural North West Higher Education Outdoor Students’ Conference, possibly in 2015, with support from the IOL.

Outdoor Lecturer Dr Mark Hickman was delighted with the students’ efforts: “It was fantastic to be part of this excellent event. Our students conducted themselves in exemplary fashion and were a credit to UCLan. I’d also like to say a big thank you to my colleague Alli Inkster, who organised the trip."

Images from the event can be viewed here.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Access v the Environment - Where do you draw the line?

Staff from the Outdoors Division are teaming up with Dr Jo Guiver, Sustainability Lead from UCLan's School of Sport, Tourism and The Outdoors, to host an exciting new event.

Chaired by Professor Richard Sharpley, 'Access v the Environment - where do you draw the line?' takes place on Wednesday 12 February 2014, 4-6pm, Greenbank Lecture Theatre, Preston, PR1 2HE.

The event is free to attend and will also be streamed live on the web. The speakers include Lynn Anderson from the State University of New York and the British Mountaineering Council's Dr Catherine Flitcroft.

They will be joined by Jamie McPhie (University of Cumbria), Kathryn Beardmore, (Yorkshire Dales National Authority) and Robin Horner (RSPB).

Please follow @uclanoutdoors for regular updates. For more information please email: