From Guerrila Geographers to Arctic explorers, we’ve rounded up speakers from the ends of the Earth for our Festival
Renowned for programmes such as BBC’s Countryfile, Julia Bradbury is someone we all recognise from the small screen. Her walking documentaries have taken her from South Africa to Iceland, as well as the length and breadth of the UK. Her most recent work, Britain’s Best Walks on ITV, has led her to co-found The Outdoor Guide, an online resource for outdoor enthusiasts. She is proud to be the first female President of The Camping and Caravanning Club and the first Celebrity Ambassador for Ramblers Walking Holidays.
A man at the front line of exploration, and one of the world’s most experienced science expedition leaders, BBC’s Inside Out presenter Paul Rose knows the challenges — and beauty — of the polar regions like no one else. Paul has led Greenland ice cap crossings and ascents of previously unclimbed icy mountains. He even has a peak named after him in Antarctica.
James Cracknell OBE
Alan Hinkes OBE
Catherine Gray manages Freedom Treks, a cycling holiday company specialising in leisurely guided and self-guided European tours. Catherine started her life in travel 18 years ago specialising as an Austrian Product Manager in Ski and Lakes & Mountains before combining her love of travel and cycling. She believes there is no better way to explore Europe than from the comfort of your saddle allowing plenty of time to still experience the cultural sights and sample the local food and wine. Favourite cycling trips have been island hopping in Croatia, cycling from the mountains to the coast in Slovenia and exploring the “heel” of Italy. Motherhood hasn’t meant an end to cycling as she introduced her son to cycling on the front of her bike at 11 months. Already at the age of two, he has enjoyed cycle touring through Normandy, Bavaria and though the Swedish archipelago and they have many more family cycle trips planned.
Daniel Raven-Ellison is a National Geographic Emerging Explorer and Guerrilla Geographer, and is leading the campaign to make London the world’s first National Park City. Fascinated by psychogeography and alternative ways of getting around, last year Daniel walked 1,686km across all of the UK’s 15 national parks and 69 cities while wearing a headset that recorded his emotions. To celebrate National Geographic’s 125th anniversary Daniel completed 125 British microadventures with his son. A creative adventurer, Daniel loves exploring London and as well as traversing the city many times, for one project he walked the height of Mount Everest over 10 days by using hundreds of the capital’s buildings.
Jim McNeill is one of the world’s most experienced and respected explorers. He has spent large portions of his life in extreme environments for over 30 years and his knowledge and practical know-how has been enlisted by TV and film crews for productions including Frozen Planet, Human Planet and Natural World — even Hollywood blockbusters such as Captain America. In 2001, he founded the highly successful Ice Warrior Project, emulating the heroic era of exploration and taking complete novices through to competent and accomplished modern-day explorers. His next flagship expedition in 2017 is to the Northern Pole of Inaccessibility (follow this on Twitter using #lastpole), which stands as the last true World First in polar expeditioning and what has been described as a “crucial piece of citizen science”.
With four major expeditions on the surface of the Arctic Ocean, twenty photographic assignments inside Northern Siberia, Canadian high Arctic and three in Antarctica to his name over the last 15 fifteen years, he has built an extraordinary archive of rare polar imagery. He is the only professional photographer to have ever crossed the Arctic Ocean on skis and with dogs. Martin’s huge efforts with the Catlin Arctic survey photographing the state of the disintegrating Arctic Ocean sea ice on three major environmental survey expeditions earned Martin a nomination as one of Time Magazine’s’ Heroes of the Environment. His first book, Face to Face: Polar Portraits in collaboration with Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) was published in 2008 to accompany a touring exhibition of historic and contemporary polar portraits. His vast global expedition experiences, creative vision and ability to produce quality results under the most brutal environmental conditions has made him a highly sought after photographer — he regularly works as a photographer for The North Face. He has won numerous awards for his adventure travel, portraiture and expedition photography and, in 2010, Martin was voted as one of the 40 most influential nature photographers on our planet by Outdoor Photography Magazine. His adventure images have featured in exhibitions at the National Maritime Museum, Christie’s Polar Sale, The Royal Geographical Society and a solo show in Trieste, Italy for the Initiative Culturali.
At the age of 19 George broke the world record for the longest fully unsupported polar journey. Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes called the staggering 1,374 mile crossing as “genuinely groundbreaking”. George has gone on to guide extraordinary expeditions to the four corners of the earth, leading youth development programmes in the Amazon and scientific research in Antarctica. George has joined IGO Adventures and is passionate about imparting his experiences on IGO to offer life changing expedition challenges in beautiful wild places on our planet to those who only have a week to spare.
Jonathan Phang grew up in a hectic Chinese-Caribbean household in London that was always packed with waifs and strays as well as the wonderful, rich smells of the next delicious meal. After a career in fashion (he managed models Jerry Hall, Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks, among others), he returned to his passion for food, hosting Jonathan Phang’s Caribbean Cookbook for Food Network UK, which explored the melting pot of cultures that form Caribbean cuisine, and publishing The Pepperpot Club (2013) cookbook. More recently, Jonathan Phang’s Gourmet Trains (2015), for the Travel Channel, saw him jump aboard some of the world’s most iconic trains in a mouthwatering journey across the globe. Jonathan’s all about the journey: as he proves, “it can be even better to travel than to arrive.”
Once the full programme of events has been finalised you will receive an email with instructions on how to book on to individual sessions and talks taking place throughout the day. Your ticket includes access to all sessions and talks, but places are subject to availability and will be allotted on a first come first served basis.