Background and history
After launching on May 27th, 2017 enquiries quickly became bookings and I was guiding families, couples and groups of friends all around Sunart and Morvern in canoes and kayaks and occasionally on mountain bikes and on foot.
Now in its third season (2019), Otter Adventures has grown a little, but has become widely recognised. It still operates from our home that is Otterburn Bed & Breakfast and overlooks Loch Sunart and is still a small friendly business.
Thanks to the incredible support of other tourism providers, I now work across the West Highland Peninsulas with a more diverse range of guests than ever before.
A nomination for ‘Best Newcomer’ in the 2018 Scottish Outdoor Leisure Awards was a surprise and a great recognition of what I had achieved in the first year.
However, jumping back over 35 years I began learning about the outdoors through the Scout Movement. This rapidly progressed into teaching in the outdoors to give something back to a new generation of Scouts. This led onto a teaching degree in environmental and outdoor education, then working in outdoor centres and lecturing in outdoor adventure. You can read more about me or my thoughts on qualifications and experience by following these links – just try not to laugh at the old photos…
A drawn out family move to Scotland in 2016 allowed me time to plan and start Otter Adventures. Hopefully it will continue to grow steadily until I realise my dream of having an environmentally friendly outdoor centre that benefits visitors as much as the local community…
All of the activities we offer and locations we visit have been risk assessed and we also have operating procedures in place for these.
Working outdoors for over thirty five years, I long ago realised that leading and coaching in a hyper-dynamic environment requires more than a risk assessment on paper – it requires experience, maturity and common sense (and not just qualifications).
During your time with us, we will be constantly undertaking dynamic risk assessments in our heads. These take into account the group, the weather, the environment, the equipment, and many other factors. They draw upon our previous experiences and local knowledge and allow us to make appropriate decisions on the spot rather than sticking to a written assessment. This does mean that we sometimes change the plan part way through a trip.
If we do change it (and you notice), please remember that the decisions your guide makes during the activity are firstly for your safety and then for you enjoyment and learning. It is very important to you and to us that we bring you back safely. Then we worry about whether you enjoyed it and learned something. If you have any questions about why the guide may have changed the plan, please do speak to them.