Richard Gooding

Hi, my name is Richard Gooding and I am both a Moorland Guide and a Dartmoor National Park Guide. I now live in Plymouth with my wife and two children. My wife and daughter have their own businesses and my son is working with the HM Coastguard Agency. I spent 32 years in the Royal Navy as an engineer and then as a project manager with Babcock. Ever since I was a boy my parents used to take me onto the moor and I have always liked to walk and explore. During my time in the forces we were encouraged to get out and compete in Adventure Training to keep us fit and work as a team. As we travelled the world I wanted to visit more remote areas and take like-minded ships’ personnel to experience life away from the vessel. To do this I qualified as a mountain leader (Joint Service Expedition Leader (MLT)) which enabled me to plan my own expeditions and excursions. I completed and attained the Mountain Bike Instructor and Assessor award for wild country terrain to give people who had never tried mountain biking the ability to attain a level where they would feel competent on a bike over rough ground.
Since retiring I have enjoyed spending time walking, camping and biking on the moor and decided to use these skills in joining the Dartmoor National Park and Moorland Guides. I love taking people out and being able to show just how interesting and fascinating Dartmoor can be with a sense that I am giving something back to the community. Dartmoor is a unique place on our doorstep with a fantastic history that can be seen and shared.
Getting out for a walk with a qualified guide can give all a sense of well-being as well as the knowledge about a place we all need to care for and cherish.
All Moorland guides are helpful, informative people who love the moor and are willing to help you in any way possible to make your experience a safe and pleasurable one. I look forward to meeting you soon.

Phil Watson

Phil’s mountain experience began, as did so many others, with the Duke of Edinburgh award schemes. Serving as a musician in the Royal Marines for 33 years gave him many opportunities to develop mountain skills, including the 10 day Unit Expedition Leaders course run by the Army. Phil now likes to walk as much as possible in the Lake District and on Dartmoor, with the occasional sortie to Snowdonia, Scotland or the Brecon Beacons, and delights in introducing people to the great outdoors.
A few years ago he underwent his Mountain Leader training, becoming qualified in 2013. Since then he has led many walks and expeditions in the UK, with friends, family and young people groups. He has trained Ten Tors teams for the past 8 years.
Phil now lives in Totnes and organises walks under the name of ‘Mustard Seed Walks’, a group started with a few friend from his church, but which has grown in number (see his Facebook site – Mustard Seed Walks).
Phil joined the ranks of the Moorland Guides at the end of 2017 and looks forward to sharing walking experiences with others on Britain’s mountains and moorlands.

Peter Challiss

Peter Challiss is a qualified Mountain Leader since 2002 and this qualification enables him to lead groups over all the UK including camping. He has worked as a Dartmoor National Park guide since 2001 in both summer and winter, covering a wide variety of moorland walks for the public as well as for English and Foreign school groups. He has led groups on the Lych Way walk, the Abbots Way Walk and many six-hour day walks. Peter is also a Ten Tors manager and for the last 16 years running a 35, 45, & 55 mile teams locally in West Devon.

Whilst not walking on Dartmoor he enjoys walking in Cornwall, the Brecon Beacons, West Wales and occasionally further afield, on the long distance paths in France. For the last 5 years he has spent a month each summer leading school groups abroad and has visited, Chile, Borneo, Ecuador, India and Madagascar. He is also a member of the Tavistock & District Outdoor Education Forum that provides over 3,000 sessions of outdoor activities for young people. He is also the coordinator for the annual 23 mile Abbots Way Walk from Buckfast Abbey to Tavistock, always held on the 1st Sunday in October which reaches its 50th anniversary on October 7th 2012.

He is qualified in outdoor first aid, fully insured and CRB checked. He is, married and has lived near Dartmoor for over 25 years.

Paul Rendell

Paul Rendell, also known as ’Dartmoor Paul’, was born in Plymouth and became enthusiastic about Dartmoor from an early age after being taken on numerous outings by his parents. Burrator and Sheepstor were two of the favourite places they went as a family.
Very early he found he was fascinated by the moor’s industrial archaeology and its wildlife. Because he was dyslexic his schooldays were not very easy for him but he struggled on until school leaving age.
After leaving school, Paul trained as a chef and worked in a number of establishments within the Plymouth area, as well as some on Dartmoor.
Later on he became the Head Gardener at Devonport Dockyard and for stayed there several years but his love for Dartmoor led him to look for work away from the city. His boyhood explorations had already provided him with a knowledge of the moor that only a few possess and his interest led to a second job: leading guided walks and giving talks. Through sheer grit and determination he became a full-time professional guide; this in turn has enabled him to introduce countless people to the delights of walking on Dartmoor and throughout the West Country.
As a keen local historian, Paul has written many articles for newspapers and magazines and wrote his first book, called ‘Exploring the Lower Walkham Valley’. In 1991 he founded the ‘Dartmoor News’, a bi monthly magazine which he still edits today.
Paul is frequently out and about gathering information on matters relating to Dartmoor. For a number of years he was the Conservation Officer for the Dartmoor Preservation Association. In 2011 he started working for the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust leading walks and doing conservation work Bellever near Postbridge and Paul is Committee member for the Okehampton and District Branch of the Devonshire Association.

Paul has now been a Dartmoor National Park Guide for over 21 years.
He loves taking photographs and many of his pictures can be found on Christmas cards, postcards, calendars and in magazines. In his spare time he collects old picture postcards, listens to music and exploring the countryside.

Paul has written three books:
Exploring the Lower Walkham Valley,
Exploring the Burrator Area and
Okehampton Through Time was published in May 2011. He has published a number of books for other authors. Today he lives in Okehampton with his partner Pauline Greenwood. They are working their first book together, Dartmoor Pubs Through Time.

Nigel Grist

Nigel Grist is a biologist by training specialising at university in moorland ecology and marine studies. A further research period was spent on the growth of seabird colonies. His interest in flora, especially moorland plants and some of the non-flowering groups such as mosses, liverworts and lichens has been maintained; Dartmoor is a terrific place for these groups.

For twenty-five years he was joint owner and co-director of a marine biological survey company specialising in surveys of marine invertebrates as well as in the design and programming of a number of scientific databases. Photography has been important for both work and pleasure for 40+ years and he has worked and printed in both film and digital. For the last five years he has been developing his photography and other artistic ventures including printmaking (especially linocuts and etchings) though exhibitions, and he has an online presence and links with online image agencies. (www.theunseenview.com)

His interests are varied but might be grouped under wildlife and landscape in a very broad sense: very keen on the detail of macro images but also in trying to capture some sense of a landscape. Dartmoor and the moor’s multi-layered complexity has figured prominently in recent years and he walks there frequently; the Bronze Age sites being of particular interest. Over eleven months between July 2013 and May 2014 he walked all of the named tors and hills on the moor; 1200km and 370 targets in total.

Nigel holds the Mountain Training Association’s WGL award and Bronze and Silver NNAS certificates. He greatly enjoys showing others some of the huge variety of sites and scenes the moor has to offer. He is also very keen on navigation as an enjoyable pursuit for its own sake and enjoys taking small groups on training walks.

Mike Rose

Mike retired from the police service in 2012 and lived in Princetown for many years. He has a long connection with the moor starting with completing the Ten Tors challenge four times in his youth. This continued through his involvement with training police search teams and with his role working closely with the Dartmoor Rescue Group. He continues to walk extensively and explore the moor whenever he can. Mike is now the Chair of a regional search and rescue team and is the programme manager for the rescue and emergency management degree course at Cornwall College where he ensures his students become as enthusiastic about the moors as he is!

Mike Jeffery

Mike was born, bred and lives on Dartmoor, he has just retired as a boiler engineer. He holds Walking Group Leader and, National Navigation Bronze Silver and Gold awards Mike has always had a keen interest of Dartmoor and is always willing to share his knowledge with others. His other interests are, bell ringing and miniature engineering He is also a District Councillor and a member of The Dartmoor National Park Authority.

Liz Miall

Born and brought up on Dartmoor Liz became a Dartmoor National Park Guide in 2008. Liz gains great pleasure from sharing every aspect of Dartmoor with visitors, interpreting the landscape, tailoring walks to the wishes of the clients and having a few smiles along the way.
Qualifications and experience include Hill & Moorland Leader, South west Mountain and Moorland Leader, Mountain Leader training, walking in Wales and the French Alps.

Inge Page

Inge has recently joined Moorland Guides and gained her Walk Group Leader qualification. She lives in Ashburton and has spent many years exploring accessible and interesting routes on Dartmoor. She has set up Dartmoor Walks This Way which offers made-to-measure walks for people wanting to explore the quieter and less obvious parts of the moor -www.dartmoorwalksthisway.co.uk.

Inge worked for 17 years at Schumacher College in Dartington where she was responsible for planning and managing their renowned short course programme. She developed the Earth Pilgrim courses which took participants out onto Dartmoor in the company of Satish Kumar, one of the College founders, to experience wild nature and reflect on the way our relationship to the natural world affects how we live in these challenging times (http://www.schumachercollege.org.uk/courses/earth-pilgrim-2012). Her experiences leading groups during these courses, as well as taking other small groups out on an informal basis, made her realise how few people, even those living quite locally, venture beyond a few obvious areas on Dartmoor and thus miss out on its unique character and beauty.

Inge is a fluent German speaker and therefore interested in working with and developing connections with groups from the German-speaking world.

Ian Johnstone

Ian was born at Hampton Court in Surrey and grew up in west London near Heathrow airport. Whilst at school he started the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, gaining his gold Award in 1969. It was this that started his fondness for Dartmoor as his expeditions were done here. After completing gold Ian went on to become an assessor for the D of E expeditions in 1971. He started teaching in a primary school near Heathrow and moved to Devon to be near Dartmoor in 1976. It wasn’t long before he joined the Rescue Group and the DNP guides – in 1978.

He is now semi-retired, enjoying some supply teaching, running his own living history business for schools and guiding. His particular interests are archaeology of all types and legends, but his walks always include flora, fauna and geology- anything to do with the moor.