AALA Review Update
Update on the review of AALA following the HSE Board meeting on 12 September 2018 read more...

SAAF & Scottish Government Open Forums on the Review of AALA February 2018
The Scottish Adventure Activities Forum will be hosting three National forums supported by Scottish Government. We would welcome anyone to attend. Please note, with reference to the new proposals from the HSE review, one of the options may impact on activities and activity providers who previously were not required to obtain a licence.   We would urge […] read more...


Jane Campbell Morrison MBE – Chair

Jane started teaching skiing and sailing in 1985 in Scotland, at Port Edgar Sailing School and with Carrbridge Ski School. As time evolved, she became more involved with the outdoor industry as a whole through full-time roles undertaken with RYA Scotland as the Development Manager,  then as CEO of Snowsport Scotland. She volunteered to support all of the outdoor Scottish Governing Bodies through the Scottish Sports Association and maintains regular contact with both the SSA and the SGBs.

She became a member of SAAF in the late 1990s, working with the late Alan Blackshaw and Iain Davenport to build and develop SAAF and raise awareness of the organisation. She was the chair of SAAF from mid 2013 until early 2016, and became the chair of SAAF again from December 2019.

In 2016, Jane became the Senior Inspector (Scotland) for the Adventure Activities Licensing Service, and remained in this role until April 2020, giving her a unique insight into the challenges faced by the adventure industry and the relationships that need to be built to ensure the industry is sustainable environmentally and financially.


Myles Farnbank – Vice Chair

Myles is Head of Guides & Training for one of the UK’s leading adventure travel companies – Wilderness Scotland.  He is also Scotland Manager for the Wilderness Foundation UK.  Myles has over 30 years experience of working in the outdoor sector and has personal experience of sea kayaking, canoeing, sailing and mountaineering in many of the worlds wildest places.

As well as being an adventure travel guide, Myles has been a head of an outdoor education centre, Professional Development Coordinator (Scotland) for the Institute for Outdoor Learning, youth development worker, and an adventure & marine tourism lecturer.  He is a Leading Practitioner of The Institute for Outdoor Learning (LPIOL) and a Coach & Assessor for the RPIOL, APIOL & LPIOL awards.  In recent years he has become a consultant to adventure travel businesses and DMO’s around the world.

He is very involved in staff training, both bespoke and ‘off the-shelf’ products for practitioner and academic audiences. His main area of current work is in adventure guide training both in the UK and overseas.  This includes creating the UK’s first Adventure Guide training programme.  He is the UK representative on the governance board for the Adventure Travel Guide Standard.  He was involved in the creation of British Canoeing’s Guide Endorsement scheme and most recently in the creation of the Adventure WiSe course for the WiSe Scheme the UK’s National Training Scheme for minimising disturbance to marine wildlife.


Debbie Williams – Treasurer

Debbie is a director of Glencoe Outdoor Centre, which is operated by an independent charity, operating in this role since 1988.  Based in the West Highlands of Scotland, the Centre provides residential outdoor learning programmes to schools and youth groups.

Her personal passion in outdoor activities is for skiing and sailing. She is an RYA Yacht Master Instructor, Senior & Advanced Dinghy Instructor and Principal of the Centre’s RYA recognised Training Centre. Debbie is committed to making Outdoor Education Modern Apprenticeships (MA) available to young people seeking a route into the outdoor industry.

She has worked with the West Highland College UHI and other West Highland outdoor providers to further this aim, Glencoe Outdoor Centre is an SDS contracted MA provider. Debbie is also a member of IOL Scotland committee. In line with her desire for continued professional development,  she is an Accredited Professional of Institute of Outdoor Learning (APIOL) and mentors aspirant APIOL candidates, maintains a coaching award for paddlesports and has recently become a SUP coach.


John Hamilton

John was previously Outdoor Education Advisor for West Dunbartonshire Council and now runs his own business providing a range of outdoor activity and coaching

He has over 25 years experience of working in the outdoor education/learning industry and is a past chair of the Scottish Advisory Panel for Outdoor Education (SAPOE) and chair of the Scottish Canoe Association Coaching Committee. An accomplished paddler and keen skier he is still involved in training and assessing for NGB awards.


Richard Cooke

Richard has 20 years professional experience within outdoor learning, specialising in youth development. Since studying Outdoor Education at Moray House in 2002, Richard has worked as a practitioner, training manager and most recently in operational management and leadership. His current role is Head of Operations for Prince’s Trust, Scotland.

Workforce development is a huge passion. Richard has significant experience managing both organisational training and consultancy. He has written training content and programmes for Youth-Link Scotland and is a faculty member of William Glasser Institute UK, teaching Choice Theory and Reality Therapy.

Richard has volunteered for Edinburgh University’s Outdoor Education programmes, as a board member of Venture Scotland, on school development committee’s and as a paddlesports club coach. Richard is a passionate active paddler, biker and mountaineer and enjoys sharing these activities with family.


Ali Dreyer

Ali has been an outdoor enthusiast from an early age influenced by a keen dad.  His main interests are cycling and paddlesports especially multiday trips in Canoe or Sea Kayak but will happily spend a day windsurfing, hiking or skiing or anything on offer if its outside.

His day to day role is Outdoor Learning Manager with Fife Council where he is responsible for Lochore Meadows Outdoor Education Centre and a team of staff that deliver outdoor learning and adventure activities to schools, community groups and public courses.  In addition to the centre he is also responsible for advising and approving off-site visits and provides training to staff in outdoor learning and risk management.

Ali is currently Chair of SAPOE, the Scottish Advisory Panel for Outdoor Education.


Susi McLarty

Susi studied Sports Coaching with Outdoor Development then an Honours Degree in Leisure Management and instructed outdoor activities in the early 90’s. She has a broad range of knowledge in the private and public outdoor and adventurous activities sector and is a passionate promoter of Outdoor and Adventurous Activities!

Susi’s job experience is varied and includes managing a watersports centre with dry ski slope, indoor facility, development of activities, gaining AALS license & British Canoeing accreditation.  She has also been deputy manager for an estate owned by a charitable organisation developing events and private conferences/functions.

Returning to Aberdeen in 2009 Susi became part of Active Schools in Deeside, with a focus on outdoor activities and developed sailing, outdoor residentials and leadership programmes for SportScotland.

Susi is currently responsible for Outdoor and Adventurous Education across Aberdeenshire Council. She also oversees delivery of outdoor training across the council for staff and volunteers, communication and partnership working with a variety of adventurous providers across Scotland, England and abroad working closely and working with third parties in the delivery and provision of outdoor activities. Manages and works with approx. 300 volunteers and colleagues who deliver adventurous activities such as Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme, supporting and delivering training, overseeing the training needs/support required to deliver adventurous activities, with and out with the scope of AALS. 


Mike Dunthorne

Mike has 15 years experience of starting and growing private sector outdoor adventure companies, he holds a wide variety of NGB awards. One entity of his current business runs two high ropes adventure parks and another entity operates as a mobile multi-activity provider.  Mike has served on various tourism and activity sector boards over the years and this is his second stint volunteering with SAAF.

Mike’s main passions in the outdoors are open boating, gorge swimming and snow boarding – and in particular sharing these amazing experiences with his own kids.


Nick Cole

Nick runs a small independent outdoor provider business near Blairgowrie. 

He has had previous careers in the Army, Scottish Office Home and Health Department and Tayside Police as an electronic systems engineer.  Since taking early retirement he has been building up a small outdoor trekking and training business, and runs the Paths for All, health walking group based in Blairgowrie. This provides walking opportunities and training from ‘barely able’ up to very ‘serious hill bagging and long distance trails’.  He is a mobile climbing wall operator visiting the various shows and galas in the Strathmore area.

He holds Winter Mountain Leader and Rock Climbing Instructor Awards, National Navigation Tutor Awards and is a trainer and assessor for the MiDAS (Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme).  

As a sole provider he is active within Outdoor Angus, a business grouping of small providers and operators across the Angus and East Perthshire area.  He is the current chair of Blairgowrie and East Perthshire Tourist Association, Perth and Kinross Community Transport.  As a senior manager has had considerable staff management experience.

He used to be the organiser of the Blairgowrie Walking Festival. He is in the Southern half of the Cairngorms National Park every week throughout the year and enjoys showing people around the various hills, glens and other localities.

He has been convenor of the Perth and Kinross Outdoor Access Forum since it was established in 2004 and is currently the Local Access Forum representative on the National Access Forum.  


Nikki Stewart

Nikki works for RYA Scotland as Coach Education Development Manager where she helps to support Instructors, Coaches and race officials in Clubs and Training Centres.  She also manages the inspection process for the RYA recognised training centres in Scotland.  Nikki works with other governing bodies in various projects.  Currently she is the chair  of the Qualification Design Team who are creating a suite of new sports Coaching qualifications for Scotland.    

Nikki has worked and volunteered as a sailing instructor in commercial training centres and sailing clubs across Scotland.  She has been a coach assessor for the last 10 years, delivering dinghy instructor and senior instructor courses.  Before working for RYA Scotland, Nikki worked as a crew member on Arnold Clark’s boat Drum, offering corporate hospitality and sailing experiences.

In her free time, Nikki spends time cruising around the West Coast, paddle boarding or up in the mountains walking or skiing. 


Ibrahim Park

Over the past 25 years Ibrahim has been involved in the management of extensive and varied outdoor and adventure learning programmes and activities in a variety of fields. He has established networks particularly in outdoor and adventure education across the UK and beyond. He has close and well-developed links to numerous schools (including through the Round Square global network), other organisations involved in outdoor and adventure learning, NGB providers and academics. Communication is by various means at different points in time. These include emails, conversations, meetings, collaborative working, conferences, visits, organising events, etc etc. He is extremely passionate about the benefits and individual personal outcomes of high quality outdoor and adventure learning experiences and programmes. The personal development and growth that can come from these experiences is the driving force behind his work.


Lee Musson

Lee runs a 200 bed outdoor centre in the Borders for Rock UK who also have 2 centres in England and 1 in Wales. He is also the technical director for Rock UK as a whole, with overall responsibility for oversight of the activity provision at all four centres. He therefore regularly spend time at all four centres.

He is involved with CPAS Ventures who run summer camps for around 400 children every summer with entirely volunteer leaders, CPAS hold an AALA licence and he advises them on matters relating to licenced activities. He visits the camps during the summer and attend planning and training events with their volunteers during the year.

He runs the Rock UK Instructor Training Programme taking around 24 young adults each year and training them to be Outdoor Instructors for the centres. This is a two year programme including an initial 3 months of intensive training in Scotland and a two week trip to Lesotho to work with orphaned children.

He also works freelance from time to time for Climb 365 providing climbing/scrambling guiding to individual clients and also working on ML and RCI training courses.


David Exeter

David has over thirty years professional experience at the leading edge of adventure education in both the public and charity sectors. He is a leader and experienced manager.

David is Head of Centre for The Outward Bound Trust, Loch Eil Centre, that has recently undergone a two million capital refurbishment programme.

He has worked in the public sector (Academy) for eleven years leading learning outside the classroom, including an extensive outdoor education programme and educational visits portfolio.

David is a member of AHOEC, Mountain Training Scotland, & the Chamber of Commerce.

David believes in the power and importance of outdoor education, outdoor learning, and adventure education, as a vehicle for personal development. This is backed academically by a Masters Degree from Sheffield University.

David has a love of the outdoors and wild places. He is skier, mountain biker, occasional paddler and photographer.


Mike Strang

Mike is Director of Operations at Venture Trust a charity offering Wilderness personal development programmes to hard to reach groups, namely Criminal Justice, long term unemployed, Veterans and Young people struggling with mental health. Venture Trust operates across Scotland and the model involves 1-1 support in communities and expeditions in the Scotland’s Wild places. In recent years Venture Trust has also developed an integrated Wilderness Therapy model and in 2020 has opened a Greenspace Counselling service.

Mike is a Leading Practitioner of the Institute for Outdoor Learning (LPIOL) and recently retired Chair of IOL Alba, mike is still a member of the IOL Employers Group. Mike holds a BA in Outdoor Education in the Community, a wide range of outdoor leadership and instructional qualifications, is Master Practitioner in Neuro Linguistic Programming and a certified practitioner in Choice Theory and Reality Therapy.

Currently leading on a European project called From Outdoors to the Labour Market Mike has been working with partners in Ireland, Spain and Poland to set up programmes using outdoor learning to move Young People struggling with employment closer to the Labour Market.

Mike works closely with Youthlink, the national agency for youth work and sits on the National Youth Voluntary Sector Leaders forum (NYVOS), the policy planning group and the Outdoor Learning group. Youthlink champions the value of the youth work sector, challenging government at national and local levels to invest in your development.

Mike is also a busy Outdoor dad and enjoys adventuring with his little people… open canoe is the preferred adventure mode.


Roger Scrutton

Formerly a member of academic staff in the School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh from 1974, I moved in 2008 to become Honorary Research Fellow in Outdoor Education at Edinburgh to conduct research into the benefits of outdoor education for the personal, social and academic development of children and young people.  At present my research focuses on the relationship between affective and cognitive learning during residential programmes and associated classroom work.  Although active in a number of outdoor pursuits I have been most active in orienteering, becoming President of Scottish Orienteering 2012-2018.  Through this I joined the Outdoor Pursuits Group (OPG) of the Scottish Sports Association, of which I am now Chair.  This Group is a discussion forum for Scottish governing bodies of sport that use the natural environment for their activities.   I am an orienteering coach at national level, a Trustee of the Orienteering Foundation and Chair of Trustees of Friends of Benmore Outdoor Centre in Argyll.


Shaun Roberts

Shaun is Principal at Glenmore Lodge – sportscotland’s National Outdoor Training Centre.


Nick March

Nick is Operations Manager for Outdoor Learning Edinburgh’s Lagganlia centre.  He is the Association of Heads of Outdoor Education Centres (AHOEC) Regional Chair for Scotland.

SAAF may be contacted through the Secretary