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John Gardiner

John Gardiner

John has been a volunteer for Shepherds Walks since the end of 2010.

John has proved invaluable over this time with his professional attitude to everything he does for Shepherds Walks; he is an active back marker on our walks and has also attended our GPS Training day.

John is also a great photographer with many of the images on our blogs and YouTube films coming from Johnís lens, so if somebody points a camera at you during one of our events I suspect it will be John!

As with all our staff and volunteers John is a competent First Aider and an all round nice bloke.

So who is John and what makes him tick?

– Which is your favourite walk in Northumberland? Any stretch which includes the Border Ridge, especially Barrowburn to Windy Gyle

- What inspires you to get up in the morning? I never like to waste daylight hours and I particularly like to walk in the relative quiet of the post- dawn hours....just to greet a new day

- Where would be your special place to eat your packed lunch on a walk? A young girl on a Duke of Edinburgh's Award expedition once drew my attention to a small stream near Ingram, sunlit but surrounded by trees.'There' she said 'is another little bit of heaven'. I use 'little bits of heaven' for lunch stops. The small, beautiful anonymous bits of scenery which link together to form our landscape

– What makes you smile? Family, especially my three grandchildren. Young people achieving in all kinds of ways. People who take time to smile at me. Riding my motorbike

- What is your favourite Shepherds Walks event and why? The Kielder Challenge. I organised outdoor activity weekends in Kielder even before the lake was there. I have lovely memories of the area and the scenery around the reservoir has matured beautifully over the decades

- Whatís your greatest achievement? Oh, I have personal greatest achievements in many areas of my life. Family, a long and rewarding career, activities I have tried hard to master, but recently, I suppose, completing my first ever Great North Run, running every step and raising over £3000 for Leukaemia and Lymphona Research

- What canít you do without when out walking? A map. Although I don't consult it as frequently as I should. I make some interesting but unplanned detours

- Who would you invite to your fantasy dinner party? Ross  Noble, Alexander Armstrong, Sarah Millican, Robert Macfarlane, William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Cormac McCarthy

- If you could walk any walk/ climb in the world what would it be? The Santiago De Compostela Pilgrims' route and Mont Blanc

- Which of your achievements makes you most proud? With my wife, bringing up three children of whom we are proud. Making a difference in the lives of other young people. And having the biggest collection of soft toy sheep in the world...but that's a whole new chapter

- A trip to Northumberland wouldnít be complete without a visit to .....? The coastline and castles between Craster and Berwick

- What would you wish your epitaph to be? He was never too old to take the next step