Darren is a passionate advocate for sustainable exploration of the mountain environment through ecologically sensitive and educative journeys from home to destination and everywhere in between. A keen adventurer from childhood, his curiosity for landscapes and the environment was fostered through wandering the open and shapely sandstone hillsides of the Brecon Beacons. In late-2004 he completed his Duke of Edinburgh’s’ Gold Award in the damp, autumnal mountains of Snowdonia National Park with fellow Scouts from Pentyrch, South Wales. Darren studied a Physical Geography degree at Lancaster University and Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand). Throughout his time at University he was an active member of the Lancaster University Hiking Club and Victoria University of Wellington Tramping Club. These experiences acted as a springboard for his aspiration to become an International Mountain Leader. He has spent over ten years exploring the mountains and wild places of Europe, North America and New Zealand. His excursions have taken him from bursting Alpine meadows to steaming sulphurous volcanic lakes and majestic pine forests. A lifelong love for rail transport has provided a solid platform for Darren’s adventures. He is a strong believer in the principles of sustainable development and his journeys fully embrace this through critical appraisal of the whole-journey lifecycle and ecological impacts of travel and exploration.
He has always had a passion for environmental education and in particular, learning through interaction with the natural world. Darren strongly believes that ‘field’ based experiences were critical in his own personal development as a geographer and environmentalist. He was awarded fellowship of the Royal Geographical Society in January 2013 for a commitment to geography, in particular geographical education. During his time as as an undergraduate, Darren took part in the RGS Geography Ambassadors scheme; promoting further study of the subject. He delivered a series of inspirational talks on human-environment interactions to young people in secondary schools across Lancaster.
In 2013, Darren completed his (UK) Summer Mountain Leader Award and has subsequently completed the Winter Mountain Leader Award (April 2015) and International Mountain Leader Award (March 2016).
Through his current work as DARREN AXE IML FRGS, he offers accompanied journeys to the wild upland landscapes of our world, as well as inspiring talks on his travels with a strong focus on the sustainability issues that face the natural environment. He is passionate about connecting people with nature through sustainable enjoyment of wild land.