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IOL Northern Region Conferences

IOL North West Outdoor Conference 2016
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The 2016 NW IOL Conference was held at Brathay Hall, Ambleside on 29th January.

150 members and non members got together for the usual outdoor learning news, networking, presentations, discussions and workshops with students from the University of Central Lancashire Outdoor Studies department presenting their research and engaging with members.

Thanks to all the presenters for giving their time and expertise, Brathay for hosting at short notice, Wilf’s Café for supplying excellent cakes and Lyon Equipment for their posters; lastly to all delegates for again making the day the superb networking opportunity that it is.

You can download the full report on all the workshops here.

Download the Adventure & Environmental Awareness Group (Proposed AEA-SIG) Presentation.

Some photos from the day - thanks to Steve Berry for sending these!




IOL NW Conference 2014

Biggest yet! 240 delegates make the NWIOL conference the biggest one day IOL event in the country......
On Friday 24 January 2014 we held the Annual North West Region conference at Dallam School, near Milnthorpe.

Download the programme to find out what happened...
Thanks to members coming forward with offers to present we had a fantastic range of workshops with sessions to suit all levels.
Workshop list.
Thanks to sponsors Wilf’s Cafe for supplying great post conference cakes and to Lyon Equipment for superb goody bags.
The President of the Faculty of Public Health - Professor John Ashton, in his keynote speech, invited us to make links with his sector – forewarning us of the next big focus for outdoor learning.

IOL North West held their annual conference on Friday January 24th at Dallam Outdoors, Dallam School, Heversham. 220 delegates took part and benefited from an update by IOL CEO Andy Robinson. Then there were updates from across the wider IOL field, before signing up for a great selection of workshops. A big thank you to all the presenters – your expertise, enthusiasm and willingness to share is much appreciated.

Over 30 Outdoor Studies students from the University of Central Lancashire shared poster presentations of their current research with us – helping to bridge the gap between industry and academia and provide pathways to employability, as well as inviting us to use their energy to help us find out what we need to find out and base future dissertations on real need......

After a superb lunch, Professor John Ashton CBE, President of the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal Colleges of Medicine of London, Edinburgh and Glasgow entertained us with his keynote speech:Outdoor education is a public health issue....“ and gave us an insight into what we need to do to be noticed as a big player in helping to solve public health issues.

Thanks to Professor Ashton, also to Lyon Equipment for sponsoring us by supplying all delegates with Petzl posters and Exped drybags; also to Wilf’s Cafe in Staveley for sponsoring us by supplying 500 post conference cakes. Paul Bond, ran his last AGM as chair of the NW Region before handing over to Neal Anderson. Many new committee members were also elected – thanks to them for stepping forward but also to Paul for leading us as Chairman of the Northern Region for the last few years.

Lastly a big thank you to Dallam Outdoors – to Liz and Hannah for helping to make it happen and run so efficiently.


If you attended the workshop run by Mark Squires of Langdale School he would like to share this video made by the school.

It was good to see the Twitter feed being used:


Thanks too to Neal Anderson for taking a great series of photographs at the Conference. We've included some of them below - just to give a flavour of the event.

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IOL Northern Region CPD Multi-workshop Event

Fri 13 Sep 2013 at Low Wray near Ambleside, in association with National Trust logo  


"I thoroughly enjoyed the IOL conference and workshops that were held on the 13 September.
All the staff I encountered were friendly, engaging and informative and I found the whole experience to be educational and rewarding. I would definitely attend further events by the IOL."

Some photographs of the day from Neal Anderson - Thank you Neal

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IOL North Conference 2013 - 18.1.13 at Brathay Hall, Ambleside

If you didn't catch the Live BBC Radio Cumbria 3-hour broadcast from the IOL North Conference you can hear snippets of it, with photos too,  on YouTube

Thank you Brathay Hall for hosting so wonderfully and thank you to all the presenters and speakers.

Read more about, and see the pictures from, the Conference IOL Northern Region Conferences

IOL North Conf 2013 


IOL Members can download Minutes from IOL and Regional Meetings on the members only documents web page

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A first North East conference took place September 2012

We held the first IOL North East region conference at the Carlton Centre, Carlton in Cleveland, with a very encouraging turnout of 50 members. There is a new web page for the North East.

Northern Region Professional Development Events

Learn new skills. Get a flavour of different activities. Enjoy diverse CPD days.

Vital information on Insurance for all IOL Events

If you have regional information please email it to Fiona    stating which region it is for. We are keen to make these sections busy and useful for all members.

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Workshops at the 2013 Conference:

  • Games, feedback and achievement
  • An introduction to pioneering and its use in campcraft, backwoods, and outdoor learning
  • Making sense of work at height for outdoor centres using ropes courses, zip wires etc
  • Tyrolean Traverses – how we might set them up
  • Looking after your back while at work and at play!
  • The Role of the Technical Advisor
  • Exploring values
  • Sea Kayak Navigation – how to plan simple journeys
  • Into the Wilds: Using creative research and evaluation methods with young people in outdoor and experiential learning settings

  • Brathay’s Youth Development Model: Using a theory of change model to map young people’s needs, our approach, theories, activities to outcomes and aims
  • Large group canoes – what are the practicalities of buying, owning and using voyager style canoes
  • Open Water Swimming – ‘Sink or Swim’?
  • Coaching with Neurological Levels
  • British Cycling Level 1 MTB Leadership Award.....the missing link!!
  • Dark Sky Discovery – practical astronomy for groups
  • Diversity in the Countryside
  • Practitioner based research projects in the outdoors
  • Working with living willow
  • Go Outdoors!

  • Forest Education Network - exploring opportunities in relation to trees, woods and forests
  • Walking with a stick...
  • Circus as a vehicle for learning
  • The Ancient Art of Dowsing
  • Global Learning Outdoors
  • Youth Aspirations -  A university based student social enterprise
  • OPAL CLimate Survey
  • “Not all those who wander are lost.” Maps and retelling the journey
  • Shelter Building and Kelly Kettle Cooking – A look again at ‘solos’
  • Helping People Be Their Best Self - 4 Essentials from Positive Psychology and NLP
  • Out of the Woods
  • Frequent, continuous and progressive LOtC   

Northern Region Conference 2012 at YMCA Lakeside

The NR Conference 2012 has been hailed as the biggest and best yet with 201 people attending as delegates and presenters. 37 workshops and 10 industry updates provided a diverse range of opportunities from all sectors of the outdoor field. Full list of workshops HERE.

Tim Farron, MP and Liberal Party President presented the keynote speech “The role of outdoor learning in promoting inclusion in society”.

Tweeted feedback:

" was great, we had well received workshop & v. thought provoking day. @ioloutdoorprofs did great job organising NRConference" and "Enjoyed northern @ioloutdoorprofs conference today & was good listening to @timfarron"

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NR Conf pic  NR Conf pic  First pics of the day......
does anyone have any more?
Send any you would like
to share to Fiona at IOL

FRIDAY Workshops
  • Greening Outdoor Practice
  • Crafty Communication – storytelling for a change
  • Pioneering – an activity for young people
  • Environmental Earth Walks
  • Sea Kayak Navigation
  • A Practical Mountain Bike session
  • Problem Solving Activities for Groups
  • Woodcraft and Whittling
  • Looking After your back at Work and at Play
  • Basic Expedition Leader and Day Walk Leader workshop
  • Campfire Cooking
  • Felt making
  • A Practical Paddlesport Session
  • Open Canoe Safety

NR IOL Conference 2011 - Report from Tim Deighton

On Friday 28th January the IOL Northern Region annual conference took place at Borwick Hall near Carnforth, Lancs. 158 delegates were treated to a packed day and glorious winter sunshine. The conference was opened by Paul Bond, Northern Region Chair and Andy Robinson, IOL Chief Executive Officer. Delegates then had the choice of 15 workshops to attend before an excellent lunch – details of workshops are given below. After lunch, delegates were treated to Norman Beech’s presentation, “Beech Boys Atlantic - a dad and a lad row an ocean” – charting his transatlantic voyage, with his son, by rowing boat in support of Wateraid. A record breakingly short AGM was followed by Industry Updates from AALA, National Navigation Award Scheme, BCU, the National Skills Academy, Adventure Learning Schools, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and the Children’s University.

After a second training session with the choice of another 15 workshops, many delegates finished the day with a final catch up and a drink in the bar making the most of another great networking opportunity.

We were also honoured to present a Fellowship of IOL award to Bill Taylor for his lifetime of outstanding work in our field.

All in all – a very successful day – the only problem being how to find a centre big enough to host next year’s event.

Thanks to all at Borwick for their hard work and for making us feel so welcome, also to Lyon Equipment, Tamarack and Brookbank for their sponsorship of the event.

Workshop Details HERE.

Thanks to all the workshop and industry update presenters – the conference could not go ahead without your generous help.