Wild and Free – Making the world your playground

Mark Hannaford is the founder of World Extreme Medicine, the world’s leading provider of expedition, wilderness and remote medicine training courses for medical professionals. As someone with a passion for outdoor adventure we were interested to hear his views on natural play.

Remember playing outside? What are your strongest memories of outdoor play as a child?

As a kid I always wanted to be outside. We lived in Plymouth for a while and had a big field behind the house where during the summer groups of kids would get together to play football and cricket. I also spent a lot of time playing in the woods and as soon as I was old enough, I would cycle onto Dartmoor and camp out with a friend. I must have been 10 or 11.  Other times I would go off walking in the day and cooking in the woods and stuff like that. And I loved walking the coast path.

What is the riskiest thing you ever did as a child?

Oh, I suppose some of the trips I’ve done didn’t really have a plan. I would go at 9 o’clock in the morning, just me and my dog, and not come back until after dark, sometimes 10 o’clock at night, and in those days of course with no mobile phone. I guess I would take a map with me, but it was all fairly unplanned and I didn’t really know where the heck I was going. I don’t seem to remember my parents being particularly concerned though. They were probably thankful for the break! Continue reading “Wild and Free – Making the world your playground”

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