Rod originates from North West England, but first fell in love with the outdoors when he moved to Wales in 1995 and discovered the mountains of Snowdonia. In 2001, he moved to the Lake District, sealing what’s become a lifelong passion for getting out into the mountains to photography, discover, explore and learn.
Rod established ‘Out There People’ and instructs on courses as well as taking care of the day to day running of the company. He holds the Summer Mountain Leader Award (leading groups in mountains, hills and moorlands of UK and Ireland) and has completed his Winter Mountain Leader training.
Rod is a John Muir Award holder and has attended the leader training programme for delivering the scheme. He is qualified in Outdoor First Aid, Emergency First Aid at Work, use of Automated External Defibrillators and use of Epipens. He also holds the Managing Safely certificate awarded by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health.
Holds a DBS Certificate (Disclosure and Barring Service certificate) Issued by Young Cumbria.
He has a BA (Hons) in Sociology & Social Policy, an MA in Social Policy & Social Research and a Professional Certificate in Management. This learning has helped shape his ideas about the fundamental value of the outdoor environment to society as well as the potential for developing individuals within it.
Rod has undertaken voluntary work, helping out with World Challenge events as well of Duke of Edinburgh Award expeditions and has also taken part in voluntary work days with the Natural Trust and Cumbria Wildlife Trust.
As well as Out There People, Rod runs a dedicated photography business “Rod Ireland Photography” and he’s rarely seen around the Lake District without carrying a camera or two!
In the Lakes, Ennerdale in the west has always been a favourite place with its beautiful, rugged scenery. But I also love the secret corners in places like the far Eastern Fells where there’s solitude, with nothing but Red Deer and Skylarks for company. Further afield, Scotland is an incredible place to explore and dawn from the dunes of Sandwood bay, Sutherland is very special.
Favorite outdoor food?
Bag of Mixed nuts/dried fruit so I can ‘graze’ without stopping. When wild camping, baby cheeses, crackers and red wine (in moderation!) is a difficult treat to beat.
Learn to navigate properly – it’s key to staying in control of your day in the mountains. It’ll also help you get away from the ‘honey pots’ and enjoy your own little bit of wilderness.
What inspires you?
My young daughter. I want her to be able to enjoy the outdoor environment as she grows up and that inspires me to help conserve and protect it so she has the opportunities I’ve had. She’s also lots of fun and very determined – pretty good characteristics to have in life!
Funniest thing you’ve seen in the outdoors?
Steve Kirkby’s failed attempt to cross a swollen stream. At the end of an incredibly wet and grim day we had to cross one final stream. I managed to clear it, then looked back to witness Steve’s majestic, salmon like leap. He reached 4ft into the air, but sadly only about 2ft forward. Thinking of the look on his face as he stood knee deep in that stream still makes me smile 🙂
Strangest / daftest thing you’ve seen in the hills?
A thirty strong party of Tuxedo / ball gown clad people stood on top of Tryfan in Snowdonia, along with tables, chairs, food and kegs of beer.
Discarded toilet tissue along popular paths and rubbish left at wild camp spots. Oh, and midges!
What do you like doing away from the mountains?
Pottering around the lakes in my canoe when it’s too hot for clambering up the mountains.