Technical Advisers

Meet our Technical Advisers

Meet our other teams

British Exploring Society utilises a network of specialist Technical Advisors who provide advice and consultancy to support and uphold the planning and operational development of all our expeditions.

Our Technical Advisors are highly experienced experts in their field who help us to set and maintain the highest of standards across all our procedures and delivery by providing highly-valuable and appropriate challenge and scrutiny.

Andy Charlton - Technical Advisor: Mountains

Andy is a mountaineer, mountaineering instructor, mountain safety advisor & director of specialist organisation providing outdoor training and skill development. Hooked on the outdoor life from an early age, Andy's been lucky enough to climb, run, walk and mountaineer extensively in the UK and around the world, pushing himself personally and professionally in the mountains. Andy supports British Exploring Society by providing technical advice and consultancy for all expeditions in mountainous environments.

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Andy supports our operational planning and safety management protocols, advises on leader recruitment & training including technical competence assessments. Andy's professional background is in outdoor skills training, delivering instructor awards and skills courses UK-wide for numerous well-regarded providers including national centres. His qualifications include: Mountaineering Instructor Certificate (MIC); Mountaineering Instructor Award (MIA); International Mountain Leader (IML); Summer Mountain Leader (SML); Winter Mountain Leader (WML); Rock Climbing Instructor (RCI); DofE Accredited Assessor for Bronze, Silver, Gold; Member of Association of Mountaineering Instructors; Member of British Association of International Mountain Leaders; Member of Mountain Training Association.

Dr Lucy Obolensky - Technical Advisor: Medical

Dr Lucy Obolensky MBChB MRCS MCEM MRCGP MScSEM DTM&H FBES FRGS is a portfolio career doctor specialising in remote and global medicine. When in the UK Lucy works clinically as an Emergency Medicine staff grade and GP and is currently working as a PHEM doctor with the Devon Air Ambulance. In her academic career Lucy is the programme lead for the Global and Remote Healthcare Masters at Plymouth University. Lucy supports British Exploring Society by providing advice and consultancy to both the organisation and our Expedition Medics.

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The rest of Lucy’s time is spent working overseas, either in a global health or expedition environment. Lucy has worked in Global Health for over 15 years, having completed a post graduate qualification in International Health Consultancy. Lucy works with governments and NGOs to achieve a holistic approach to health system strengthening, locally and globally. An expedition medic throughout her career, Lucy has worked with a multitude of groups and individuals ranging from youth groups to BBC film crews and Sir David Attenborough. Lucy has a passion for education and believes in sharing knowledge and skills that impact on daily practice. She regularly teaches remote medicine courses at the Royal Geographical Society and gives motivational lectures at a variety of medical schools, universities and companies, combining her academic background with personal experience in the field. Her professional memberships and qualifications include: Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh 2007; Member of the Royal College Emergency Medicine 2011; Member of the Royal college of General Practitioners 2013; Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society 2015; Fellow of British Exploring Society 2018; Professional Certificate International Health Consultancy LSTM 2014; Masters in Sports and Exercise Medicine Cardiff Metropolitan University 2011; Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene LSHTM 2005.

Martin Hewitt - Technical Advisor: Disability Engagement

Martin is a mountaineer, businessman and former Captain in the Parachute Regiment where he served for eight years. He was injured in 2007 in Afghanistan whilst leading his men in combat, receiving gunshot wounds to the chest and foot. These injuries paralysed his right arm and ended his military career. After leaving the Army Martin turned to elite sport and represented GB in the Paralympic World Championships, competing in Downhill Ski Racing. Martin supports British Exploring Society by providing advice and consultancy with respect to disability engagement.

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Martin founded and now manages the Adaptive Grand Slam. An ambitious project to be the world’s first team of disabled adventurers to complete the ‘Grand Slam’ reaching each of the 7 summits (the highest peaks on each continent) and walking unsupported to both the north and south pole. The team are now more than half way there having already completed five of these nine epic challenges. Additionally, Martin co-founded a highly successful and well-regarded Leadership & Development organisation. Martin draws on his experiences and skill in military operations, elite sports and 'world first' expeditions to support individuals & businesses to achieve personal goals and drive positive change. Martin’s personal experience, endeavours and ethos are at the heart of his programme development. He inspires others to push beyond perceived boundaries to achieve the extraordinary, championing the effectiveness of teamwork and finding the positives in adversity & challenge. His notable achievements include: Walked unsupported to the Geographic North Pole, joined by HRH Prince Harry (televised on BBC 1 'Harry's Arctic Heroes'); Has led the Adaptive Grand Slam team to successful summits of Mt McKinley, Mt Elbrus, Mt Kilimanjaro & Mt Aconcagua; First disabled person to reach the summit of Mount Manaslu (8162m); Competed in the punishing Marathon des Sables across the Sahara Desert; Led a team on Mt Everest with HRH Prince Harry, televised as ‘Harry’s Mountain Heroes); Part of BBC series ‘Without Limits’ featuring British & Australian veterans on a journey across Australia; Trustee of Endangered Species Protection Agency.

James Dyer - Technical Advisor: Jungle

James is a highly experienced, award winning and trusted expedition professional, designing, preparing, providing safety advice and leading expeditions, alongside continuing to practice as an adventurer and explorer in his own right, staying true to his original passion for exploring remote wildernesses. James supports us by providing technical advice and consultancy for all expeditions in jungle environments, our operational planning, our safety management protocols, and advises on leader recruitment & training including technical competence assessments.

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James is a former Operations Manager at British Exploring Society and continues to be involved in the organisation as a Chief Leader and Adviser, supporting the Society’s work in transforming and educating future generations. Over the course of his career James has undertaken expeditions to all corners of the globe, leading many of these with scientists, film crews, students and adventure tourists in some of the remotest and wildest places on the planet, developing his passion for wildlife, exploration and wilderness areas. James believes that challenging expeditions are powerful mediums to help educate and inspire, and that they can be drivers to support environmental, conservation and social justice agendas. James is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS), a Leading Practitioner of the Institute of Outdoor Learning (LPIOL), has won several notable awards for his expeditions and holds a range of mountaineering, mountain biking and paddlesport qualifications. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society; Leading Practitioner of the Institute of Outdoor Learning; Member of the Arctic Club; Summer Mountain Leader (SML); Winner: RAF Air Cadet Shackleton Trophy for Best Expedition; Winner: Ulysses Trust Best Cadet Expedition; Winner: 2018 British Exploring Society, Les Morgan Award Winner for Best Leader.

Nigel Williams - Technical Advisor: Cold Environments

Nigel is one of the most experienced, influential and highly respected outdoor professionals in the industry. Nigel’s career began in the military with notable roles including Chief Instructor at mountain training bases, and Base Commander on South Georgia. It was with the military that Nigel realised his passion for instructing and he subsequently held the role of Head of Training at Glenmore Lodge, the National Outdoor Training Centre, for 20 years. Nigel supports us by providing advice and consultancy with respect to cold environments and is working with us on our expedition to Lake Baikal, Siberia.

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Nigel has undertaken countless mountaineering and exploratory expeditions all over the world, including in the Himalayas, Alaska and Greenland, and is particularly fond of cold places, whether on foot or skis. He has worked with a wide variety of organisations and industry bodies throughout his career to promote provision, training and education in the outdoors. Nigel’s recent ventures include supporting The Polar Academy, an innovative programme including an expedition to Greenland, which enables secondary school children to ‘redefine their physical and mental limits’. His qualifications and achievements include: Mountain Instructor Certificate (MIC); International Mountain Leader (IML); Mountain Ski Leader (MSL); BASI 2 Nordic Mountain Safety Level 3; DoE Gold Assessor; National Navigation Award tutor trainer; Course Director for summer, winter and international mountain leader awards; Expeditions: 8 x Himalayas, 10 x Greenland, Iceland, Alaska, South Georgia, Morocco, Alps & Pyrenees, extensive Nordic ski touring.

Chris Heaney - Technical Advisor: Water & Paddling

Chris is a dedicated outdoor enthusiast and a highly experienced & respected educator and paddlesport coach. Chris is a Lecturer at the University of Highlands & Islands in Scotland and has previously worked as an outdoor and adventure education instructor in the UK, across Europe and the US. Chris supports British Exploring Society by providing technical advice and consultancy with respect to water safety and paddle (canoeing & kayaking) activities. Chris supports our operational planning and safety management protocols, advises on leader recruitment & training including technical competence assessments.

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As an outdoor instructor in America, Chris worked with Colorado Outward Bound School and also worked with 'young people at risk' on the outskirts of New York, using adventure education to successfully establish an alternative education programme for young people previously unable to sustain mainstream school. Chris has worked extensively in Further and Higher Education and was instrumental in the development of the Degree in Outdoor & Adventure Education at the University of Chichester. He contributes to the applied aspects of adventure provision, including subjects such as adventure sports coaching & performance, expedition skills & philosophy, and pedagogical skills. An all-rounder in the water, Chris is a highly accomplished and qualified paddler across multiple disciplines. He contributes to the development of coach education and the technical committee for British Canoeing. In recent years he has enjoyed trips surfing along the west coast of Europe and North Africa, as well as white water paddling and rafting in Bosnia, the European Alps, Grand Canyon and Himalaya. Qualifications & achievements include: British Canoeing Coach Educator; Level 5 Coach – Advanced Leader Award Assessor; Level 4 Coach Inland Kayak; Level 3 Coach Open Canoe; Sea Kayak Leader; White Water Safety & Rescue Course Provider; RYA Safety Boat Driver; Single Pitch Supervisors Award; Mountain Leader Certificate (Summer)

Meet members of our wider team

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