Transcript: Climate consciousness, a new national cycling trail and #WeTwo Polar

[MUSIC starts - Bassbeat by Alex Norton: "Funky and upbeat, jangling guitars, a fat bassline and a full horn section create the perfect soundtrack to a late summer block party."]

FRAN: Hello and welcome to On The Outside, the podcast that shares diverse views on outdoors news. In today's show, we're talking about being climate conscious, the #WeTwo polar expedition and a new national cycle trail.

[Music ends]

FRAN: My name is Francesca Turauskis. I'm the producer of On the Outside and today's host. And if you've listened to our previous shows, you are going to recognise all of the panellists on today's show. But I'm going to let them say hello to those listening for the first time, starting with Vedangi.

VEDANGI: Hi, Fran. Thank you for having me. I’m Vedangi Kulkarni. I am an adventure traveller, endurance athlete and expedition manager, expedition planner, whatever you want to call it. And I'm currently working on organising a couple of downhill mountain bike events.

ANI: Hi, Fran. Nice to speak to you again. Those who don't know I am Ani Patas. I am a chronically ill and disabled hiker, swimmer and stand up paddle boarder and you know, just like to try anything that I haven't tried before.

OGE: Hi, everyone. And my name is Oge. And I am the regional leader for an amazing organisation called Black Girls Hike. I am an anti-racism programme manager for a charity and I am a hiking enthusiast.

FRAN: Welcome all of you, and at the top of today's show, we have a few nice check-ins from some of the other panellists I just want to let you all know about. Neil was part of the team organising the Duke's Weekender gravel race on the 12th of September and Soraya's event The Outsiders’ Summit took place as well. She's been working hard on that one for months and we are going to hear some more about that in a future show, so I won't tell you too much. And Frit announced his crowd funder for his Glide For Pride film. So do you go and check out all of those things. They will be in the show notes for you. Vedangi, you were recording from a campsite the last time we spoke to you. But you are back inside today, only just though, because you were away yesterday and going away again at the weekend. But where were you yesterday? Just tell us very quickly.

VEDANGI: So yesterday I was actually at the Women in Bike industry meet-up, which happened at Forest of Dean. And there was, like everyone right from freelance writers, editors of magazines to people who work with bike brands or outdoor brands. And it was really interesting. We basically all came together, introduced ourselves. We rode bikes for most of the day, did some yoga, but I wasn't there for that. There was some life coaching involved I hear. Again, I wasn't there for that. But yeah, we did a lot of bike riding and a lot of chatting to each other and there was some beautiful lunch. I've never been to one of these before, and it was a really great experience in the way that I was amongst a group of people who I could really relate to. And yeah, that was really cool. That felt surreal.

FRAN: Yeah, fantastic. It's so nice to hear. And we will hear something from Ani a bit later in the show as well, because she was away at the weekend just gone on a similar kind of retreat. So, our first story today comes from Oge who is going to be talking about some articles that were on the great outdoors website. Oge.

OGE: Yes so this particular article was written by Hanna Linden in August 2021 and it reads ‘Less cars, more buses: how do we address traffic chaos in national parks?’. And it talks about the need for radical transport measures in these national parks. The RAC estimated that 29 million people will be motoring off on staycations this year, leading to unprecedented levels of traffic and bumper to bumper cues. It highlights the issues of parked cars along Penny Pass to get on to Snowdon and the queues trying to get to the top of Snowdon. And so this increases carbon emissions, especially in the Lake district. It says that transport accounts for nearly half of those total emissions and thinking about ways of how to move towards sustainable transport without discouraging visitors. So it would be really good to talk about currently, where do we stand on, you know, transportation issues? I know it's a really big issue, and there's so many moving parts to it. But what are some of our kind of like, thoughts on transportation issues in getting to popular hikes or just remote hikes and things like that. The second article is written by Hanna Linden again and this time it looks at interviews from climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers on their perspective on climate change and some of the issues that they highlight is societal apathy and the growing and fast paced changes to weather and what we need to as kind of outdoors people, what we can do to be more climate conscious and how we can, you know, take that and apply to the communities that we are in. I found these two articles really interesting and they really link in together on the wider kind of topic of public transport and the climate. And I'd really love to kind of hear what people's thoughts are on these articles.

ANI: I didn't finish the climate crisis ;We will be judged on our actions’ because I kind of got the gist after, like every polar explorer said, like it's all melting, which, you know, gave me a little bit of a heart attack and serious anxiety. But like for good reason, because it is absolutely terrifying that landscapes are being absolutely ruined. But like, you know, you hear about ice caps melting, you hear about sort of things changing in environments that we don't necessarily get to see, but you don't see it firsthand, so I suppose it is easier to distance yourself in that way. So hearing it from people who've actually seen it and it's really like, shook them to the core. That's, you know, that's deep. It's truthful and it's meaningful.

FRAN: Vedangi, given obviously the climate crisis and things that we're doing as individuals. Is there anything in particular which you really try to do yourself?

VEDANGI: Well, to be fair, there is an expedition that I am going to be setting off for next month where I'm kind of addressing this by doing that expedition under a carbon budget. So I'll basically be trying to offset my carbon footprint and seeing how kind of an expedition under a carbon budget would work essentially because I've never done anything like that before. But also like in day to day, it's interesting just by using trains and only using bikes just how much of an effect you can have by yourself is quite interesting. And then suddenly you realise if more people did this, how much of a greater effect it would be. But at the same time, I can definitely say that right at this time, if someone gave me a car and a valid U.K. licence, I would probably take it because I've got a lot of things happening and it would sometimes just be much easier to carry my bike in a car to wherever I need to go than take a train because costs more. Obviously electric cars do solve that issue to an extent, so I suppose that's something in future I am kind of looking into, but yeah, at the moment, it's all public transport or on my bike. And, yeah, and like trying to do my adventures and under some sort of carbon budget and see how much of an effect from like my own standpoint, I can have.

FRAN: Well, this is something which we spoke about briefly before the actual recording. But it's a massive topic about that car versus public transport, which I could go into for days because I don't have a car and I don't drive. And there are several reasons for that, but the main one is that because I was having seizures for several years, I've never learned to drive. And then because I'm lucky enough to live in London and have the public transport there for me, I've never needed to learn from my day to day.

ANI: If public transport can be used to access national parks easily, that's great. And I do think that would be good. There are people who, predominantly or even only use public transport to travel to the national parks that they go to. I think, is it David Ventures, who doesn't have a British driver's licence? So does just use the trains everywhere, just uses public transport. It's completely doable to some extent, but I think the conversation shouldn't be necessarily something only that is to be done. We shouldn't just be saying everybody should be using public transport, everybody should be using trains because, A) every single person can handle public transport. B) the infrastructure isn't always there for every national park to get there within a few hours. To get to London For me, it takes me an hour and a half,two hours, including the tube, to get to the hospital that I visit. It took me the same amount of time to get to the national park that is closest to me. That takes an hours drive, and I had to change twice. And the more rural areas you get the harder the public transport is so I don't think the answer is telling people to use public transport. But it would be nice to have more public transport options. But in the same breath, would that not also contribute to, you know, adding more train lines or adding, you know, maybe more roads that are better tarmaced and stuff like that, which would contribute to taking away the wild from national parks.

OGE: So I think, yeah, Ani your last point, it does feel like a lose-lose, no not lose-lose situation, but the fact that you know, if we increase public transport or you know, the public transport infrastructure, what is that going to do to the natural world around that infrastructure being built? Is there going to be a cost that accompanies that? So it is just, I think it is hard saying to people just don't drive or don't take car or use better public transport. I'll give you a story because I love giving stories on these podcasts. I had to go for a training weekend for Black Girls Hike. We were doing a skills weekend in the Peak District, and the nearest station to where we were staying was Uttoxeter and getting there was fine, even though I had to do about three different changes. But coming back to London on a Sunday, you really have to, you're at the mercy of the train. And so there was a disruption, and all the trains back to the inter changing station that I had to go to were cancelled because there was either a cow on the train tracks at another station or something, that was the reason. And so what would have been a three hour journey became a six hour journey. I had to do like four different changes and then was just at the mercy of different train timetables, running up and down with a really heavy rucksack, and it just made me think if I had a car, this problem would be solved. And so I just think that you know, in an ideal world, I would love to take public transport and take it more often and advocate. And I do believe that, you know, wherever you can take public transport, you should. But to just say, don't use your car. I think it's just a bit, it doesn't work for everyone.

FRAN: The experience that you just said there Oge is just bringing back so many, like PTSD memories from just like trying to get to my parents house, which is like 45 minutes in a car journey. And we've literally had journeys that have taken us an entire day to get there because there's bus replacements and train lines being closed or redone or you know, all of this kind of stuff. It's just a constant problem with public transport in this country that, as you say, telling people to use it, it's the wrong way around. We need to make it better before we can tell people to use it. Aside from transport, which is obviously a big thing, we can all try and consider. Are there any other aspects to being an outdoors person that you are very climate conscious when you're doing it?

ANI: I think awfully, in a sense, no. I'm probably more climate conscious in home life than I am in outdoors life. I mean, it's not so much climate consciousness, just trying to be respectful to the environment as well. So, sticking to footpaths in places that are like, you know, have nesting birds and stuff like that,ground nesting birds, not parking on grass verges of farmers, lands or in front of gates where emergency accesses might need to be done or clogging up roads Not going to an area if it is very busy. Many a time I’ve gone to a place, seen that it's like way overcrowded and like the streets of, you know, the roads all crammed up and there's no places to park and turned away and gone to an alternative place, which, you know, I know is a bit quieter. I have never done a litter pick, which is something I'd like to do when I remember to go buy a little picker. I'd say I’ve probably not done much in climate emergency wise when going outdoors.

OGE: Do you know what, I can't say that I do anything climate wise. I just feel like a really bad offender. I'm so sorry to everyone who's listening. Don't don't think any less of me, but I take my litter home with me. If that counts.

FRAN: It does count.

OGE: I am in two minds about this whole topic of, you know, individual climate consciousness and as an outdoor enthusiast, how can I be more climate conscious and climate aware? I don't know. It's difficult for me because I really don't want to pick up other people's litter. I'm going to be really honest. I don't want to, and it's quite triggering for me as a black woman picking up people's litter, you know, because back when my parents came, well, when my mom came here, we had to do cleaning jobs. So cleaning up after other people is quite triggering for me. I don't want to have to do that. You know, I would always advise people to be climate conscious where you can, and if that is, if taking your litter with you is your active climate consciousness, start small and start there. That's my advice.

FRAN: So I would very much like to hear from listeners what small or big steps you are taking to help combat the climate crisis. We are on Twitter and Insta @ontheoutsidepod, and our email address is So please do send us your thoughts on this one.


FRAN: Our next story comes from Vedangi, and we've just heard a little bit about reducing our carbon footprint and using more public transport and active travel. Vedangi is going to talk about a new national cycling trail called the West Kernow Way.

VEDANGI: So cycling UK just launched on 2nd of September this 230 kilometre off-road trail called West Kernow Way in western Cornwall, and in short, I would basically say that West Kernow Way is a like a cocktail of steep hills, quiet coastal villages, beautiful gravel trails, some really colourful Cornish countryside. And yeah, I just think that when it comes to experiencing the best of Cornwall, it really kind of ticks all the boxes. And, you start from Penzance, you head west towards Land's End, and from there you kind of go a bit north to Saint Just, and then you join something called Tinner’s Way, and that's basically like an old kind of mining trail. And it's one of the lost ways actually. So something that's actually a bridleway. But it’s on site marked as a footpath and yeah, along that you see some sights like Men-an-Tol and stuff like that and some really cool kind of old mining locations. And then you kind of head down towards Porthleven and Lizard Point. At some point you cross this really beautiful beach called Lubar Beach. It's really pretty. It's like turquoise waters and really beautiful. Yeah, then kind of like head back north towards Didion's and some trails around there are genuinely, like dream gravel stuff. And yeah, it's like a figure of eight. So then you kind of move back to Marazion which is like only five kilometres from Penzance, and Marazion is actually where you can at low tide, walked to its St Michael's Mount, which, funnily enough, the first time I went there, I thought it was like a film set, and I was convinced that that wasn't like a real place. But then I watched it like I saw it like up close. And I was like, OK, this is real place. This is not the film set. Yeah, that's the West Kernow Way. And yeah, you can get the guide book. You can read articles about that on Guardian and I think there's something up on Bike Radar as well. And yeah, the guidebook can be bought from Cycling UK website.

FRAN: A little plug there for Cycling UK website. Yeah, lovely. So it just sounds amazing. And that's coming from someone that's not even really a bike person. Although I do like riding on gravel and off-road sometimes. But I'd like to just open this up to Oge and Ani and see what your thoughts are on this one.

OGE: I am a non cyclist. So other than cycling during the first lockdown, you'd class me as a non cyclist, but yeah, I mean, just from Vedangi’s description of this new bike packing route, it just sounds so beautiful. And I think Cornwall is a beautiful place. So, I'd love to do a long distance bike ride. I don't know if you have to prepare beforehand, but this sounds really, really interesting.

FRAN: I have so many questions about this one because it just feels like it's a really exciting initiative to have a kind of a new national path that is so long. I suppose a couple of specific questions that listeners might be thinking. How long does it take to cycle this one?

VEDANGI: I would strongly recommend four days. We did it in three days on e-bikes, and that was really fun but we also had pretty long days. But if you do it in four days, you can really experience the best of every kind of place you're going at and again the guidebook that I mentioned earlier has some really interesting recommendations for campsites and things like that. So yeah, super handy.

FRAN: How long has it taken to put this together and how long were you involved in it?

VEDANGI: From what I heard, it has taken years to put this one together. And it's not just as easy as getting some online route planner and like some sort of satellite imagery and then putting it together. There's a lot that goes behind; when Cycling UK are putting a route together, they usually are also looking at which ways have been marked wrong. So, as I said earlier, about lost ways, that sort of thing. But also, if there is a chance that some bit of private land can be negotiated to be used towards the route as long as the root is used responsibly, then that's part of their route planning as well and obviously they can do that. Someone like me can't just be like I'm going to plan a route and I'm going to talk to the farmers and I'm going to, you know, get that bit of route sorted for everyone. I can't do that, but like an organisation like Cycling UK can perhaps. So that's really cool about the rates, but my involvement: I was invited for the photoshoot leading up to the route launch, but I was also invited for the press trip. So I joined a few really cool cycling journalists for this and, yeah, my first ever press trip. And yeah, it was fun, to say the least. It was a steep learning curve. It was like, ‘oh, so like, I'm just not like riding by myself and thinking to myself, it's also like, there's a lot of OK, we're experiencing things. And now I have to think about how to write about that experience’. So that was super interesting. Yeah, such a great opportunity. I'm really grateful for that.

FRAN: Ani, what's your relationship like with cycling?

ANI: Unsteady? I had a bike and I used to be on it every single day as a kid. But it was sort of just cycling around my local area. I was not steady enough to cycle on the road to go anywhere longer. And yeah, it just kind of left it at that. I don't think I ever had, like, comfortable seats enough for me. So it used to hurt joints. I was undiagnosed at the time when I used to ride as a kid. So I think I liked it less at the time because it hurt and I felt tired and it didn't feel worth it after a while once I started to get, like, worse and worse with my health. It's something I want to try because we've got the Tissington Trail nearby, and that's like a big cycle route. It's the thing that everybody cycles down. It's not as cool and rad as like down the coast from Penzance to Lizard Point, but it's a big deal for me, but I'm apprehensive to try it. But I was about other things and I ended up trying them. So maybe one day, just not today. V, you should take me out.

VEDANGI: Absolutely.

FRAN: So V you were saying that you did the cycle route on e-bikes. Ani do you think that's something that would make cycling a little bit more accessible or more like exciting for you?

ANI: Yeah, I totally picked up on that and I was like, ‘oh, e-bikes. We can do that’. I just thought e-bikes were you know, for commuting to work and stuff. Actually, like I did pick up on it and was like, Hmm, I might ask about that later. So, like, what is an e-bike? How does it work? Is it something that you know you can stop pedalling for a while and have that rest?

VEDANGI: So that's interesting. Basically, the way a e-bike works is that there is a motor near the bottom bracket and when you pedal, it kind of generates a little power to give you a bit of a boost. But the ones that we used basically they had three modes. One was like eco-mode, which gave you, like, a little boost. You know, it was still enough to get you up 20% hills. You still had to pedal. You still had to, you know, put in some physical power to get up stuff, because again, like we had to make it last for three days. So we did that. The second mode is called trail mode, so I can 100% say that, you know, coastal hills are pretty pretty steep. And I was literally, I put it on trail mode, and I remember it was like the bike was carrying me. It was a very strange sensation. And also it's like you pedal and you're going much further than you would expect with the power that you're putting in. So that was cool. So one thing is like you have to be in the right gear for that to work out well. And then third was turbo, which was essentially, you sit on your bike and a little pedal will basically just take you further. You know, you kind of keep doing that. And it's really cool. Almost feels like eco mode. I can say it feels like tail wind. It feels like you have a forever lasting tailwind that's helping you push on. And that lasts for ages. So I definitely recommend an e-bike, but at the same time talking about the bike and accessibility, have you seen the prices of e-bikes like that? That don't make it accessible

FRAN: Yeah super expensive. It costs like up to five grand, its ridiculous.

ANI: That was going to be my next question. Is it actually affordable, or is it something like maybe I should just hire for the day?

FRAN: Oge, you're shaking your head there.

OGE: I was just about to say I wonder how much those e-bikes are and can you hire one? And what would be the cost and all of that? But that sounds really interesting, though. I like the idea of an e-bike. When I did the Yorkshire Three Peaks, I saw some guy on an ebike and I thought he looks like he's having so much fun. I want to try that.

VEDANGI: Talking about West Kernow Way again and hiring e-bikes, there is a shop in Penzance called E-Bikes Cornwall. And, yeah, they would be more than happy to help or hire e-bikes if that's required.

ANI: That's an option, then. That's cool to know about.

VEDANGI: Yeah, definitely. Look at me. I'm so happy talking about bikes.


FRAN: And our last topic today comes from Ani and Ani went to a skills and networking weekend and it looks like had a great old time there. I was very jealous of some of the photos, but I was also jealous because one of the speakers that you saw at the event is an absolute favourite of mine, which is what you're going to talk about today.

ANI: Yeah, so I was at the Sprayaway and Lindley Trust Hill Skills and Networking Weekend. Say that five times really fast. Dwayne Fields came to give us a little presentation and tell us about his story and what he's doing at the moment, and I'm going to be real. I've never heard of this guy before that day, essentially, and really shocked that I haven't because it's such an incredible thing he's doing. So for those of you who don't know, Dwayne Fields is one of the founders of the WeTwo movement, which he takes young people from underprivileged and deprived sort of backgrounds on expeditions with Phoebe Smith. Their next expedition is in 2022 where they're going to be taking 10 young people, more if funding allows, from disadvantaged backgrounds to Antarctica, which you know trip of a lifetime. So the WeTwo foundation is going to be doing a Sea to City programme is what they call it. What I thought was really interesting about it is how they’re not only going to try and make it carbon neutral, they're going to be trying to make it carbon negative. All the costs for the young people they're going to be paid for by the funding that Dwayne and Phoebe raised, plus any extra that they managed to fundraise as well. But the young people have to pay it forward by taking part in initiatives like rewilding projects, removing plastics from saplings and cleaning up beaches, rivers, parks, that kind of thing. And then they'll also be planting trees, which they've found a way to work out that as the trees grow, they become, they take more and more carbon from the air and so will continuously reduce the impact of what they have done on their trip. And that will be the entire team doing it, you know, the kids as well planting trees, and I think it's a really cool thing because it's giving an opportunity to people who would by no means easily have this opportunity. When you look at a lot of polar explorers, they do not come from these types of backgrounds and although you know Dwayne himself has travelled to the North Pole you know, he worked hard to get there, and it's not something that happens regularly, by no means somebody from his background, especially as a black man going to Arctic expeditions. So this opportunity that he's doing and him and Phoebe are doing is going to provide, like, once in a lifetime experience for young people and also teach them about the climate crisis and about giving back and looking after the environment, which I think is an important thing in our next generations. So, yeah, wondered what anybody else's thoughts were on this? Or if anybody had heard of Dwayne Fields.

OGE: I've heard of Dwayne Fields. I really liked his, when was I introduced to him? I think it was an episode of Countryfile. And he was talking about his --Oh that episode, everyone knows, and he was talking about his experiences. And yeah, he just seems like a really great ambassador for the outdoors. And it sounds like a really good and exciting project. I'm just thinking about, you know, as a teenager what it would have meant to me to have seen, kind of like people like him doing those expeditions and having an opportunity to be involved in them. I probably would have ignored something like that because that was never really my thing when I was growing up. But I'm glad, I'm glad young people have the opportunity to be able to do more of those things. And I think there should be more initiatives geared around, kind of really opening young people's eyes to, you know, different events and different expeditions and different things that they can do in the outdoors. Yeah, I'm really inspired by what a lot of people a lot of young people, especially, are doing in the outdoors. And it's really inspiring to me to see that.

FRAN: Yeah, I I love Dwayne Fields. I think he's a fantastic speaker. I managed to see him at an event, and he was absolutely the one that stuck out there out of a whole weekend of speakers and actually ran up to him afterwards and was just like, I just wanted you to know that your talk was really good, and like fangirled all over him.

FRAN: Yeah, Vedangi. Do you have any thoughts on that one?

VEDANGI: I think this is mind blowing. I mean, not just in the way that this is such an interesting and impactful thing that Dwayne and Phoebe are doing, but also oh my God, my mind is running while thinking about how this is going to go from, like, concept to actual expedition and there's so many steps in between. And it's incredible that they have already raised the funds that they need and everything that's happening behind the scenes in making this happen. It just sounds incredible.

OGE: I have a question for those who may not know and who are probably novices like myself. What does carbon negative actually mean? And what does that look like in the practical sense?

VEDANGI: So going carbon negative basically means that you are removing more carbon dioxide from the environment than you're emitting. And there are so many ways that are kind of practical in day to day life. So anything from working towards protecting endangered species to yeah, planting more trees using less electricity. All of those things kind of add up to living a carbon negative life.

FRAN: You're doing your next trip to make it carbon neutral. What kind of things go into that? How much do you have to do to make something like that? Carbon Negative.

VEDANGI: In my case, like, obviously, I'm thinking of writing across Finland, Sweden and Norway, and I'm trying to make it carbon neutral. And the way I'm trying to do it is I'm trying to find a way to calculate my footprint first of all and then I'm gonna look into how I can make my trip there and trip back as kind of, I don't know, at least environmentally impactful as I can. I don't know the right term for it, but yeah, I'm trying like currently, this is like very much a research thing where I'm trying to figure out Is there a standard way to do this? Or like, are there any organisations which can help me with this? I know there are organisations which can help with production companies doing carbon neutral productions like film productions, but as me doing this by myself, I'm not sure how to go about this. So this is like a really cool bit of research that I'm currently working on and so far I've just got as far as figuring out ‘how can I find a cargo ship to take me to Finland?’ And so, yeah, even if I find that much, I'd be happy with myself and yeah, then finding my way back in some really bizarre way, that would be fun. I must say, what is going to be for me? It's going to be like 10 times harder for Dwayne and Phoebe just because it's Antarctica. Because any kind of expedition that you're doing all the way down south there getting there is a nightmare and the environmental impact that you have just by being there also like, kind of adds up. So the fact that they are doing it carbon negative just it's insane. That's really cool.

OGE: So then, is it really carbon negative? Because you're doing a whole heck of this pollutant, not pollution, because, you know, but you're doing all of this emitting all this carbon, so to speak, and then just saying, ‘Oh, yeah, well, we're going to pick up litter and and plant a couple of trees’. It's not a like for like, situation, and then you know, isn't that what we accuse big corporations of doing so well, ‘we polluted the ocean. Oh, no. But we've done this, this and this.’ So isn't it still a level of greenwashing, so to

ANI: Possibly. And I think it's better to do the, in this scenario. It's not necessarily like it's OK to do it and it won't cause any damage whatsoever. I think perhaps the statement is misleading in that sense, but at the same time plant a bunch of trees, pick up a bunch of litter, you know, do rewilding projects that can only help in certain circumstances. And I think you said something that really resonated with me, which is you know, how many other people have done this beforehand and, you know, rich people who could very much afford to probably have done this at a much less impactful thing. And like, now that they've done, you know, they've done their thing. Is it a case of should we really is that it? Nobody else is allowed to have their fun anymore, But, you know, So maybe everybody else should stop doing.

OGE: Absolutely. I'm just you know, I'm not kind of, I'm not one to play devil's advocate or anything like that. And I do stand by my point of, you know, the people, the people who say, ‘Oh, well, we have to be climate this and that and stuff after you've had your fun and you've blown up the playground’ Now it's time for ‘Well, how can we make the playground nicer wherever?’ But I just think it's more so, you know, like the way we think about things you know to do, and this could be really cynical, but it just feels very much, you know, transactional. And the very things we accuse big corporations of, do we do it ourselves. And so is there a better way that we can engage with things across the board? I mean, I say that, and then at the same time, I'm like, well, down with these big corporations and whatever, But, you know, I think if we're going to scrutinise, then we have to put the mirror up to ourselves as well, not just that other people. So yeah, that's my soapbox.

ANI: I actually I very much agree. You've pointed out, I think, how easy it is as well to be like, ‘Oh, my God, that's so amazing’. And it's carbon negative. And then when you actually pick it apart like, mm, maybe it's not as amazing. It's not necessarily like it. It takes that sheen off it. A little tiny sheen of it. So I get, like, and perhaps very easy to get sucked in by the idea of it being carbon negative.

OGE: And And I think you raise a really good point that if the expedition was just about influencing or encouraging young people, then would it really get the attention that it has gotten if that the part of it being carbon negative was missed out of it, so then it makes me think that, you know, do people really want to influence the next generation or do they not care, you know? Yeah.

FRAN: Would it be better to call something like this carbon balanced? Maybe. Would that be a more accurate description for it? These are the kind of things that we need to think about when we are putting things out there to the public. Is how we're speaking about things.

OGE: Yeah, I think language and narrative really matters. That's why, you know, in bringing the articles or two articles that I've pulled instead of saying climate activism, I changed it to climate consciousness because I think it's about being conscious rather than just being, you know, an activist or whatever. It's about being climate conscious that, are we aware of what we're doing when we do it? Do we question ourselves, or do we just go and move on autopilot? That's why I think consciousness is such a better use of language than you know, climate change or you know so on whatever the pretty narrative is out there at the moment.

ANI: For me, the thing about it is not necessarily the carbon negative. It's about making kids take a vested interest, even if it means nothing like it's making them take a vested interest in the environment and in doing something different.


FRAN: Those are our main stories for today. But in other news: Protect Our Winters has launched a campaign for local councils to ensure their pension schemes are green. Many pension schemes currently invest in climate destructive businesses. A pair of cyclists have spelled out the words ‘Refugees Welcome’ across the south of England, using a GPS tracking app. Dave Charles and Georgie Cottle cycled 1491 miles to share the message. And adventurer Ant Middleton has gone viral in a Twitter post that compares him to Ricky Gervais character in the office TV series. If you'd like to read more about those stories, please sign up to our newsletter. It currently goes out twice a month and includes the new stories we could not fit into the show. We'd also like to hear your thoughts and views on the stories shared today, and you can email us at That's also where you can send us stories you think we should talk about. I hope you've enjoyed our conversation today and every episode of On the Outside, we do like to end with our call to action, a segment where our panellists give one simple action that you, as listeners can do to help change the narratives we think need changing. Ani, what's your call to action today?

ANI: My call to action is if you could visit the WeTwo movement Instagram Page and Dwayne Fields website and donate to the expedition that's coming up, hopefully they can take a few more young people out.

FRAN: And Oge?

OGE: My call to action this week is to think about one additional thing or one new thing that you can do to be climate conscious.

FRAN: And Vedangi.

VEDANGI: So if you found the conversation around West Kernow Way interesting, but you aren't sure where to start, I would highly recommend hiring a bike or using services like you know, Santander Bike, Barrel bikes and so on. You do not need to own a high end bike to go on adventures or have fun on two wheels. So start with what you have or just hire something for a day. Try it out to see how you like it, and, yeah go from there.

FRAN: And my call to action for today is if you are listening to this in Apple podcasts, make sure you hit that five star rating and leave us a shining review. One review last week said ‘brilliant premise, stellar content and an enjoyable host’, which was nice to read. The show notes for this episode, including links to the articles we spoke about, are all available on our website on the On the outside artwork is by Sophie Nolan. Music is Based Beats by Alex Norton. On the Outside is produced by myself and editing for this episode was also by me, with support from Jack O’Driscoll. Transcript was by Jack O’Driscoll. Social Media by Frankie Dewar and our Patreon support crew are Charlie's Supply Shop and Wild for Scotland, which has just launched its second series. So do go and check that out. And of course, thank you all for listening.