An introduction to our New Centre Director

Matthew Ellis talks about his new appointment as Centre Director at Derwent Hill.

It’s a great privilege and honour to have been appointed as the Centre Director of Derwent Hill Outdoor Education and Training Centre.

About ME (Matthew Ellis)

I have been in post as the Outdoor Education Adviser for Cumbria and the Lake District National Park for the last eleven years.

Throughout my career I have consistently worked in education and training. My last job in schools was as the Head of Physical Education at Scarborough Sixth Form College and my previous job in the outdoors was Deputy General Manager at Outward Bound Ullswater.

I have a genuine love of the outdoors and enjoy being in the mountains and on the rivers and lakes. I have been a member of the Fell and Rock Climbing Club of the English Lake district for many years and was the former Regional Coaching Organiser and Chair of Cumbria Canoeists.

My wife Greta is a local Primary Headteacher and I have obviously encouraged her to bring her school to the centre. I have two grown up children, my son Joe and daughter Laura. I’m delighted that I have three Grandson’s Alfie 3yrs, Matthew 2yrs and Arthur 7mnths so weekends are quite busy at the moment. We also have a new addition to the family a Cockerpoo pup called Meg.Derwent Hill's Centre Director Matthew Ellis with his Cockapoo

In terms of my own adventures I have been very lucky to ski, climb, paddle and cycle in several beautiful countries around the world. But as many well-travelled people will tell you, there are very few places as beautiful as the Eden Valley and the English Lake District. When I see a Kingfisher or an Otter on the River Eden I am as excited as the first time I saw one.

Derwent Hill is First Class!

Derwent Hill has been providing high quality outdoor education and training since 1962 and has established an excellent reputation.

The centre is very lucky to have exceptionally loyal support from schools in Sunderland, several of whom, have been coming to centre from the very beginning. Many parents of cuA scenic view across a calm Derwent Water to Derwent Hillrrent pupils and visiting staff members came to the centre as youngsters and remember their own first adventures at Derwent Hill.

In addition to first class facilities and a world class location the staff team is our greatest asset. They genuinely care about the buildings and site, the quality of the food and the hospitality provided. The calibre of the Tutorial Team is second to none. They have a wealth of experience and hold many of the highest outdoor qualifications in the UK. Visiting members of staff can be confident that they are working with the some of the very best outdoor professionals in the industry.

Derwent Hill Training Centre was built in 1997 and offers bespoke tailor made training services to industry.  We provide a range of courses and programmes always working closely with clients to create innovative training solutions.

Derwent Hill’s Educational Visits Advisory Service offers educational visits advice to schools and technical advice and risk management consultancy in adventure activities.

The future

I am very positive and optimistic about the future and confident that with the support of the staff team and our partners we can rise to meet the challenges ahead.

‘It’s not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most adaptable to change’  Charles DarwinCastletown Primary school pupils celebrating their success on top of a Snowy Catbells