David Key
BA (Hons.), MSc (Dist.), FCHE.
UKMT Summer & Winter Mountain Leader, NZOIA Alpine and Rock Instructor.

At heart, I am an outdoor educator. I’m happiest outdoors working with groups to facilitate personal and social change for sustainability. I hold international qualifications in mountaineering and rock climbing and have nearly twenty years experience leading groups in wild places.

I also teach Ecopsychology at Schumacher College, hold an Honorary Research Fellowship at the University of Exeter and maintain various independent research interests to support my professional practice.

Raised in the heart of the Derbyshire Peak District, I started out as a marketing consultant in London. Luckily, in 1994, I ‘escaped’ to a career in outdoor education and management training in New Zealand. Close call.

After winning a bursary, I came back to the UK in 1998 to attend a course at Schumacher College with the late Arne Naess before returning to New Zealand to train outdoor leaders in eco-education at the National Outdoor Training Centre (“OPC“) and Outward Bound NZ.

In 2000 I moved to Scotland and graduated from the Centre for Human Ecology (CHE) ( in Edinburgh in 2003, with an MSc (with distinction) in Human Ecology. I went on to become a Director and Teaching Fellow of the CHE and to co-lead the post-graduate course in Ecopsychology that the CHE ran collaboratively with University of Strathclyde until 2010.

My special interest is in the transformative power of wild places to shift people towards sustainable lifestyles. I have worked internationally and published numerous articles on this subject. My most recent work is the Natural Change Project with WWF-Scotland.

I’ve been a rock climber since I was 11 years old, although I’ve now semi-retired to easy climbs with good views! I am a passionate Telemark skier and I love running in wild places. I’m also a keen sailor, cook, sometime poet, and guitarist.

I currently live in Cornwall with my partner Libby, nine year-old daughter Maia and lab-collie cross dog Ruby.

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