One of Britain’s most prominent explorers, is particularly known for solo journeys through the jungle, desert and Arctic, journeys famously achieved not with a satellite phone, GPS or any of the usual “backup” but by undertaking a testing journey after a period of training alone with a remote indigenous community. These and other ventures are depicted in his ten books - including two best sellers - and six BBC television series.
Benedict also pioneered the filming of remote journeys for television, effectively creating a new genre - that of the TV adventurer. He differs from most of those who've followed in his footsteps by not using a film-crew, allowing millions of people around the world to witness for the first time adventures unfolding genuinely in inhospitable terrain.
Few people alive have spent so long isolated and alone in so many different potentially hostile environments.
Mya-Rose Craig AKA Bird Girl
One of Britain’s best known birders, Mya-Rose is passionate about birds and nature. She describes herself as a conservationist and environmentalist fighting against biodiversity loss and Climate change. At 17 she became the youngest person to see half the birds of the world.
In February 2020, She became the youngest person to be awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science for her five years campaigning with her organisation Black2Nature, leading the fight for equal access to the natural environment for Visible Minority Ethnic people, organising teenage and children’s nature camps and high profile conferences, Race Equality Nature and campaigning to make the sector ethnically diverse.
She was a Bristol European Green Capital 2015 Ambassador and in 2014 was listed with George Ezra as one of Bristol's most influential young people. She has set up an Extinction Rebellion group, involved with Youth Strikes speaking with Greta Thunberg, is involved with Youth for our Planet working to stop species loss and have attended lots of meetings at Downing Street and Parliament. She has written articles including New Statesman and Resurgence & Ecologist; given 50 talks including a panel with George Monbiot and Caroline Lucas MP.
After an upbringing in an orphanage in North London, Duncan joined the Royal Marines at 18. Several weeks after completing the commando course, due to a series of unusual circumstances, he took part in another, more gruelling selection process to become, at 19, the youngest man to join the Special Boat Squadron. He spent much of his 11 years in the SBS in civilian clothes and with long hair.
On completion of his service he joined the `civilian sector' where his SBS skills were employed in similar work, operating mostly alone in hostile environments. After 9/11, Falconer was swept up in the global response where he became involved in all aspects of risk and crisis management. He has operated in every major war zone of the past thirty years covering Africa the Middle East and Asia. Writing began as a pastime for him but he managed to pen several screenplays, create a successful TV show and author a biography and 9 novels largely based on plots and characters he encountered on his adventures.
Victoria was brought up to believe that anyone can achieve anything they want as long as they put their mind to it and believe in themselves. She has always enjoyed a challenge and the opportunity to be part of the first all-women’s expedition to the North Pole (along with her mother, Sue Riches) in 1997 was too good to refuse! She returned to the Arctic the following year for another expedition and was subsequently asked to represent Great Britain on a six nation trip in Northern Canada over the Millennium. She still enjoys a challenge and has run the London Marathon three times and recently competed in a Midnight Marathon in Tromso. Victoria still dreams of swimming the English Channel!
After spending her early twenties working in London Victoria decided to train as a Primary school teacher. For nine years she taught part time whilst also running her own company as a public speaking & life coach and event organiser. During this period she was also a board member of the Prince’s Trust (Black Country Area). Victoria is now Head of Teachit, an online educational publishing company, where she has worked since 2007.
When not working Victoria spends her time doing anything active, especially skiing, gardening or walking her dogs.
Is a modern day polar explorer and educational entrepreneur who has pioneered how modern technology can be used to share his experiences through ‘live learning’. In 2014 he skied 730 miles solo to the Geographic South Pole in just 46 days whilst interacting with over 8000 pupils in schools around the world. Upon reaching the pole he became only the 12th Britain ever to have reached the Geographic North and South poles. Antony has made 16 expeditions into both the Arctic and Antarctica and takes his wealth of experience and knowledge into conservation and education with the aim to inspire the hearts and minds of future generations.
After leaving school Antony had 4 years in the Territorial Army and 2 years in the Royal Navy, serving on HMS Scott. After breaking his back in a snowboarding accident at the age of 22 Antony vowed never to leave a what-if unexplored. At 23 he became an adventure tour guide and at 25 and expedition leader, traveling extensively around the world.
In July 2011 Antony was awarded an Honorary Degree Doctor of Education from the University of the West of England for his contribution to education and the development of ‘Education through Expeditions’.
Has managed to make a day job out of adventuring, by writing and presenting TV shows focusing on anthropology, archaeology and travel.
Born and raised in Cheshire, she had her first taste of outdoor adventures with the air cadets – rock climbing, orienteering, canoeing and camping. She went on to study Archaeology & Anthropology at university, and joined her first expedition, to record rock art in the Sahara Desert, in 2001.
Since then, Mary-Ann’s work has taken her across the world, including into the Chernobyl Nuclear disaster exclusion zone, across Australia’s Simpson Desert with 17 camels, through the slums of Dhaka and Delhi, sailing across the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and to the high plains of Tibet to live with Yak herders.
She’s a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and an Ambassador for the British Mountaineering Council and the Ordnance Survey.
Mary-Ann’s television credits include Unreported World and Time Team (Channel 4), Stonehenge Empire (BBC), Ancient Impossible (History Channel), and Feral Children and Wild in the Danger Zone for Discovery Networks. She’s written two popular books about archaeology in Britain.
The Rev Dan Richards
When I was a child our family holidays meant two weeks living under canvas. Through this happy outdoor living I grew to love being in the countryside and especially beside the sea – and I still do.
Now I live in rural Somerset but for over forty years as a priest in the Church of England I frequently worked in urban areas. In that time I have been closely involved in taking groups of young people away to experience outdoor activities. Through this I have seen at first-hand the growth in self-confidence as children face new challenges and learn new skills in the outdoors. Their increased confidence brings benefits in other areas of their lives too through being able to trust others and respect their environment.
I relished encouraging my own children to explore new and adventurous things and I now see them doing the same with my grandchildren. I wish we could give every child this kind of experience and foster a sense of adventure in living; the Tony Trust aims to make this a reality for more children and I am proud to be associated with it.