Guided walks, mountain leadership, outdoor life coaching, corporate training and other outdoor activities in Sheffield, the Peak District and beyond 

Open Gates Outdoors provides a wide range of outdoor activities in urban and rural settings in and around Sheffield, the Peak District National Park and beyond to corporate teams, individuals, and third sector groups. Why not go straight to the appropriate page for you or contact us direct to find out more about what Open Gates Outdoors can offer you or your organisation... 

Community Interest Company 

Open Gates Outdoors is a Social Enterprise which trades as a Community Interest Company.  
This means we are committed to investing in the local community of Sheffield. We work with individuals, companies, and community groups to widen and diversify participation in the outdoors in and around Sheffield. Our aim is to ensure that as many people as possible can access the tangible and well-established benefits of spending time purposefully in the outdoors. We do this by providing quality outdoor experiences to coporate and individual partners and using proceeds from this to fund the provision of services to third sector partners for free. 

What our partners say... 

“George was very knowledgeable about the surrounding area, providing great bits of information along the way keeping us all chatting. This was a brilliant opportunity for the Young People to experience the outdoors, when so much of their time is spent inside. The young people helped to navigate a map with help from George. The young people said they loved the experience, and would definitely want to go on another walk soon. A huge thank you to George, who they thought was really good company and made them feel comfortable on the walk, having lots of positive conversations along the way. He was sure to include everyone in the experience, and motivate those who were getting worn out to carry on.” 
Rachel, Residential Project Worker. Roundabout 


Open Gates Outdoors is determined that our services should be available to all regardless of circumstances or background and we will do our utmost to meet all individual needs and any special access requirements. Open Gates Outdoors identifies opportunities in and around Sheffield suitable for those with access requirements. We are excited by the Peak District National Park’s recent initiative “Miles without Stiles” and will use this and other projects to help us allow those with accessibility issues to enjoy the outdoors. 

Contact us to discuss how Open Gates Outdoors can... 

work with your business in the outdoors to; 

improve the teamwork and leadership skills in your teams, 
improve the wellbeing and morale of your teams, 
provide outdoor life coaching to employees unsatisfied or uncertain in their career, 
contribute greater social value, and 
promote Sheffield as a place to work and to do business. 

work with individuals in the outdoors to; 

provide outdoor life coaching, 
improve your physical wellbeing and fitness, 
improve your sense of belonging by giving you a greater sense of place, 
help you build your confidence as an independent walker so you can follow your own adventures. 

work with your community group or charity in the outdoors to allow its members to; 

break down the barriers preventing them from enjoying the benefits of being in the outdoors, 
enjoy guided wellbeing walks focusing on social history, geology, and flora and fauna, and 
benefit from fun team games and forest activities that develop co-operation and communication. 
Open Gates Outdoors is qualified to lead groups in the outdoors and has appropriate third party liability and professional indemnity insurance for the activities it delivers. All Open Gates Outdoors’ freelancers will hold clear Enhanced DBS checks. We are qualified by Sheffield City Council (MiDAS) to drive mini buses of up to 17 people and have the appropriate license to charge for this transport. This significantly reduces the costs of transport. Open Gates Outdoors holds all relevant internal policies relating to issues such as GDPR and safeguarding adults and young people. All activities will be rigorously risk assessed by Open Gates Outdoors in consultation with our partners. 

The Open Gates Outdoors Team 

Open Gates Outdoors is a team effort. The company benefits from the variety of expertise of its freelancers and the professionalism and breadth of experience of its board of directors. Learn more about the collaboration behind Open Gates Outdoors. 

George Yates - Founder and Director 

George is a qualified life coach and mountain leader who set up Open Gates Outdoors in April 2023. He was born in Sheffield and has lived in the City all his adult life. George has long believed that it is a matter of social justice that everyone has the opportunity to improve their physical and mental wellbeing by enjoying the outdoors. He is an active fell runner and walker and is committed to supporting others, whatever their social background, ethnicity, gender or age, to benefit from the environment we are blessed with in and around Sheffield. 
George is intrigued by and inquisitive about his home city and its surrounding area. He has always wanted to find out more by exploring but also by reading books such as Hallamshire (Joseph Hunter 1819), The Hall of Waltheof (Sidney Addy, 1893), Chantry Land (Harold Armitage 1912), the Annual Handbooks of Sheffield Clarion Ramblers (1921-1964), and Historic Hallamshire (David Hey, 2002). Prior to setting up Open Gates Outdoors George worked in education in Sheffield for 17 years, firstly as a learning mentor in a secondary school in north Sheffield. This role included leading the outdoor education programme which confirmed to him the power of the outdoors to give confidence and improve life chances.  George then taught A level History, Politics and Sociology at a sixth form in north Sheffield for 12 years. Before working in education George worked for 10 years as a corporate/commercial solicitor in Sheffield and Nottingham. 
George is qualified by Mountain Training (on behalf of the British Mountaineering Council) to lead groups and individuals in all mountainous areas of the UK and is experienced in leading school and adult groups in the outdoors.  George has completed training in Health Coaching accredited by the Personalised Care Institute (PCI) and has completed a Level 5 certificate in Effective Coaching and Mentoring accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM). 

Open Gates Outdoors’ Non-Executive Directors 

Dan Stowers  

Dan is a partner in a national 100 law firm and has practiced law since his qualification in 1997. He specialises in financial crime and compliance and is also a freelance mountain leader. Dan brings invaluable advice and guidance on regulatory and compliance issues as well as outdoor leadership best practice. Dan practised as a laywer in Sheffield for many years and has significant knowledge of the commercial sector in Sheffield. 

Jack Leach  

Jack has over 25 years’ experience working in conservation, and land management in the Sheffield area. He has provided environmental education, training and volunteer supervision to many in Sheffield including corporate and community groups. Jack is an active volunteer in several community projects. 

James Parramore  

James is Managing Director Ross Care (a national provider and maintainer of equipment for the disabled and elderly). He joined Ross Care in 2011 and was appointed MD in 2015. James is a leading industry stakeholder as a member of National Wheelchair Advisory Group. James has over 30 years experience working in customer focused businesses, including Marks and Spencer in the UK and Myer in Australia. As well as commercial acumen, James has significant knowledge of the commercial sector in Sheffield. 

Maxine Blake  

Maxine worked as a teacher in Sheffield for over 35 years and has written two books on her experiences. Maxine currently works at Sheffield Hallam University training new teachers and has always been involved in community initiatives such as sports clubs and choirs. Maxine has significant insight into community activity in Sheffield including those supporting minorities. She also provides invaluable guidance on working with young people. 

Open Gates Outdoors’ Freelancers 

Dan Stowers  

Dan is a qualified Mountain Leader, Leader in Fell Running Fitness, National Navigation Award Scheme Tutor and fully remote first aid trained. Dan has significant experience in leading groups in the UK mountains. He is an avid fell runner having successfully competed in many fell and ultra-distance races including the Marsden to Edale "Trigger", Derwent Watershed, Dark Peak 30 (Peak District), Fellsman (Yorkshire Dales), Lakeland 50 (Lake District), Old County Tops (Lake District) numerous Saunders Mountain Marathons (Lake District & Howgills); the OMM, the LAMM and many other fell races. 
In 2018 Dan completed his Bob Graham Round in 21hrs 18m. He has a large amount of fell running experience and loves to assist others and share his knowledge on recces and attempts of the Bob Graham, as well as the Paddy Buckley Round in Snowdonia. Dan is currently working towards his Winter Mountain Leader Award. 

Dale Le Fevre  

Dale has 40 years’ experience of facilitating strategy games to corporates and to community groups and charities. He has also published several books and produced DVDs sharing his experiences in this field. Dale's New Games CD ROM has been published in 4 languages. 
Dale has devised and published the New Games Programme and more recently Playworks which specifically helps businesses improve team building and conflict resolution, among other issues. 
Dale has provided over 1,000 workshops centred on games to enhance team morale, cohesion, and leadership in over 35 countries including the US, Canada, India, Japan, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, China, Northern Ireland and Croatia. 

Penny Collier  

After many years as a University Lecturer, Penny retrained as a qualified Hill and Moorland Leader in 2023 and now makes her living outdoors leading walks, teaching navigation, supporting Duke of Edinburgh expeditions and delivering Bikeability training in schools. Penny is also a member of Dark Peak Fell Runners and the Rucksack Club, membership of which has led to many outdoor adventures including a successful completion of the Bob Graham Round in under 24 hours. 

Adam Batty  

Adam is a qualified forest school leader, facilitator, and community development worker. Adam has worked in the community sector for 15 years specialising in forest school education and developing skills and knowledge in effective group working using forest school principles. Adam is passionate about and experienced in creating outdoor activities and environments which enable corporate and other teams to use nature to develop and improve effectiveness. 

For Businesses 

For Individuals 

For Third Sector 

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