Love of outdoors turns into career

A Blyth man’s passion for the outdoors has led to a new business venture.

John Leightley has set up Navigate Northumberland to provide guided walks and navigation courses in the Northumberland National Park.

Run from John’s home in Cormorant Close, South Beach, the venture aims to encourage people of all ages and abilities to get out and about and enjoy the county’s countryside while keeping fit.

John, 28, a member of the North of Tyne Mountain Rescue, the Mountain Training Association and supporter of the British Mountaineering Council, said: “The real aim of the business when it started was to encourage people to get outside and enjoy the countryside and to get fit.

“We have beautiful coasts and countryside right on our doorstep.

“The ultimate aim though is to open an activities centre, get people out rock climbing and kayaking and working with more schools and get more children away from their computer screens and enjoying the great outdoors.”

In September, John will be visiting pupils at Newminster Middle School in Morpeth to talk to them about the countryside and how to travel safely using a map and compass.

Navigate Northumberland also offers team building exercises, walking holidays and a Fit Club, which currently includes eight different walks around the Blyth, Morpeth, and Ashington areas.

All walks are around five miles long and take around an hour and half.

For more information about Navigation Northumberland call John on (01670) 355542 or 07885 717750, email or visit