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Claire Backhouse

Claire Backhouse MSc

Associate Lecturer

Faculty of Sport, Health and Social Sciences

Room no. RM203f


Claire is an associate lecturer on the BA (Hons) Adventure and Outdoor Management course. Coming from the outdoor learning sector, she has worked in a variety of different practitioner and managerial roles, predominantly in the north-west of England. She joined Solent University in January 2020, having recently achieved a distinction for her MSc Tourism, Heritage and Sustainability at the University of Glasgow.

Claire is actively involved in the Institute of Outdoor Learning (IOL) and is an Accredited Practitioner of the IOL as well as a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Alongside teaching at Solent University, she enjoys working as a freelance tutor and instructor, delivering activities such as geography fieldwork, environmental science, wildlife gardening, gill scrambling, mountaineering, and orienteering. She is passionate about improving the quality of learning outside the classroom and sharing her love of the natural world.

Her research interests are in the field of rewilding, nature-based tourism, landscape management and the impact and mitigation of climate change in the outdoor learning sector.

Outside of work, Claire enjoys walking, skiing and canoeing with her husband and mountain-conquering daughter.

Taught courses

Further information

  1. Industry experience

    Claire is an experienced freelance outdoor practitioner, with specialist skills teaching fieldwork, orienteering, gill scrambling, gardening, and bushcraft from primary to postgraduate level. She works for a number of organisations, including local primary schools and the Field Studies Council, where she predominately teaches A-level geography and PGCE groups.

    She has also held product development and senior operational roles for companies such as HF Holidays Ltd and Maximum Adventure, where she was responsible for developing and operating products such as the Coast to Coast, West Highland Way, 3 Peaks Challenge and the Jurassic Coast Path, as well as managing a team of over 100 freelance outdoor instructors. 

  2. Teaching experience

    Claire has over 18 years’ experience teaching geography, environmental science and outdoor education. Her career began in 1999 when she had the privilege of working in a lycée in the French Alps teaching English and geography.
    Following industry experience in the outdoor sector, she then began working for the Field Studies Council at Malham Tarn Field Centre, later taking responsibility for the geography curriculum at Blencathra Field Centre in the English Lake District. In 2014, she set up a company delivering environmental education in the Lake District, which she ran successfully until moving to Solent University in 2020.
  3. Research interests

    Claire’s research interests are in the field of nature-based tourism, landscape management and the impact and mitigation of climate change in the outdoor learning sector.