Meet the Team

British Nordic Walking was founded in 2008. We are run by Nordic Walkers, for Nordic Walkers and are a Community Interest Company, (a not-for-profit organisation). Meet our team of passionate INWA National Trainers, our talented staff team and volunteer Board members.


Arlene Bowmaker | Falkirk
Arlene has 30 years of experience as a physiotherapist and 10 years as a BNW instructor. As a result she brings technical skill, expertise, patience and a strong rehabilitation emphasis to her NW instructing. Arlene works with those who are using NW to recover and rehabilitate from injury, to help manage chronic health issues, or with those looking for another way to enhance their exercise regime. She would love the opportunity to introduce you not only to the pleasures and benefits of NW, but also to some of the stunning parks, landmarks and trails available in the Falkirk area.



 Steve Ellis in the snowSteve Ellis I  Wiltshire

Steve has been a INWA Nordic Walking National Trainer since 2013, having qualified as an Instructor in 2011. As the founder and co-owner of Gemini Outdoor; Steve has been trekking in the mountains of the UK, Africa, Europe and New Zealand for over 30 years. He holds both the ‘Mountain Leader’ and ‘International Mountain Leader’ qualifications; and is a highly experienced ‘INWA Nordic Walking Instructor’, creating and running his group in Malmesbury, Wiltshire for 12 years. “It’s pretty safe to say, I am in my ‘happy place’ when walking with friends in the hills and mountains”. He is also a member of the INWA Education Committee; helping to create opportunities for Instructors across the World.

John Horton | North Kent
John is a freelance paramedic, a university associate lecturer, and an examiner for The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. He came to Nordic walking eight years ago as an alternative to ultra-marathon running. "My motivation in life has always been to make a positive difference to peoples' lives. I get immense pleasure from seeing how Nordic walking enriches my clients’ lives, not just the improvements in physical health but also by the feeling of wellbeing they relate to me that they experience by being part of a social group who enjoy our great outdoors to the maximum."  


 Catherine Hughes | Nottingham
Catherine has experience teaching Nordic Walking to a wide range of people since 2006.  She loves seeing people reap the benefits of learning how to Nordic Walk.  Since becoming CEO at British Nordic Walking she is focussed on ensuring the office runs smoothly to support the instructors and leaders delivering their activities.  She also works in partnership with other organisations to develop Nordic Walking, in order to widen participation. Her vision is for there to be a Nordic Walking instructor close to all our communities.


Karen Ingram | Cardiff
Karen has a love for all things outdoors especially Nordic Walking. Qualified as an INWA International Trainer, she brings her background in movement and Pilates to her teaching. Karen is a Senior MI for Peak Pilates, a Pain therapist and an author. Karen says, "There is something magical about training outdoors, even in the Welsh rain! We always seem to end up laughing and being in the countryside is the perfect energiser". She teaches from various locations around Cowbridge and presents workshops across the UK and internationally.



Tatiana Novaes | London
Tatiana has a passion for teaching and helping people to achieve their goals keeps getting stronger. A Pilates teacher, Nordic Walking Trainer and choreographer, Tatiana is an expert in the moving body. She is based in her studio in London and teaches internationally.


 Eilidh Paterson | Highland Perthshire
“Having been Nordic Walking for fun since 2017, I wanted to bring this activity to the attention of other people in my local area. In 2020 I became a BNW instructor and started a business providing Nordic Walking training and walks at various venues throughout Highland Perthshire. Witha background in history and archaeology I especially enjoy throwing in some random facts when we're out and about! Seeing people learn a new skill, explore new areas and improve their health all with a smile on their faces is powerful motivation to really push the benefits of Nordic Walking as well as continue develop my own skills. 



 Vicky Welsh | Bristol   Vicky has been teaching Nordic Walking since 2010, establishing a successful and vibrant Nordic Walking business in Bristol offering regular classes, scenic walks, weekends away and group challenges. “Having seen the immense health and social benefits of Nordic walking I’m now developing community Nordic walking programmes so that everyone, especially those who aren’t often visible or who are under-represented in the physical activity sector, can improve their mental and physical wellbeing through Nordic Walking”. Vicky is a personal trainer and mental health first aider and has a background in law.


 Hamish Willis | Lancashire
When Hamish was at school, careers teachers would ask him what his ideal job would be. The answer was always, ‘working outdoors with people’. Well since becoming a Nordic Walking Instructor that’s exactly what he does. Hamish started his outdoor career as an orienteering coach before adding Nordic Walking to his list of coaching qualifications. Hamish is a qualified teacher, personal trainer and Youth Fitness Specialist and is working towards his Level 4 Strength and Conditioning qualification. He is passionate about teaching people and loves the challenge of instructing outdoors in bad weather.



Ella Ferris, Office Manager

 A qualified teacher with a background in charities and financial services, Ella is new to the role of Office Manager but not Nordic Walking. She trained with Catherine Hughes in 2008 and Nordic walked the Robin Hood Half Marathon. Currently training for a Macmillan Trek, making the most of the outdoors with a pair of poles. 


Bridget Vincent, Administrative Assistant  (Courses)

With a background in IT, Bridget is familiar with the office systems and is now focused on supporting the planning and delivery of our courses.  In her spare time Bridget enjoys drawing and painting and attending orienteering events with her family.


Rachel Davis, Administrative Assistant  (Membership & Insurance)

Rachel is primarily involved with Instructor and Walk Leader membership renewals. She is also the person who deals with insurance cover but is available to help with most queries.  She works limited hours as she has been an active Nordic Walking Instructor since 2014. 

When not working, she volunteers as a Cub Scout leader. In the rest of her spare time she enjoys sailing, orienteering, camping, gardening, cooking, board and video games.



Catherine Hughes

Catherine Hughes
Catherine discovered Nordic Walking whilst changing career having worked for Boots The Chemists HQ as a scientist then IT specialist.  Wanting to share her passion she became an instructor trainer and helped her colleague set up British Nordic Walking in 2008. Catherine particularly enjoys setting up new partnerships to expand Nordic Walking across the UK and also supporting instructors developing their activities.


Brad Blake

    Brad Blake
    Brad’s background is in the military and police so keeping active to maintain a high standard of fitness has been a way of life. He became interested in Nordic Walking after a knee injury meant he had to stop running. He has extensive experience in teaching Nordic walking to people with Parkinson's and other neuromuscular conditions. He has been a member of the Board since 2015 and is fully committed to promoting British Nordic Walking and Nordic Walking with all its benefits. 


    Lisa Drewe

    Lisa Drewe
    Lisa is a management consultant, Chair of the global charity Whale and Dolphin Conservation, Ordnance Survey GetOutside Champion, ambassador for the National Outdoor Expo and author of ‘Islandeering: adventures around the outside edge of Britain’s hidden islands'. She is a British Nordic Walking instructor, qualified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist committed to getting more people outdoors and discovering what’s on their doorstep. Her favourite thing is to be on, in, under or next to water.