Hello, my name is Mal Tabb.
Thanks for visiting our web pages. Marion & I operate a small outdoor activity organisation called Canoes, Mountains & Caves. We provide activities for: adults, young people, schools, charities, families & individuals. A key aspect of our work is the provision of a "Community Programme" which is offered free of charge to participants. If you think we might be able to help please don't hesitate to contact us, you can find out more about what we do on our main website www.canoesmountainscaves.com

Monday, 21 July 2014

Busy Times: Catching Up!

Its often the case that its difficult to keep up with posting at this time of year, what we do outside takes over & I can say with sincerity "that's a good thing!"

Firstly, we launched our new website less than a fortnight ago, within the first week it took well over 5,000 hits - so a big thank you to everybody who took the time to view the site & support our work in this way!! If you haven't had a look yet feel free to browse at www.canoesmountainscaves.co.uk

The summer has been amazing, we were thinking back recently to a week away in Snowdonia immediately after Easter - the sun shone every day. Our recollection is that following this week the late April & early May weather was quite dry if a little cool. However, late May saw two camping trips both blessed with fine sunny weather & from then on the sun doesn't seem to have stopped shining! We have been working with many old friends through the summer which is always a great pleasure, its also been extremely encouraging to meet and work with many new groups & individuals - one of the great joys of the outdoors!

Rather than give a full account of all the gorge walking; open canoeing; mine exploration; vertical caving; more gorge walking..... here are a few pictures just to give a flavour of recent times:

Open Canoeing on Derwent Water

Vertical Caving in West Kingsdale

Gorge Walking in Stoneycroft Ghyll

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Acceptance in Imperfection

This weekend has seen us launch our website www.canoesmountainscaves.co.uk; a construction that we have been excited about for sometime.

Having commissioned the task of programming to an unqualified but very IT enthusiastic member of our 'Community Programme' we were hesitant about its revealing.

Although there are some technical glitches to overcome, we felt that the site had progressed to a professional enough place to 'go live', if not perfect; a time to encourage and acknowledge our 'coder' in the voluntary work he had produced so far.

Our thanks, therefore, go to Mykie Jenkinson who has taken his love of all that is 'techno' and channelled it into producing what we think is a special piece of work. We are sure Mykie would agree that it's not been a straightforward development with many changes along the way; much patience and understanding required, we are as proud of this achievement in Mykie as we are his published work.

For us a reflection of how often in our Christian journey God takes us where we are at, with all the raw material, working with us, in us and through us, and blesses us still in our imperfected state to encourage us to keep pressing forward in our walk with Him.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Water Walker

After not watching it for many years I just came across this iconic "Open Canoeing / Living Outdoors" film from the legendary Bill Mason. In my view its never been surpassed & if you get fed up with the football or just fancy something a bit different its a great evenings viewing!

Bill Mason - Water Walker

Friday, 4 July 2014


The working week which comes to an end today has been an incredibly busy passage of time, we have quite literally been run off our feet, each day extending long into the evening. Its been a week full of contrasts: differing outlooks and differing environments. We've seen much of the current "tech world" up close & personal working alongside folk who have written "code" & edited "artwork". We've engaged closely with the "Corporate World" where much thought and negotiation has resulted in a very positive development. There have been times spent dealing with the old & better times building the new. Amidst all this there have been opportunities to do what we feel called to & spend time with folk in the outdoors. Two visits to the North Pennines added to the theme of contrasts as the content of each was very different, however, its the sense of place rather than the nature of the activity which lies at the heart of this post.

There has been much "waxing lyrical" on these pages on the virtues of the whole North Pennines AONB: underground; on the water; on foot; high lonely places & big skies to name a few. However, this weeks encounters with the area were old & familiar: Bowlees, Low Force, High Force are areas first visited well over 20 years ago & on a glorious day did not disappoint. The contrasts were bright with white clouds; blue skies; peaty water forming white torrents as it tumbled over high rocky ledges.

The second visit - to Ash Ghyll Beck - was one of what must now be over fifty visits to this location. On this occasion it was a warm but windy summer's evening and the beck was at a low level. What a contrast to the scene earlier in the week. The gorge was leafy green & shady with the accompanying soundtrack one of a gently flowing Ash Ghyll.

This really is a special part of the world that words alone cannot describe. Hopefully the photographs below can help to tell the tale.

Low Force

Ash Ghyll Beck

To add to the theme of contrasts the photos, all Marion's on this occasion, were taken by two quite different means - Low Force was captured on a Sony Alpha a230 whilst Ash Ghyll is all from the mobile phone.

There are more photos on our Flickr site.