Editor's Letter | The Planet Issue - April 2017
This month is all about the way we treat the planet we play on
Spring, and the promise of new beginnings it brings, is definitely in the air. It helps that the weather across much of the UK has been unexpectedly glorious of late, inspiring the kind of collective lunacy which always accompanies the first few sunny days of the year. Parks are filling with barely-clothed people at lunchtime. Post-work pub sessions are on the increase. Shorts have been spotted in the streets.
Of course for adventure sports lovers, this means wheeling bikes out of sheds, scrubbing the winter mud off trail-running shoes and making the most of the longer days. But it’s not just the extra hours of sun which are making us feel like spring has well and truly sprung here at Mpora.
"As the late, great Robin Williams once said, 'Spring is nature’s way of saying: Let's party.'"
The last three months have been a big period of change for us. In early January our parent company, Factory Media, was bought out by another publisher, Square Up Media. The move has been a hugely positive one, but it's also involved a lot of hard work. We've moved offices, the team have taken on new responsibilities and it's taken a while to settle into new ways of doing things.
Not that we’re complaining. The changes have opened up new possibilities which we've embraced wholeheartedly, not least by taking the chance to relaunch the ‘Issues’ section of our site - starting with April’s Planet Issue.
This month sees the introduction of several new regular features. My Life in Pictures will focus on the work of an inspirational adventure photographer each month, beginning with Tim Nunn, the man responsible for this month’s stunning cover shot. Tim is perhaps best known as a surf photographer, but his work in the waves has given him a unique appreciation for the fragility of the planet - and the problem of plastic pollution in particular.
The Planet Issue also features a closer look at the influential snowboarder and environmental campaigner Jeremy Jones, whose work kickstarts our Adventure-gram series. Meanwhile Features Editor Sam Haddad investigates the problems of provenance in sheep farming, something which affects any outdoor brand producing merino and woolen clothes. She looks at the efforts that Swedish company Fjallraven have made to ensure that the sheep whose coats make our jumpers are treated ethically.
"The Highlands boast some of the wildest landscapes in the UK - the kind that could convert even the most ardent Trump supporter into a born-again environmentalist"
Elsewhere we talk to a group of climbers in the US who are using their skills to protest against Donald Trump’s disastrous environmental policies, and interview legendary British mountaineer Alan Hinkes, a man whose opinion on the current state of climbing is well worth a read. He’s not an OBE for nothing.
This month we dispatched photographer and journalist Daniel Wildey to ski with eagles in France, an experience which left him with a new-found awe of nature. And for our Great British Adventures series we sent Associate Editor Jack Clayton to Western Scotland to try the country’s world class mountain bike trails and sample its finest whiskies.
By his own admission Jack (who is not one of Mpora’s regular bike writers) found the riding trickier than the whisky tasting, but what really blew him away was the beauty of the Highland scenery. “We’ve barely been out the car for a minute and I’m already in danger of burning through my entire memory card," he writes.
It’s hardly surprising. The Highlands & Islands boast some of the wildest and least-spoiled landscapes in the UK - the kind that could convert even the most ardent Trump supporter into a born-again environmentalist. And what better time to experience this beautiful corner of the planet than the spring?
As the late, great Robin Williams once said: “Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let's party.’" Here’s hoping this month’s features inspire you to get out there and make the most of it.
Enjoy the adventure.