About us

Trek Therapy is a not-for-profit, community interest company (No: 13342085) formed in 2021 by founders, close friends and outdoor enthusiasts Ian Whiteside and Kevin Doyle. 

 The desire to initiate such an organisation originated following a powerfully spiritual and life inspiring adventure experienced by Ian whilst walking 1000km along the ancient pilgrimage of the Way of St James, following the French route of the Camino de Santiago, located in Northern Spain. Ian says "despite the commitment and discipline needed to complete such an undertaking that I had set myself, missing family and friends, the whole experience was the most peaceful, relaxing and positive time I can recall throughout my entire life.

 On reflecting on many past personal difficulties, that have challenged my own emotional wellbeing, this walk left me filled with life affirming and positive thoughts that were aided simply by just walking in nature over the course of an entire month and from that point forward, with support of Kevin and others, the desire to create 'Trek Therapy' was born."

Our team and leaders are experienced, qualified professionals with the safety of our service users integral to delivering enjoyable and therapeutic activities in stunning locations. All our team have regular day jobs. A core group of our team work professionally as practitioners within mental health, addiction treatment, talking therapies and early intervention services outside of their Trek Therapy roles. 

However all our team members operate in a trauma informed way and have attended relevant training understanding the issues associated with mental health problems. A shared value our team posses is that they have all decided to use their free time to share their passion, skills and knowledge of how incredibly important walking outside and being connected to our wonderful natural environment is to our overall physical, emotional and spiritual health. 

 Speak to anyone of our team and will tell you how much they get from walking whether that's in a local park, open green spaces, nature, coastlines, our national trails network or our spectacular hills and mountains across the UK's National Parks. We profoundly believe that one of the kindest things we can do for ourselves is to go for a good walk. It is close to being the perfect physical activity, requiring little previous physical fitness or expensive memberships fees and the options for outdoor adventures are limitless. 

 Trek Therapy has one core objective - to walk with you towards positive wellbeing. Use our contact form or email us to register your interest in our future planned walks or follow us on our social media channels to find out what's coming up.

β€œIn every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” John Muir (1838 - 1914)


Together we are 'Trek Therapy'


Ian Whiteside

Director & Operations Lead

"I often say that walking is like wrapping a natural comfort blanket around yourself. Once I get outside my mind becomes free of any stresses I may have."

Ian is a professional Youth and Community Worker, with a MSc in Drug Use and Addictions and has 25 years experience in the field. His practice has included risk & harm minimisation work, drug and alcohol treatment and targeted support programmes. As a MTA registered Mountain Leader, trained in counselling skills, Ian has used the outdoors as a positive intervention with his service users and advocates the therapeutic properties of being immersed in nature.


Kylie Windle

Director & Therapeutic Lead

"I am passionate about working holistically with clients and I have seen a significant rise in therapeutic outdoor initiatives concerning mental health."

Kylie is a registered therapist with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). Kylie is currently working for an addictions treatment & mental health services provider. Kylie joined the Trek Therapy Team due to her love of the outdoors and her recognition of combining outdoor and mental health interventions as part of a integrated model of care. Kylie is working towards a Lowland Leaders Award to compliment her professional practice.


Kev Doyle

Director & Walk Leader

"As an outdoor enthusiast its great to introduce people to the mood enhancing benefits of nature then witnessing the positive impact it can have."

Kevin has worked for Merseyside Police Authority, supporting communities, for over 30 years. Kevin first got involved in the outdoors as a Duke of Edinburgh's Award volunteer whilst supporting vulnerable young people going on to achieve a Lowland Leaders Award. Recently Kevin took-up counselling training to enhance his positive interactions with our service users. Kevin is working towards his Mountain Leader Award.


Kelli Whiteside

Volunteer & Trainee Leader

"Its incredible how powerful the outdoors can sooth you. Walking in wild natural spaces definitely works to help build your emotional wellbeing."

Kelli is employed in a hectic distribution industry, which she enjoys, but stresses the need for a positive work-life balance. Kelli has enjoyed hiking and wild swimming, as a positive leisure activity, for over 10 years, emphasising that this is her way of promoting her own physical and emotional wellbeing. Kelli is a Mental Health First Aider and wants to support others in benefiting from a connection to nature. Kelli is working towards a Lowland Leaders Award.

Graded walk descriptions


Accessible walks are designed for people with less mobility or who wish to develop their confidence. Walks are between 1 - 3 km in distance and close to facilities and make use of flat, even ground, on well defined paths, tracks and pavement. Accessible walks last approximately one hour in duration.


Easy walks are generally low level and have no or little incline. These walks are between 3 - 8km, in distance following given paths, coastline, and tracks. These walks may involve crossing sandy beaches , rural areas including fields, streams and woodland, Easy walks last between one to two and half hours.


Moderate walks are a combination of lowland areas, hills and moorland. These walks may involve uneven, broken and loose terrain and include periods on steeper ground in open areas. These walks have distances ranging 6 - 15km, with a duration of between two and four hours.


Challenging walks may involve longer distances, steep uneven ground including hills and mountains often on loose and broken terrain. Participants on these walks require a good level of fitness and the ability to walk unaided. Duration on these walks can exceed 6 hours.

Join us and benefit from. . .

Increased physical activity

Connect with nature

Connect with others

Learn new skills

Practice mindfulness

Positive wellbeing

Have fun

Better mental health

All our activities include:

  • Professionally qualified leaders with appropriate public liability insurance and first aid skills guiding each activity.
  • Mental health trained practitioners supporting each walk.
  • Information on points of interest relating to the designated location.
  • Opportunities to develop relevant outdoor knowledge, skills and mindfulness techniques.
  • Help and advice about engaging in sustainable walking activites.

'Walking with you towards positive wellbeing'
Mountain Training Association
Trek Therapy leaders are all registered with the Mountain Training Association.
Mountains For The Mind
Mountains for the Mind is a campaign from Trail magazine promoting the benefits of being outside for better mental health.
Armed Forces Covenant (Bronze)
The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) recognises commitment and support from UK employers for defence personnel. 
Trek Therapy is a proud recipient of the ERS Bronze Award.
Workplace Mental Health Charter
Trek Therapy, as a Workplace Mental Health Charter signatory, is committed to addressing mental health problems,  stamping out stigma and encouraging conversations, whilst educating as many as possible where and when to seek help.​