This month we’ve spoken to Alex Phillips Centre Director at Birch Hall Adventures about the organisation and what they do.

What do you/your organisation do?

We are a Christian charity providing education and adventure on the North East Essex Coast.  We operate in 400 acres of farmland with a mile and a half of saltmarsh coastline, made famous in Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons book series, Secret Water.

We offer a range of activities for all ages, on the water, on land or in the classroom.

How long have you been an AIM Member?

Three years

What’s the best part of your job?

Not having to spend too much time in an office; I used to be a teacher and director of ICT at a senior independent school and spent most of time in front of a screen.  I still have to spend some time sending emails and doing office work but getting out and building things, running groups and mowing grass form a big part of what I do.

What issues do you think the industry faces this year?

Schools are facing big demands on their budgets and are cutting back on trips so we’re trying to work closely with our local schools to make outdoor education more accessible.

What benefits have you gained from being an AIM Member?

AIM understand the activities industry and have a network of experienced centres as members who are able to offer advice and share best practice.

What exciting projects do you have lined up for the future

We’re hoping to start work on our residential accommodation this year if we can get all the funding in place. In addition, we’d like to introduce some off-road cycling.

What’s your favourite activity?

Sailing is my favourite activity and we have a fantastic location for it.  We get to see seals regularly and explore the different creeks of Hamford Water Nature Reserve.

What activity do you want to try?

I’d like to build a big zip line or maybe an abseiling tower or maybe a cave system…

We’d like to thank Alex for providing us with a great interview.

You can read about some of our other member’s here:-

Mendip Outdoor Pursuits

Releasing Potential