James borrell is a conservation scientist and science communicator, with a particular interest in how species adapt to changing climate.

A-level results day…

A-level results day was going to be etched on my mind for years to come, I knew that months before I’d even sat my exams. I left England on a boat bound for Bergen, Norway. Knowing full well I would be out of the country, and out of control as my fate unfolded. Satisfied with having done the best of my ability, it was strangely calming, knowing I would return to an entirely different situation.

As the weeks passed, over mountains, through valleys, the date drew closer. Until suddenly it was August the 14th, and by some carefully engineered luck we happened to have a resupply rendezvous planned for that afternoon.

Rob Cousins, one of our fantastically able chief leaders meets me and hands me a satellite phone after marching my team relentlessly down the valley. Without a hint of irony he throws me a packet of standard issue tissues ”just incase I need them” he says.

Fortunately Phil Humberstone a.k.a. the Silver Fox was on hand to capture the moment, in its unshaven teenage form.