The Pennine Way…

Pennine plays hugely different roles in many, many lives, all of which are entangled in loads of different ways. It’s a vibrant, open and collaborative community within which all members feel comfortable shaping how things get done.

Ours is not a club with a culture of having everyone following rules – and the club doesn’t really “do” hierarchy, either. As in the past, connections between members of Pennine are overwhelmingly informal.

Pennine White Water

Pennine – what emerges as members connect to inspire one another, to get curious and to explore opportunities which appeal!

Guided Adaptability…

Pennine trusts members to make common-sense decisions in ways which mean we adapt to what is in front of us. The Club encourages ALL members (of all ages) to think creatively, and to take advantage of pretty much any opportunity which appeals.

Now the important bit: we do “guided adaptability” – so we’re not saying it’s ok to do things in any old way. Our way is making decisions which make sense to other members and which show respect for the diverse voices and viewpoints found within the club!


Our Safety Culture based on us adapting to what we see in front of us… but with a commitment to respecting what others in the club might see as “reasonable” / “the club way.”

Respecting ALL Experience…

Pennine shapes opportunities for members to come together and create their own experiences… with more experienced folk helping others appreciate enough to decide on their own level of commitment and to take responsibility for their own involvement.

The Club recognises that the role anyone might want to take on any particular day might vary due to personal circumstances, the nature of the session, the craft being used and the conditions / environments – we just ask for open and honest conversation about plans / aspirations!

The Club recognises that experience and expertise comes in many forms and starts from respect for how individual members evaluates their own capabilities.

Keeping Options Open…

Sessions, trips and events are occasions where members make commitments to one another. Ownership rests with those who make the arrangements. Our safety advisors and coaches don’t call the shots, they await invitations to guide from the side.

The Club works best when members are comfortable keeping options open as long as possible. That comes in part from established habits which take the pressure off – so we aren’t feeling pressure to stick to our original plan when we find things aren’t quite as expected!

A light-touch approach ensures key questions get asked by competent people at appropriate times, supporting enthusiasts to work in ways which make sense to them.

Supporting Decision Making…

Pennine insists everyone involved recognise that canoeing is an assumed-risk activity and that at all levels, Members should be aware of and accept what is involved and take full responsibility for their own actions and participation.

Our starting point for everything is recognition that the assessment of risk is second nature for experienced coaches, leaders and officials – and for many others at the grass roots – and that safety is more about culture than process.

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