Talk at Sheffield Adventure Film Festival, 20 March 2020, cancelled

With regret, I have decided to cancel my appearance next week at the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival. The idea of bringing dozens of people together into a room, potentially spreading the infection, just to listen to me waffle about hiking doesn’t sit right with me.

I also have to think about the safety of relatives and neighbours who would be especially vulnerable to the virus. Hopefully I’ll have the chance to speak again once this particular squall has blown past.

It feels a bit like jumping the gun or losing my nerve, because (to my knowledge) the festival is still going ahead. However, the evidence is quite clear that social distancing and limiting non-essential travel must be done – and right now – to limit the damage.

If it turns out that I’m wrong and it’s all a fuss over nothing, I’ll gladly eat my words. However, I’d rather be wrong and embarrassed than putting other people’s lives at risk.

By Alex Roddie

Award-winning outdoor and nature writer, editor, author, and photographer.

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