Katie Tunn is an artist and environmentalist adventurer based on the Isle of Skye.
Described by The Times newspaper
as a ‘Serial Castaway’, Katie is best known for her off-grid island adventures.
She is an Ordnance Survey #GetOutside Champion and has worked with brands such as Talisker whisky, Calmac Ferries, Alpkit and Countryfile.
You may recognise Katie from Channel 4’s year-long, off-grid reality experiment, ‘Eden’, but she prefers to be remembered for her solo castaway projects and for promoting low-impact, leave-no-trace adventuring.
Originally from the South of
England, Katie attended art school in London and lived in the city until 2014
when she decided to relocate to Skye on the West Coast of Scotland.
She has been involved with marine conservation and campaigning since she was a young so moving to such an ecologically-rich island environment was a perfect fit.
Katie is a keen forager,
bushcrafter and lover of wildlife.
She is a Marine Mammal Medic for BDMLR and has taken part in various whale, dolphin and seal rescues. She also volunteers as a Regional Rep for Sufers Against Sewage and takes an active role in the marine conservation community; organising beach cleans, talking in schools/local groups and giving advice to businesses or projects.
Because of her love of nature,
Katie’s main aim as an ambassador of the outdoors is to teach others to enjoy
our natural spaces whilst making as little impact as possible on the
environment, local wildlife and the small communities that live in rural areas.
As we’ve seen a rise in ‘messy camping’ post-lockdown, she states that, “It’s more important than ever that those of us who promote the outdoors also promote how to look after it.”
Her latest project is the
This involves visiting all 82 of Great Britain’s Largest Islands (inspired by an Ordnance Survey and Sheffield University poster featuring each island)
The aim is to challenge the idea of ‘island bagging’, to promote slow travel and to find out how to be a beneficial visitor to each destination by learning how each place has its own unique needs.
Having witnessed the effects of the recent tourist boom on Skye, this is an issue close to Katie’s heart.
Katie also hopes to inspire a wider
range of people to #GetOutside and appreciate nature.
“I want to show people that you don’t have to be a super-fit mountaineer or athletic fell runner to be part of the outdoor community. I’m not particularly fit (if you see me running there’s probably something wrong!) but getting outside is vital for my physical and mental health.
For me, spending time outside is an important way for me to relax, escape from stress and connect with nature.”
Katie thinks that the more time
people spend in natural spaces the more likely they are to want to protect and
look after them.
As for herself, her love of nature has led her to seek immersive adventure experiences.
As part of ‘Eden’ she built a house in the woods from entirely recycled materials and lived in it alongside voles, robins and other woodland creatures.
In 2018, Katie spent 39 days living alone on a group of uninhabited islands between Skye and the Outer Hebrides. The rocky and windswept Shiant Isles are home to thousands of nesting seabirds each spring and she lived amongst them throughout wild April storms in her hand-built, turf-roofed shelter made with stone walls and foraged driftwood. Sadly, a severe concussion shortened her trip from the intended 40 days to 38/39 days but she still says that this was probably the most magical and memorable adventure she’s had so far.
Katie’s #82Island adventure is
still ongoing, despite pausing during the COVID pandemic and she has upcoming
plans for more castaway adventures in the next few years.
She’s honoured to be an Outdoor Expo ambassador and hopes that she can use the position as an opportunity to encourage others to #GetOutside and roam more responsibly.