Meet the Trustees

Driven by passion!

Our team of Trustees has 60+ years combined canyoning experience, we have a well seasoned team at the helm.  

Trustees are responsible for determining the future direction of our organization, controlling finances, making rules, and determining policy for standards and training programs.

Ben Case


Ben is an instructor in a range of outdoor activities, he has worked in the outdoor industry for 10 years. His background is mainly mountain activities, but he can’t stay out of the water, the ideal combination for canyoning. Ben has been canyoning for 12 years. He is co-owner/founder of The Canyoning Company, V7 Academy and one of the UKCA founders.Read More

Ben Starkie

Founder/Vice Chairman

Ben has been professionally canyoning for 24 years. He has a full range of industrial and professional outdoor qualifications, and he has worked/travelled around the world. Ben is the owner of Vertical Descents and Outdoor Safety Training, and one of the UKCA founders. Read More

Olly Baylis 


Olly has been involved in canyoning for the past 22 years. Over the years he has gained a vast amount of skills and experience as a canyon guide and trainer here in the UK and abroad. He now works with leading canyoning providers in Scotland and is one of the UKCA founders.Read More

George Yates 


George has been involved in canyoning in the UK and internationally for the past 13 years. He is an accomplished canyon guide and trainer, with vast experience teaching and guiding around the world. George co-owns The Canyoning Company and V7 Academy. He is the training advisor and one of the UKCA founders.Read More


Canyoning Grading

Canyoning Grading System(s) for the UK

As canyoning arrived and developed in the UK so has the gradinging systems we use. When the UKCG (UK Canyon Guides) was initially set up there was a lot of influence from the USA canyoning scene the ACA (American Canyoneering Association) and Richard Carlson as a technical consultant for developing the association. Along with that influence came the ACA grading system which was created around the dry desert canyons in Utah. 

Over the years more influence has come from the Alpine or European canyoning scene, our UK canyons are far more similar to the aquatic alpine canyons of Europe, subsequently we have started to adopt the international grading system or the FFME grading system. This system is more specific than the ACA grading system specifically grading Verticality and Aquatic characteristics of our canyons more in depth.   

Canyons appear in a variety of different forms, and hazards, like slippery surfaces or dangerous water movements, change depending on the environment. How hazards are managed is a matter of personal preference, which creates some subjectivity in grading.

Find out more about rating in the resources section.