Jim McNeill

Jim McNeill is a British polar explorer with over 35 years of expeditions in the polar regions. His extensive safety skills and experience in extreme environments have made him a sought after consultant. His clients include BBC (Frozen Planet, Human Planet, Last Explorers, Natural World Series), Paramount Pictures (Captain America), mining companies, and companies building helicopters and airliners. He founded the Ice Warrior project in 2001 and has since trained over 380 people and conducted 7 major expeditions. His expeditions across the Arctic have given him the opportunity to monitor polar bear populations for the Norwegian Polar Institute, as well as putting together a yearly scientific program for scientists to monitor the effects of climate change. He is an ambassador for Hauser Bears, a charitable organization committed to the conservation of bears worldwide and is the Vice president for the Arctic Expeditions for Sea Research Society.

3 words to describe Nature?

Humbling. Universal. Indomitable

3 things Nature taught you?

About myself

About my frailties and how insignificant we really are individually and collectively

About my capabilities

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Ellesmere Island, Canada

Dartmoor, Devon, England

Outer Hebrides, Scotland

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel…?

Vulnerable yet fascinated

When you see a forest, it makes you feel…?

Fresh, inquisitive 

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel…?

Amazed and reminded that life is fragile

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel…?

Energised and pensive - in that order

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel…?


When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel…?

Thrilled, alive

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Mountain person in a polar or desert environment

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?


Share with us a childhood nature memory?

I was brought up in a humble house on a council estate in North London at the back of which there were wildflower meadows surrounding a babbling brook. I spent hours, days, nights exploring the area in huge detail. From tadpoles to field mice, from groundsel to Timothy grass and beetles to butterflies, I had my own sanctuary. Nature is all around us.