John Muir Award training and information
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John Muir Award e-bulletin February 2014

Dear Provider,

Here you’ll find details of John Muir Celebration events, our Spring 2014 Leader Training dates, and information and news from around the UK. Please feel free to circulate the web link to this e-bulletin amongst your networks rather than the message itself as this will result in a loss of formatting.



Scotland (Cairngorms)




The John Muir Festival  – 17-26 April
The John Muir Festival 2014 celebrates the life and legacy of pioneering conservationist John Muir and marks the opening of a new national Scottish pathway: the John Muir Way. The John Muir Festival is funded by Scottish Natural Heritage, Homecoming Scotland and Creative Scotland. Key dates so far are:
17 & 18 April: The Festival curtain raiser will be a spectacular night-time outdoor arts event over two nights in the new Helix Park near Falkirk, home to the monumental sculpture, The Kelpies.
21 April: Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond officially opens the new John Muir Way in Dunbar, where visitors can visit John Muir’s birthplace and museum.
26 April: Celebration at the end of the John Muir Way in Helensburgh.  A street ceilidh and firework Festival finale is planned at Loch Lomond in the evening.

A variety of events and activities will be added to a John Muir Festival website (coming soon at In the meantime follow developments on Twitter @JMuirFestival #JohnMuirFestival

The John Muir Conference - 12 & 13 May, Perth Concert Hall

John Muir was a conservation visionary and his legacy has helped to shape the development of national parks and protected areas around the world. Scotland’s National Parks and conservation bodies, including the John Muir Trust, have come together to create a one-off conference. Inspirational speakers will share innovative approaches to protecting, engaging and developing sensitive landscapes in the UK, and examine the viability of John Muir’s principles in the 21st Century. For costs and to book a place, please visit the John Muir Conference website.
Discover John Muir
For Muir information, ideas, activities and events in one handy place, see There are links to websites and resources, along with examples of how people are influenced and inspired by Muir. Whether you are looking for ideas to incorporate John Muir into your Award activity or exploring ways to get involved in the John Muir Festival celebrations, this website provides a great starting point.
“The Discover John Muir website has been really a useful source of information and we will be referencing it in our John Muir lanyards for young people.”
Fiona McAuliffe, Young Scot.
John Muir Award Training - Spring 2014 dates

Leader Training
These two-day residential courses give a thorough introduction to the John Muir Award.
25-26 February: Once Brewed YHA, Hexham, England – Almost fully booked
8-9 March: Charterhouse OEC, Blagdon, England
13-14 March: Ynys Hywell OEC, Caerphilly, South Wales
29-30 March: Wiston Lodge, South Lanarkshire, Scotland
6-7 April: Langdale Youth Hostel, Cumbria
Cost: £120 for two days, including food and accommodation (reduced rate of £80 for charity representatives and those attending in an individual capacity).

Taking Learning Outdoors Training
These one-day courses are aimed at teachers and others involved in classroom or community learning to find out how the John Muir Award can be integrated into your work.
Friday 7 March: Brockhole - The Lake District Visitor Centre, Cumbria
Tuesday 18  March: Wild Space, John Muir Trust, Pitlochry, Perthshire
Wednesday 26 March: Clevedon School, North Somerset
Cost: From £15-30
For more information regarding our training courses, including details of how to book, please visit our training and events website page.

John Muir Trust Wild Space Exhibitions
The Trust’s Wild Space visitor centre in the heart of Pitlochry showcases Scotland’s fantastic wild places and the critical role conservation plays in keeping them wild. The following exhibitions and events are scheduled:
From 5 February: Clare Yarrington – Mountain, Moor and Cliff
From 16 April: David Bellamy –  A landscape water-colourist
23 April: Painting demonstration by David Bellamy – Booking essential
For more information please contact Jane Grimley by email: or phone: 01796 470080  
Project Wild Thing Community Screenings

Project Wild Thing has a whole host of UK-wide community screenings of its film coming up! Check out venues and details here. For information regarding organising a screening in your community, email
The film will be screened in various wild and wonderful locations on May 10-11. We've been asked if a group involved in the John Muir Award can help show film trailers on Ben Nevis. Interested? Get in touch with Kat at

World Water Day, 22 March – Get involved

Mission:Explore Water
‘This book will change the way you think about water forever. Do not go any further if you are afraid of going on adventures or trying new things. There is also a 99.999% certainty that you will get wet.’

Inside Mission:Explore Water you will find 51 water-related missions, covering Rain, Rivers & Flow, Harvesting & Using Water, Waste. This free printable eBook and accompanying teacher notes show how Missions can be linked to every subject in the curriculum. It has already had a torrent of gushing praise: ‘Water top resource!’ ‘Very current’ ‘Another tide-y ebook from Mission:Explore’.

Ecover Blue Mile
Ecover would love your group or school to join in a national event to celebrate our ‘blue’ environment. With their charity partner, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), the Ecover Blue Mile is holding a Go Blue! day on Friday 6 June, to learn all about our seas, shores and wildlife. A blue mile could involve walking, swimming, paddling and much more. See the Grassroots information pack.

They also have cross curriculum Blue Mile activities that encourage children of all ages to develop an interest in the natural world around us. If you would like your school to organise a ‘Blue Mile’ for your pupils, check out their information pack.
2020VISION visits Bristol and Edinburgh in March
The John Muir Trust’s proud association with the 2020VISION project concludes in late March, when it visits Bristol (24 March) and Edinburgh (28 March). Catch the innovative theatre show while you still can. You’ll be treated to an evening of spell-binding imagery, music and personal anecdotes, as well as an insight into the ethos behind 2020VISION. Don't miss an opportunity to hear the inspiring and motivational story behind some of the heroic efforts underway to repair and re-connect the UK's ecosystems, straight from the photographers who recorded them. Find out more and book tickets for 2020VISION here.
Gift Your Gear
Gift Your Gear is teaming up with the John Muir Trust to support community organisations, youth groups and charities working in the outdoors. This new initiative promotes the re-use of donated outdoor footwear and clothing.  Sometimes a lack of the right equipment can make it difficult to get outside.  The scheme organisers want to make sure that everyone has access to the outdoors, regardless of their circumstances. 
If you are a John Muir Award Provider and your group could benefit from donations of outdoor gear, please see the scheme guidelines and apply here. For more information Call 07928 613771, or email
Bee Scene
Wild About Plants is asking people to visit a local natural space, which could be a park, footpath or even school grounds, between April and August 2014 to see which of the fifteen Bee Scene wildflowers they can find.  The Bee Scene recording card and Bee Scene identification guide can be downloaded from the Wild About Plants website. Hard copies of the Bee Scene resources are also available: if you would like them click here and complete the application.
The latest Bee Scene newsletter which looks at mountains and plant adaptations with lots of hands on investigations in the classroom is also available here.

Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival – 14-16 February
Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival is an annual event dedicated to promoting adventure through films, lectures and exhibitions. The festival always entertains, enlightens and inspires, and is a long-standing supporter and corporate member of the John Muir Trust. Visit the website for more information and to book tickets.


John Muir Award in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park
The John Muir Trust is involved in an exciting new partnership delivering the John Muir Award throughout Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. Visit the National Park’s new John Muir Award webpage for information and resources. Find out what’s special about this National Park, why it is protected, and how we can help to look after it.

Outdoor Learning - Evidence session Scottish Parliament Education & Culture Committee, Dec 2013 
Follow this link for information on the one-off evidence session for Outdoor Learning at the Scottish Parliament Education and Culture Committee meeting on 10th December 2013. You can read through the evidence presented by four witnesses plus additional submissions via the Scottish Parliament website.

Supporting Outdoor Learning in Secondary Schools - 1 March
In the revised General Teaching Council for Scotland Standards for Career Long Professional Learning, teachers are required to ‘understand and develop the most appropriate contexts for learning, including outdoor learning, and be able to apply appropriate pedagogies for these environments’. This event aims to support this and build confidence and capacity in the delivery of outdoor learning in secondary schools, in particular within Broad General Education (S1-S3).
Participants can attend a variety of practical outdoor workshops delivered by teachers and outdoor partners and benefit from a market place, allowing practitioners to find out about the range of outdoor learning resources available. Click here to book your place. For more information, contact Fiona at:
Teaching the Teachers workshop: Learning for Sustainability
Recent developments in Outdoor Learning and Sustainable Development Education have introduced new opportunities and challenges in the way teachers are being asked to deliver Curriculum for Excellence 3-18.   This workshop is an opportunity for practitioners involved in outdoor learning and sustainability to be informed on the changes to Professional Standards and consider/develop good practice in the provision of career-long professional learning.  Two dates and locations are available as follows:
Tuesday 11 March: Great Glen House, Inverness
Wednesday 19 March: Palacerigg Country Park, Cumbernauld
To book you free place(s) on the course, please request a booking form, to be completed by 28 February, from Lindsey Gibb: or 07845 548871. 

Outdoor Learning & Play for Sustainability conference – 21 March
This 2014 Glasgow based outdoor learning and play conference is packed with practical workshops, including outdoor cooking, engaging children with nature and place responsive play and learning. The keynote speaker this year is David Hughes of Thornlie Primary, North Lanarkshire who will be speaking about how play and outdoor learning transformed a school and community. Visit the website for further information and to book your place.

Scottish Education Awards 2014
Nominations are now open for the Scottish Education Awards 2014. These awards celebrate the hard work and success which takes place in Scottish education.
The awards include a sustainable schools and environmental awareness category. For more information, to see the full list of categories, and to put forward a nomination please visit the Scottish Education Awards website. The nomination deadline is Friday 21 February 2014.
Young Scot and Homecoming Scotland 2014 Funding
Young Scot is offering an exciting opportunity to young people and youth groups to celebrate the year of Homecoming 2014. Young Scot will help fund £1000 to successful groups to host an event in their local area that helps celebrate the community. The event can take any form that the youth group decides. More information and the application form can be found at Young Scot and Money for Life Challenge websites.
Clean Up Scotland Campaign

Keep Scotland Beautiful’s nationwide mass-engagement campaign, Clean Up Scotland, continues until the end of 2014. It supports clean-ups to clear Scotland of litter and mess in time for hosting major events such as the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup, and to gradually encourage zero tolerance toward the dumping of litter and mess.

The campaign aims to to engage 1,000,000 Scots in activities ranging from signing a simple pledge to organising a clean-up in their local area. It highlights issues including litter, dog fouling, flytipping, flyposting, graffiti and abandoned cars. Find out more about how you can take part on the Clean Up Scotland website.


Cairngorms National Park Outdoor Learning Competition
If you are part of a school, nursery or youth organisation across Scotland who has been learning about the Cairngorms National Park then why not take part in the Outdoor Learning Awards! The Cairngorms National Park is a fantastic outdoor classroom and can be studied across the curriculum from biology and geography to art, history and even music. Pupils can be as bold and creative as they wish so long as they can demonstrate that their project - or learning - has helped raise their awareness and understanding of the National Park. For further information please contact Alan Smith by email: or telephone: 01479 870518.

Cairngorms National Park Outdoor Learning - travel grant
A pilot travel grant scheme has been launched to support schools and voluntary and community groups making educational visits to the Cairngorms National Park. The Outdoor Learning travel grant will help to overcome this barrier, offering schools anywhere in Scotland, or voluntary and community groups within or close to the Park, up to 75% transport costs, up to £250. Priority will be given to schools and groups from deprived areas, those who have not visited the Park before, and groups who support people with disabilities, young people, ethnic minorities and those who experience economic disadvantage or health inequality. For further information please contact Elspeth Grant by email: or telephone: 01479 870506


John Muir Award Gatherings – Celebrate John Muir, Cumbria and Peak District
These are annual regional events for Award Providers. They give you the chance to network, share good practice, and explore new ways of getting involved. This year’s theme is 'Celebrating John Muir in the 21st century'. Gatherings are held across the UK, and cost £20, with lunch and refreshments included.
  • Friday 14 March - The Footprint Building, St Catherine's, Windermere
  • Wednesday 2 April - Moorland Discovery Centre, Peak District
I’ve a better understanding of John Muir and how to make some modern day connections between him and the people I work with
Further information and invitations can be found on the website. To book a place, email with your name and the date and venue of the event.
Fundraising for Outdoor Learning, SW England 

Natural Connections is delivering a series of one day courses in South West England focussed on how to raise funding for Outdoor Learning. The aim of the day is to hear from national experts in the fields of fundraising, give participants an overview of funding 'dos & don'ts' and give an introduction on creating a fundraising plan to help you develop your case for support. 
The audience is primary, secondary and special school staff as well as teaching assistants, school managers, head teachers and governors.  There are five dates and locations in the South West.  For further details and to book on the course, please contact Laura Moore at or 01752 585399.
Lindley Education Trust Annual Festival of Outdoor Learning, Castleton,
22-23 February

This 2 day event will celebrate and provide ideas for Outdoor Learning.  There will be a variety of workshops on offer, including one on the John Muir Award, combined with plenty of opportunities for informal networking. The Festival is aimed at outdoor professionals, teachers, youth workers and anyone with an interest in the outdoors. Cost is £75 for the entire weekend. For further information and to book your place, please visit the website.
The Big School Grounds Festival, 9-13 June
The Big School Grounds Festival is the theme for Learning Through Landscapes 2014 National School Grounds Week.  Children and adults across the country are being encouraged to play and learn outdoors.  There will also be curriculum-linked outdoor lessons including headline performances of music, drama, poetry, and fringe workshops of festival crafts and activities. Resources to support all subjects in planning outdoor learning will be available to download on the LTL website: you can register your interest for these resources here
Elderflower Fields Festival, Sussex, 23-26 May
The Elderflower Fields Festival is a weekend of outdoor activities, eclectic music and local food, designed especially for families and with children in mind. Set in the Ashdown Forest in Sussex, part of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, there will be plenty of opportunity to learn about this unique landscape and the local wildlife. The Festival will also showcase activities that could contribute towards a John Muir Award.
Landkeepers – an exhibition of fells and farmers, Grasmere, Cumbria
3 February-11 May

Rob and Harriet Fraser have spent the last two years with hill farmers, walking with them across the high fells, accompanying them to shows and sales, standing by them for shearing, lambing, scanning and inspections. They’ve also spent time with people whose work focuses on environmental management and farming and commons policies.

The exhibition, brings together their experiences through photography and writing, and provides a platform for the voices of hill farmers in the early twenty-first century: there are celebrations and there are challenges, as balance is sought between traditional practices and demand on the land to provide improved biodiversity, clean water, leisure space and more. For further information, please visit The Wordsworth Trust's website or phone 01539 435544.

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