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John Muir Award e-bulletin October 2015

Dear <<First Name>>,

This e-bulletin contains the latest John Muir Award information along with activities, events and news from around the UK.










Our Autumn newsletter is now available to read online. Find out more about some major milestones around the UK, results of a survey of Award Providers, and refreshed resources including a new John Muir Trust website.

The Spirit of John Muir with Chris Packham
Last month, naturalist, photographer and television presenter Chris Packham spoke at the inaugural Spirit of John Muir event at the Royal Geographical Society in London. Read about it here, and listen to a recording of his inspiring talk.

250,000 John Muir Awards
Congratulations to all who have achieved a John Muir Award or helped with its delivery since it was launched in 1997. Read here about the 250,000th, presented to Zak Lakota-Baldwin at London Wildlife Trust’s Camley Street Natural Park.

John Muir Award Appeal
Thanks to all who’ve watched the short Appeal film, shared it, and supported this Appeal to help more people connect with nature through the John Muir Award. Find out more, and support us, here.

John Muir Award Training
For the latest dates and locations of leader training and John Muir Award in Schools training, click here.

The geography curriculum and the John Muir Award
The Autumn 2015 Geographical Association magazine features an article showing how the John Muir Award can be part of fieldwork, outdoor learning, and the geography curriculum. Read it here.

Vote for Suilven path work!
The John Muir Trust could win £18,000 to start repairing the path on this much-loved mountain in Assynt. With a couple of clicks you can vote to help us win the European Outdoor Conservation Association Alpine Category  - vote now, closes 19 October.

It’s Our World – Online Gallery closes 20 Nov
Be part of the UK’s largest environmental arts project, share your artworks as part of your John Muir Award. Read their latest newsletter, with an endorsement from Stephen Fry.
To get a PIN code and register, contact Lovely Arts Resources & Sustainability Ideas online too!

Sharing Nature by Joseph Cornell – new edition
Sharing Nature - Nature Awareness Activities for All Ages is a rewritten version of Cornell’s Sharing Nature with Children, which sold over half a million copies and sparked a worldwide revolution in nature education.
High Quality Outdoor Learning updated guide
This re-written guide from the English Outdoor Council clearly outlines the benefits of outdoor learning and sets out to help you evaluate and improve its quality in both formal and informal education.
‘How a city can save its wildlife’  
This BBC news article explores the proposal to designate Greater London as a National Park City, as a solution to saving the city’s wildlife and bringing people more into harmony with nature. Find out more and support the Greater London National Park City campaign.

Resources & Funding
Spring community tree packs
The Woodland Trust is now taking applications for school and community tree packs for Spring 2016. The trees will be delivered from 7-11 March 2016 and are available in quantities of 30,105 or 420. The packs come in different mixes of tree species so you can choose the best one for your project.
Learning through Landscapes is now welcoming schools to register to be part of Polli:Nation. This project supports schools to turn their grounds and other local spaces into pollinator-friendly habitats.  The initiative will give pupils direct hands-on experiences, from creating vertical green walls and night-blooming flower beds to lobbying to change school maintenance regimes and debating pesticide use.
What’s Under Your Feet? – Citizen Science survey
Contribute to the first large scale study of soil invertebrates across the country. Find out more about becoming a citizen scientist, including free starter packs, activity ideas and curriculum links.
Learning Grants
Creative Star Learning has compiled a list of grants available for schools, play organisations and environmental groups interested in accessing funding for learning and play outdoors.
Grow Wild Community Project Fund
Grow Wild is awarding £1,000, £2,500 or £4,000 grants to community groups that want to bring people together to engage with nature or transform a communal space by sowing and growing UK native plants. Apply before 1 December 2015 for your chance to join their project network.
Institute of Outdoor Learning Photo Competition 2015
The Institute of Outdoor Learning invites you to submit images for this year’s photography competition. The theme is "Outdoor Learning - Whatever the Weather". Closing date is Monday 16 November.

The Big Draw, throughout October, is the world's biggest drawing festival, with thousands of (mainly free) drawing activities which connect people of all ages with museums, outdoor spaces, artists, designers, illustrators - and each other. Find inspiration in nature, link your pictures to a John Muir Award, and post on It’s Our World.
The Big Pathwatch is a Ramblers campaign until 31 Dec to protect and improve our paths in England and Wales.  Taking part is a walk in the park – or the hills, the countryside or the woods, literally. Wherever you walk, record what you find. Celebrate the things you see - like beautiful views and amazing wildlife – and do it as part of your John Muir Award.
Mountain Arts Festival, Penrith, 6-8 Nov, is a weekend event hosted by Community Action Nepal. It explores how the mountains and uplands inspire the practice of walking artists, painters, sculptors, writer and poets, musicians, film makers, photographers, performing artists and thinkers.


How Good Is Our Third Sector Organisation?
Education Scotland has launched a new resource to help third sector organisations evaluate themselves. The John Muir Award was involved in piloting the resource – read about how we got on here. Interested in using the resource? Want to chat with us about our experience? Contact

400 schools delivering John Muir Award in Scotland
Our Education Report for 2014/15 shows an 8% increase in activity, and that over 400 Scottish schools are involved across a wide range of settings including school grounds, local greenspaces and National Parks. 

New resources from Education Scotland and SEPA – Get Learning
The new Get Learning section on Scotland’s Environment website includes maps, data, resources and useful links – all matched with Curriculum for Excellence levels and National Qualifications. It’s a great source of up-to-date environment-related information for teachers and learners.

Outdoor Homework
Grounds for Learning has developed a year-long outdoor homework resource for primary schools.  It provides activities and ideas that can be easily differentiated, are seasonal, and encourage independent thinking, parental involvement and engagement with the outdoors.

New John Muir Geocaches along the John Muir Way
Scottish Natural Heritage and Locus Focus have installed four new ‘John Muir’ geocaches between Strathblane and Milton of Campsie, along the John Muir Way. Geocaching is a real-world treasure hunt and can be a great way of exploring new areas and wild places.

Young Reporters Scotland
Young Reporters Scotland is an opportunity for young people to build life-changing skills and be part of an international group raising awareness of sustainability issues within their communities.  11-21 year olds can enter the national competition by investigating an environmental problem or sustainability issue, using different media including articles, blogs, videos, animations and photographs.

Young Scots lead the way for biodiversity
Scottish Natural Heritage and Young Scot have recruited an advisory panel of sixteen young people aged 13 – 23 to investigate the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy and Route Map. The panel will investigate what biodiversity means to young people across Scotland, and complete their John Muir Award as part of the project. If you want to find out more contact

Coast and sea recreation national survey
Marine Scotland has launched its first national survey of tourism and recreation around the Scottish coast and seas. They want to know how John Muir Award groups and leaders are using and valuing our marine and coastal areas. Why is the Scottish coastline important to you? Help out by completing the survey.


25,000 John Muir Awards through Cairngorms National Park Authority
The 25,000th John Muir award to be completed through the Cairngorms National Park Authority was presented to Grace Moir on 14th September by the Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Dr Aileen McLeod. Read more here.


John Muir Award in North East England
Our 1 year funding support from Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, and Northumberland Coast AONB, has now ended. While we explore partnership and funding opportunities – with a view to keeping a John Muir Award role in the region – our England office will deal with enquiries and activity.

Year of Fieldwork
The ‘Year of Fieldwork’ (over the academic year 2015-16) is promoting the value of geographical fieldwork and the wide range of resources, training and support available to schools. It will raise awareness of the value of fieldwork in all areas and at all stages of the curriculum. Schools, colleges and universities can easily combine fieldwork with a John Muir Award – find out more here.

Active Reviewing in the Outdoors with Roger Greenaway – 6 November
Discover better ways of helping others learn from experience. This one day Institute of Outdoor Learning workshop in Lancashire will introduce a collection of handy, versatile tools for active reviewing in the outdoors.

CLOtC conference 2015: Developing character outside the classroom – 26 November
This conference, in Epping Forest, Essex, will focus on how learning outside the classroom can help develop the character attributes that lead to academic achievement and success in the real world.


Fell Care Days
Play a part in protecting the treasured landscape of Cumbria by joining a Friends of the Lake District Fell Care Day in the Eden valley on 4th November. Join volunteers in carrying out practical conservation activity to protect some of the most dramatic and beautiful places in England. There’s a whole host of practical tasks and learning opportunities to choose from.


Exclusive Outdoor Learning opportunities through Outward Bound and National Trust Partnership
The Outward Bound Trust now delivers weekly residential outdoor learning programmes at Ogwen Cottage during school term time.  The programme for young people at secondary school, university or college offers challenge and increases awareness of the important work carried out by the National Trust in the surrounding landscape. For more information contact: or 01931 740 000.

John Muir Family Award in Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park ‘Your Park’ project is helping families across South Wales to get out and explore the National Park by participating in a John Muir Family Award. Register and pick up a resource pack – full of ideas, support and guidance – or attend a John Muir Family Award event at Castell Hencllys on 26th October.  For more information contact: or 01646 624 854

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