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Outdoor Education - The John Muir Award

The John Muir Award

It was launched in 1997 by the John Muir Trust, which was formed in 1983 to safeguard and conserve wild places in the United Kingdom. The John Muir Trust’s vision is of a world where wild places are respected and protected, where nature flourishes and where the value of wildness is shared for the benefit of everyone. The John Muir Award is its main engagement initiative.

What is it?

The John Muir Award is an environmental award scheme focused on wild places. It supports people to connect with, enjoy and care for nature, landscape, and the natural environment - wild places.

It does this through a structured yet adaptable scheme. It’s for people of all backgrounds – groups, families and individuals. It’s non-competitive, inclusive and accessible. Its name comes from John Muir, the Scots-born conservation pioneer known as ‘the founding father of National Parks’.

Why use it?

  • To help appreciate and value nature, urban green space and wild landscapes.
  • To encourage awareness, understanding and responsibility for wild places.
  • To promote personal development and healthy living through outdoor experiences.
  • To encourage an environmental agenda – for individuals and organisations.
  • To recognise and celebrate achievements of each individual that meets Award Criteria.

To achieve a John Muir Award

Each participant must n Meet four Challenges – Discover, Explore, Conserve, Share. Complete the required minimum time commitment. Show enthusiasm and commitment towards their involvement. Have an awareness of John Muir. Understand what the John Muir Award is and why they are participating.


Four Challenges are at the heart of the John Muir Award. They are designed to promote a holistic approach – including awareness, understanding, and action - and reflect John Muir’s wilderness experiences. To achieve a John Muir Award each individual participant engages in a range of activities that meet the following four Challenges:

  • Discover a wild place
  • Explore its wildness
  • Conserve it
  • Share your experiences

For more information, please contact Ollie Rew, Educational Visits Co-Ordinator