The Galloway Glens Scheme is offering people the chance to deepen their connection with nature and explore their local environment by taking part in an individual or family ‘John Muir Award’ programme this summer. Participants will Discover, Explore, Conserve and Share wild places near them.
The John Muir Award programme is a well-established national scheme that encourages people to get to know and love the wild places all around us. With the COVID restrictions in place this summer, group activities are difficult and so the Galloway Glens Scheme is running a programme that will support individuals and family groups in gaining this free award themselves.
The John Muir Award is an environmental award scheme focused on wild places. It helps people connect with, enjoy, and care for wild places. It is non-competitive, inclusive and accessible. It is open to ages 11+ for Individual awards (no upper age limit!) and younger children can take part through a Family award. It aims to:
- Foster appreciation and value for nature, urban greenspaces and wild landscapes.
- Encourage awareness, understanding and responsibility for wild places.
- Promote personal development through outdoor experiences.
- Encourage an environmental agenda.
- Recognise the achievements of everyone who meets Award Criteria.
More info is available here: www.johnmuirtrust.org/john-muir-award
Participants in the Galloway Glens 2020 online John Muir Award programme will be supported by the Galloway Glens team throughout the summer. The team will advise on the choice of wild places and suitable activities to achieve the award. To gain the first level ‘Discovery’ award, 24 hours of activities that involve discovering, exploring, conserving and sharing experiences of wild places need to be undertaken over July and August.
Typical activities include river walking, litter picking, bug spotting, foraging, trail mapping, poem writing or photography.
Joining the programme is completely free and all the activities can be done for free as well. At the end of the programme, all participants who gain the award will receive an official certificate of their achievement from the John Muir Trust.
Helen Keron, Education and Community Engagement Officer for the Galloway Glens said,
“We are delighted to be working with the John Muir Trust and their Awards scheme again this year and are very grateful to them for their support and flexibility in allowing us to deliver their awards in a different way in 2020. It has been a difficult year for everyone, but as we start to get back out there, this is an excellent way for people or families to deepen their connections with our beautiful environment here in Dumfries and Galloway.”
Mary Smith, Project Lead for the Galloway Glens 2020 John Muir Award programme, said
“We have had great success using the John Muir Awards in the past and this gives us an opportunity to open up to a much wider audience to share ideas, inspiration and support. One of the best things about the programme is tailoring it to your own local wild places and following your own interests, discovering and exploring more as you go. The conservation activities, however small, can make a big impact, as does the sharing – we can’t wait to get started!”
If you’d like more information about the programme or to sign up, please contact Helen at firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.gallowayglens.org/projects/john-muir-awards. Sign up is open until the 3rd July and the programme will start on the 6th July and run through the summer holidays.
The Galloway Glens Scheme is a suite of projects taking place up and down the Ken/Dee valley in Dumfries & Galloway seeking to connect people to their heritage, while boosting the local economy and supporting sustainable communities. It is a partnership of the public and private sectors, supported primarily by a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. For more details about the scheme or the projects supported, please visit www.gallowayglens.org.