Join 33,000 people in outdoor award scheme


Published Friday 17 June 2016

An international scheme to get more people exploring the great outdoors is running taster sessions in the New Forest.

The John Muir Award is being run by the New Forest National Park Authority and is an environmental award scheme for people of all backgrounds. It is open to groups, families and individuals; it is a non-competitive, inclusive and accessible scheme.

Participants can design the Award to follow their own interests, as long as over a minimum period of four days they fulfil the four challenges:

•           Discover – somewhere new
•           Explore – a wild place nearby
•           Conserve – habitats for wildlife
•           Share – an experience with others online

The Award is named after John Muir, originally from Scotland, who played an instrumental role in creating the National Parks movement in the late 1800s in the United States.

New Forest National Park Authority Ranger Craig Daters will be leading free activity sessions at Ashurst Campsite on 25 June and at Hoburne Bashley Holiday Park, Sway, on 24 July. These hands-on sessions are free and open to anyone and will promote and provide information about the John Muir Award in the New Forest.

Craig said: ‘You can be in the running for an award by undertaking any number of fun tasks. Get involved in activities to help conserve the Forest, such as monitoring, campaigning, educating or undertaking practical work, and share your experiences with others. The opportunities are vast and the options are endless!’

The John Muir Trust is a conservation charity dedicated to protecting and enhancing wild places and the John Muir Award is their main engagement initiative. Last year over 33,488 people in the UK worked towards and gained their Award with 36,200 days of ‘Conserve’ activity, building wild and valuable experiences and memories.

This included Alistair Findlay from Falkirk, who took part in the Award to find out more about a wild corner of a field near him containing a river, an old farm ruin, grassland and some mature trees. After completing various bug hunts Alistair wanted ways of improving the area for wildlife as he found no bees, wasps or ladybirds. After talking to the landowner, plans were put in place to try and reverse this.

For more information on taking part in the John Muir Award in the New Forest and to book your place on the activity sessions, visit or email


Notes to Photo Editor: SEEDS home education group (Southampton area) exploring the woods at Ashurst with National Park Authority rangers as part of their John Muir Award.

Notes to Editor:

About the New Forest National Park Authority

Protect - Enjoy - Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:
• Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect.
• Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:
• Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Visit to find out more.

Media Contacts:
Suzi Shilling, Communications Assistant, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646602

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