The New Forest National Park Authority is running the John Muir Award which is an international environmental award scheme for people of all backgrounds. It is open to groups, families and individuals and is a non-competitive, inclusive and accessible.
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 www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/johnmuiraward or email email@example.com.