Cairngorms National Park

View of Glen Isla, Caenlochan National Nature Reserve

John Muir Award

The John Muir Award is an environmental award scheme focused on wild places. It encourages awareness and responsibility for the natural environment in a spirit of fun and adventure.

Junior ranger fun

The John Muir Award in the Cairngorms offers an exciting opportunity for participants to meet the challenges of a national environmental award scheme, focused on wild places and which is closely linked to key aims of the Cairngorms National Park.

Who can take part?

The John Muir Award is open to all, regardless of age or background, and free to everyone! It has been set up to make it possible for a wide range of groups to explore the Cairngorms National Park, to take some responsibility for conserving it, and to share these experiences. It is particularly suited to schools (upper primary and secondary), voluntary and community groups who are visiting the National Park.

Gaining a John Muir Award involves meeting four Challenges:

  • Discovering a wild place
  • Exploring its wildness, what makes it special?
  • Conserving a wild place – putting something back, making a difference
  • Sharing your experiences

The wild place (or places) can be anywhere in or around the National Park; from a local pond, wildlife garden or school grounds to a moorland or mountain top wilderness area.

You also have to find out about John Muir and the John Muir Trust. John Muir was the founding father of National Parks so finding out all about the Cairngorms National Park is an essential part of your John Muir Award.

There are three levels of John Muir Award requiring more commitment and effort at each progressive level: Discovery, Explorer and Conserver.

We would recommend that you get involved at the Discovery Award level which requires 4 days or equivalent time commitment to complete.

How to get started

Getting started with the John Muir Award is a very simple and straightforward process, just follow the steps below.

  1. Choose a wild place
    This could be the Cairngorms in general or you could decide to focus your activity on one specific wild place.
  2. Fill in the John Muir award proposal form
    Download the proposal form from the John Muir Award site and fill in the details. Page 1 is all about you and when you are going to visit and a general idea of what you are going to do. Page 2 asks you to describe how you are going to meet the four Challenges of the John Muir Award. Once you have filled in the form email it to Alan Smith.
  3. Get active
    Come to the Cairngorms National Park and have a fantastic adventure discovering and exploring all it has to offer.
  4. Request your certificates
    Download the John Muir Award certificate request form, fill it in, email it to Alan Smith and we will have the certificates made up and sent out to you.

Do you have any other questions?

JMA Case studies
Examples of how some schools and initiatives have used the John Muir Award

JMA Resources

John Muir Award and Curriculum for Excellence

Inspiring film made by Zeki Basan a Cairngorms NP Junior Ranger about travelling in the footsteps of John Muir in Yosemite National Park as part of his John Muir Conserver Award.

For more information on the John Muir Award in the Cairngorms National Park contact Alan Smith, JMA Manager for the Cairngorms Tel: 01479 870518

John Muir Award website