The John Muir Award celebrated the presentation of its 20,000th Award on Thursday 18th August at Kellands School, Inverurie.
The John Muir Award is the main educational initiative of the conservation charity the John Muir Trust, and encourages people of all ages to enjoy and take responsibility for wild places. The popular environmental Award scheme offers a framework for groups and individuals to discover and explore wild places both on their doorstep and further a field, to put something back, and to share their experiences.
It was during a five day residential run by Active Outdoor Pursuits based in Newtonmore that the 20,000th award was reached. During the week pupils had the opportunity to experience the lochs, mountains and woods of the Cairngorms National Park whilst participating in outdoor activities. The pupils learned about the environmental pressures facing the area and how they could help to protect this special landscape for future generations to also enjoy.
Rosie Maddock, 12, from Pitcaple, is the recipient of the 20,000th award certificate presented to her by Peter Peacock, the Scottish Parliament’s Minister for Education and Young People.
Colin McLean, Head Teacher at Kellands School said: “We are all delighted that the 20,000th award went to Rosie, she was so enthusiastic in all of the activities and learning that took place. She was inspired by the National Park and entered into the spirit of John Muir.”
It is fitting that the 20,000th Award was achieved in the Cairngorms National Park as this celebrates and recognises the partnership between the John Muir Trust and the National Park.
The John Muir Award in the Cairngorms is funded by Scottish Natural Heritage, LEADER+ and the Cairngorms National Park Authority.
Alan Smith John Muir Award Manager for the Cairngorms said: “The 20,000th award being reached in the Cairngorms is a great honour and recognises the work that has gone into creating a good working partnership between the John Muir Trust and the National Park. I’m sure this is a partnership that will introduce many more young people to this unique and special area.”
Nigel Hawkins director of the John Muir Trust commented: “This is a real milestone for the John Muir Award and for everyone who has worked so hard to make it a success over the past eight years. Taking part in the award has been a life changing experience for many people from all backgrounds. It has helped to win hearts and minds for the cause of valuing and cherishing the wonderful wild land of Scotland.”
Councillor Richard Stroud, Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Recreation Committee chairman added his congratulations: “With the stunning surroundings and wild places in Aberdeenshire, it is no surprise that our residents are strongly inspired by nature. My warmest congratulations go to Rosie for her success, and I hope it encourages other youths to become involved in the John Muir Award scheme.”