John Muir Award Story - Four Seasons in the White and Dark Peak

Published: 18th April 2017

Ruth Dixon, an outdoor learning practitioner & environmental volunteer, rediscovers the Peak District National Park

Award mindmap

At the start of 2017 after attending a John Muir Award in Schools training day, Ruth Dixon, an outdoor learning practitioner and environmental volunteer decided to ‘refresh’ her relationship with the Peak District National Park, where she lives and works, by using the framework of The John Muir Award to celebrate and deepen her knowledge, experiences and love of the beautiful area in which she lives.

Four Seasons in the White and Dark Peak’ is the name of the excellent blog that Ruth has set up to record her adventures and share her journey with others.  Each week she documents the discoveries she makes in nature and her endeavours to support the conservation of the wildlife and the landscapes she is exploring.  Sometimes this is through working in partnership with others and at others by carrying out personal projects, gradually fulfilling the Four Challenges of her Award. 

Ruth says: “I have lived and worked in the Peak District for most of my life and consider myself very lucky to have such a long term relationship with this beautiful part of the country and the UK’s first National Park. I will look closely at and enjoy all four seasons in the white and the dark Peak, recording and comparing the changes that take place. I have chosen The John Muir Award because I feel that it will be a really creative, flexible and holistic way to bring together all of my interests, hobbies, knowledge and celebrate my love of nature and my wild surroundings. It will also give me the incentive to be more proactive in helping to conserve the Peak Park and promote and share its wonders with others.

By spending a year working towards my John Muir Award I can ensure that my time is shared out more equally so that I’m delivering outdoor experiences to others and making time for my own adventures. I feel also that my experience of working towards the award will directly enhance my work with young people, promoting all that is good about wild spaces and encouraging ways to preserve them.”

To read Ruth’s blog, click here.

Longshaw Estate Peak District National Park