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Answers to your questions about the John Muir Award.

IMPORTANT: Find out about and get involved with plans to redesign the John Muir Award here.

If you do not see an answer to your question listed please refer to the John Muir Award Information Handbook as this is a comprehensive guide to delivering the Award.

Hikers - Benjamin Statham

Award FAQs

The Award looks great – What do I need to do to take part?

Have a look at our Get Involved page to see if the Award is suitable for your group. Plan your activities, fill in a Proposal Form and email it to One of our team will get back to you to discuss your Proposal Form, this can take up to 10 working days.

Is there an age limit for the John Muir Award?

The John Muir Award is ideally suited for those participants working at later stage of Primary Education and beyond (year 4 and above in England and Wales and Second Level in Scotland). We have created a Family Award that welcomes involvement by people of all ages and abilities, including younger children, as part of a family group. We encourage adults to get involved too. There is no upper age limit.

If you are under 18 you can also get involved with the John Muir Award in a self-guided, individual capacity but please get your parent or carer to send in your Proposal Form on your behalf.

How do I request certificates?

When you have completed your activity, please fill out a Certificate Completion Form and email it to A member of our team will be in touch to discuss and confirm this with you. You can request either hardcopy or electronic certificates. Please allow up to 10 working days for your certificates to arrive.

What are the specific time commitments for each level?

  • Discovery Award - 4 days (or 25+ hours equivalent) minimum time commitment.
  • Explorer Award - 8 days (50+ hours equivalent) minimum time commitment.
  • Conserver Award - 20 days (or 125+ equivalent) minimum time commitment, over at least 6 months.

The Four Challenges - Discover, Explore, Conserve, Share - are met for each level, with increasing responsibility and ownership.

How much does it cost to take part in a John Muir Award?

It’s currently free of charge. As demand grows and activity increases, so does the cost to the John Muir Trust of running the Award. Here's how you can support us to protect and conserve wild places across the UK, and keep the Award free for participants.

  • Fundraise as part of your Award activities. We have lots of ideas to get you started
  • Donate to our Wild Action Fund. Help the Trust meet resource costs (e.g. each certificate costs £1 to produce)
  • Add us to your funding bids and proposals, include us in your budget (see our guidance)
  • Become a member of the John Muir Trust. A range of membership options are available including group, corporate, individual, joint or family

Do I need to have completed any training to start using the John Muir Award?

You do not need to have attended any training to start using the John Muir Award. Everything you need to know can be found on our website. 

What counts as a wild place?

John Muir Award activity can take place in a range of wild places with natural character, from what is right on your doorstep, in school grounds and back gardens, to remote and rural landscapes, and urban environments.

I forgot to submit my proposal form and our group have already begun our Award, what should I do?

Please contact and a member of our team will be able to discuss that with you.

Which Award level is most suitable for my group?

There are three Levels of the John Muir Award: Discovery, Explorer and Conserver. These differ in terms of time commitment and responsibility. Progressing through to the higher levels of the Award isn’t simply doing the same activities for longer. For further information see our guidance on 'Considering ways to progress through John Muir Award levels'.

You are welcome to repeat the same Award Level – maybe with a different organisation or in different places or with different people – as this provides opportunities for new and valuable experiences.

Is there a syllabus to follow or certain activities we need to complete?

The John Muir Award doesn’t have a set programme or syllabus to follow, but does have a simple Criteria. The Award is based around Four Challenges – Discover, Explore, Conserve, Share – and the activities you do to engage with the Four Challenges are up to you.

Let us know what you are planning for your Award by sending us a Proposal Form, we will discuss this with you, share ideas and once it has been agreed and registered you are ready to get started!

I’ve delivered the Award before. Do I need to submit another Proposal?

Yes you will need to submit a new Proposal Form for each group participating in the Award.

I’m a group/individual/family based outside of the UK, can I take part in the John Muir Award?

Unfortunately not, the John Muir Award is increasing in its popularity and we are currently inundated with inspiring proposal forms. However, so we can continue to provide a high quality service we are currently focusing on Award activity within the UK countries only and won’t be able to accept any more international proposals at this time. We hope you are not too disappointed and please check back later this year in case our situation changes. Many thanks for your understanding.