Recapping on a Year of Adventure

The Wales' Year of Adventure 2016, the John Muir Award, and building meaningful experiences in wild places

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For the John Muir Trust, the Wales' Year of Adventure was about much more than testing yourself against the world’s longest zip-wire or paddling the white waters of the Tryweryn. It was an opportunity for people to build deep, meaningful and adventurous experiences that will last a lifetime. 

In 2016 over 5,000 people achieved their John Muir Award (the Trust’s main engagement initiative) in Wales, many of them connecting with the wild places for the first time.  Over 80% of participants completed their John Muir Award in one of Wales’ 3 National Parks, and over 85% got involved as part of an adventurous multi-day residential experience. 

Whilst many participants immersed themselves in challenging and adventurous experiences such as rock climbing, open canoeing and gorge walking, many others got involved in softer experiences in wild places: exploring rock pools, hidden coves and caves; sitting by an open fire or babbling stream; visiting a local Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; taking in the stunning scenery from the top of a nearby hill. 

“The Year of Adventure has been a fantastic driver for my son and I to get outside and get involved in new adventures, both close to home in Pembrokeshire, but also to visit new places across Wales.  The John Muir Family Award has given us the perfect framework to focus on the opportunities that the Year of Adventure has inspired.” Julie – John Muir Award participant

Phil Stubbington, John Muir Award England & Wales Manager adds: “Although two main drivers of the Year of Adventure have been tourism and business growth, it has also provided a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of the benefits and values that can be gained from spending time in wild places - self-confidence and resilience, overcoming challenges, enjoying new experiences and improving physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.”

Wales’ Year of Adventure 2016 may have drawn to a close, but the legacy of the adventures faced, challenges overcome and connections made with wild places will certainly live on.

Wales Year of Adventure listing