Summer days out with a difference: 2019

Looking for things to do this summer? Here are 19 ideas for activities where you can give back to, and be inspired by, wild places

Chris goodman   elmwood sandwood 015a detail

Get your hands dirty!

1. Do a Litter Pick to the Peak: Pack a reusable bag and a pair of protective gloves, and then 100 metres from the top of your chosen mountain, pick a line and pick up litter all the way to the summit cairn or trig point. Place the bag of rubbish into your rucksack, descend and recycle as much as possible. Finally, share your photos using #litterpicktothepeak and #johnmuirtrust

2. Make a hands-on difference in a wild place. The John Muir Trust runs work parties throughout the year, where you can make new friends, have fun and help with conservation work. Join a beach clean at Sandwood Bay, help litter pick on the summit of Ben Nevis, or help out with species monitoring, path work or planting trees. See the full list and register your interest

3. Join a conservation day at your local Wildlife Trust and help out with everything from bird monitoring to building fences.

4. Make new connections with nature (and people) by doing your John Muir Award - you can participate as an individual, small group or family.

5. Create a home for wildlife - Create a wild area in your garden, in a window box, or at your school or workplace. Plant wild flower seeds that butterflies and bees will love, or just leave an area of lawn to grow wild. You could also get crafty by making a bird box or bug box. Find ideas

Looking at a map at Quinag

Learn a new skill

6. Join an outdoor skills class at Quinag. Learn basic map features, how to take a bearing, and walking to a point on the map using a compass in our map reading class on 12 August. Or learn outdoor survival skills on our 'Walking in the Wild' class on 2 September. See all Quinag events

7. Learn more about plants at a class run by one of the UK’s botanic gardens, many of which offer classes on plants, gardening, conservation and even botanical drawing.

8. Brush up your nature skills at a class with the Field Studies Council – learn anything from birdwatching and tree identification, to beachcombing and geology.

Navigation instruction from Richard Talbot

See a wild place through expert eyes

9. Join a guided walk with a ranger and learn more about wild places. Take a guided walk to Helvellyn on 29 September, and hear more about the work we’re doing on our newest property. You can also find more ranger-guided walks in Scotland run by the Highlife Highland Rangers and in other parts of the UK by the National Park Rangers.

10. Join in with one of the many walking festivals across the UK over the summer and enjoy walks and talks with expert guides.

Wild Space inside

Be inspired by an exhibition or event

11. Visit our Wild Space visitor centre and art gallery in Pitlochry and admire Trust founder Denis Mollison’s photographs of Coigach and Assynt beaches (until 2 August). See what's on at Wild Space

12. See Cat Burton's 'Stories of Schiehallion' photography exhibition at Wild Space (4 August - 5 October) which delves into the fairy tales and folklore surrounding the Fairy Hill. To accompany the exhibition we are also running a series of events and excursions to Schiehallion.

13. Walk, cycle, swim or sail in one of the UK's 15 National Parks. There are events running at many of the parks throughout the summer including guided walks and trails, arts and crafts and more. 

14. Hear from climate experts at the Edinburgh International Book Festival's 'Fragile Planet' event series which brings together environment specialists, activists and scientists on the theme of climate change.

15. Join in with the London National Park City Festival (until 28 July). Enjoy hundreds of free outdoor events across the city, from theatre and audio installations to outdoor fitness events.

Glenlude bioblitz 2018 - meadow grasshopperContribute to science

16. Help wildlife organizations across the UK collect data - this year the Bumblebee Conservation Trust is looking for people to record sightings of the rare Great Yellow Bumblebee in northwest Scotland. You could also help with Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count (until 11 August).

17. Take part in a BioBlitz event near you or learn other ways to record your local wildlife. If you’re visiting a John Muir Trust property, we'd love to know what you find!

Yorkshire walkers

Image: Benjamin Stratham

And finally... Head outdoors!

18. Set yourself a fundraising challenge - help raise money for wild places by doing a sponsored walk, cycle, run or other challenge. You'll find our tips and some suggested organised events here - or why not create your own challenge?

19. Lace up your walking boots and head out to a wild place – whether that’s a remote mountainside, or a riverside path in the city. Why not visit a John Muir Trust property?

We'd love to see how you're keeping it wild this summer! Share your photos with us on social media using #johnmuirtrust