Trust expands John Muir Award: link between nature and health

As new evidence emerges to reinforce the link between nature and well-being, the John Muir Trust has called for donations

As new evidence emerges to reinforce the link between nature and well-being, the John Muir Trust has called for public donations to help get more people of all ages and backgrounds out and about in wild places.

This week, top US scientists published the conclusions of a global research project into the health impact of human exposure to the natural environment (see notes below). One of the report’s co-authors, Paul Sandifer, announced that a key finding was “the huge amount of information indicating positive health responses of some kind – mainly psychological”.

The John Muir Award scheme, free of charge to participants, was founded in 1997 for the purpose of bringing people and wild nature closer together. Since then, it has become well established and widely used - the Trust recently presented the 100,000th John Muir Award to be achieved in Scotland.

The fundraising appeal launched this week by the Trust aims to introduce tens of thousands more people to wild places in towns and cities as well as rural locations.

“The John Muir Award has always been free to those who take part, and we are determined to keep it that way, to encourage as many people as possible to benefit from time spent outdoors,” said John Muir Award Manager, Rob Bushby.

“But we’d like to be able to meet an increasing demand, from schools and families in particular, and help even more people get out into wild places whether on their own doorsteps, or in more remote and rugged mountains, coastlines and forests.”

A donation of £25 can enable a group of five people at risk of social exclusion to be introduced to the John Muir Award.

A £50 donation could pay for 250 people to have their achievements recognised with their own John Muir Award certificate.

And £100 would help train a youth worker to lead environmental activities in the outdoors.

• Go to
• Fill in the form or phone 0131 554 0114
• Make a text donation: MUIR01 £5 to 70070


• The John Muir Award encourages people of all ages and backgrounds to connect with, enjoy and care for the planet’s wild places. Launched in 1997, it is the John Muir Trust’s main educational initiative, and is part of the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence. Last year, the John Muir Trust worked with 1,000 UK partners to deliver 30,000 John Muir Award certificates to people of all ages and backgrounds.

• New scientific evidence linking nature with improved health and well-being was reported on the BBC website on January 27 2015 (