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29 Jan 2024

John Muir Award 2023 landmarks

Our John Muir Award environmental initiative continues to inspire people and communities to benefit from and advocate for wild places. Here are some of last year's highlights.

OBT leadership training in Glen Nevis 2023 1

For over quarter of a century our John Muir Award has been inspiring people and communities to enjoy, connect and care for wild places. Through working with partners across the UK it also continues to influence government and land managers to protect wild places and strengthen societal understanding of the value of wild places.

In 2023 alone over 30K John Muir Awards were achieved – each Award recipient committed a minimum of four days of activity connecting with, enjoying and caring for wild places. 28 per cent of John Muir Awards achieved are by people experiencing disadvantage.

Although 56 per cent of Awards achieved are in Scotland where it was launched, the Award has significant reach across the UK ensuring a Trust presence in England, Wales and Northern Ireland too

John Muir Awards are achieved through 1,580 Award Provider organisations across the UK – from schools to national parks, from outdoor centres to youth groups.

Nearly 3,000 groups received support from Trust staff who registered, approved and helped celebrate activity and action in wild places.

A key milestone

In 2023, the Trust passed a half-million John Muir Awards achieved since it was launched 26 years ago. John Muir Award Scotland Manager Toby Clark said: "This milestone isn’t simply the Trust’s, it’s a collective. It couldn’t have been achieved without the organisations, grants and individuals who have helped fund activity – from NatureScot and Natural Resource Wales, to Members, corporate sponsors, volunteer envelope stuffers, marathon runners and cake bakers.

"Neither would this have been possible without John Muir Award Providers, leaders and partners. Whether in Welsh, Gaelic or English they’ve been guided by John Muir’s words to 'do something for wildness and make the mountains glad'.”

Some key partnerships

East Ayrshire

We celebrated completing a six-year partnership with East Ayrshire Council dedicated to using the John Muir Award to reduce the poverty related attainment gap.

Lake District National Park

We celebrated 50,000 Awards in Cumbria achieved in partnership with the Lake District National Park.

Beyond the figures

We’ve seen that pupils who participate in the John Muir Award become more confident in their self‐belief, more articulate in their communication skills and more resilient when facing challenges.

Karen Hart, Depute Head Teacher, Donibristle Primary School

I learnt how to identify moths, butterflies, and plants. I learnt about campaigning and enjoyed listening to speakers at the campfire conversations. I also made lots of new friends with interests in wildlife, as well as learning how I can have an impact.

Award participant, Stand for Nature Wales, Wildlife & Climate Summer Camp

Photograph shows the team leading Outward Bound Trust leadership training in Glen Nevis in 2023

Hand with flowers - David Lintern

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