Learning in the South Downs

John Muir Award

Welcome to the John Muir Award in the South Downs National Park – Connect with, enjoy and care for wild places.

What is it?

The John Muir Award is a national environmental award that encourages people of all backgrounds to connect with, enjoy and care for wild places through a structured yet adaptable scheme. The Award isn’t competitive but should challenge each participant.  It encourages awareness and responsibility for the natural environment, in a spirit of fun, adventure and exploration.

The Award is open to all, and is the educational initiative of the John Muir Trust. Taking part within the National Park will develop an understanding of this special place and enable you to help look after the South Downs.

What does it involve?

Four Challenges are at the heart of each John Muir Award. To achieve an Award each participant must:

  • Discover a wild place
  • Explore its wildness
  • Conserve – take personal responsibility
  • Share experiences

Participants should show enthusiasm and commitment, and have an awareness about John Muir. We have a South Downs interpretation of these Challenges, with ideas and resources to help make links between the John Muir Award and the South Downs National Park.

There are 3 levels of the Award, encouraging a progressive involvement. The same 4 challenges are repeated for each level, with increased involvement in time, activity and ownership.

  1. Discovery Award (introductory level) minimum 4 days
  2. Explorer Award (intermediate level) minimum 8 days
  3. Conserver Award (advanced level) minimum 20 days over 6 months

How to achieve your John Muir Award in the South Downs…

The South Downs National Park is a fantastic place to complete your award. There are a wide variety of opportunities to take part as a group, individual or family. We are delighted to be working in partnership with the John Muir Trust and this jointly branded certificate shows that you have demonstrated an awareness of the South Downs National Park and its special qualities.

When planning your John Muir Award you can make connections with the National Park by considering:

  • John Muir’s connection with the South Downs National Park
  • What is special about your wild place?
  • Which habitats and creatures can be found in your wild place?
  • How your Conserve activity supports the Vision for the South Downs National Park
  • Complete your Conserve activity with one of the organisations on our volunteering map
  • Who would be interested in sharing your discoveries and joining your efforts to conserve the wild place?

I’m interested… What next?

Read the Information Handbook, look at the South Downs Guidance Notes, and have a go at filling in the Proposal Form. Contact Jonathan at the South Downs National Park to find out more, discuss your ideas and get started…

You can now download a digital version of the John Muir Award Handbook to record your adventures.

Resources Toolbox

General Interest

All Ages