John Muir Award

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We are delighted to be able to offer you the chance to participate in a John Muir Award, and start a personal journey, where you  will  not only learn about the wonders of the natural world by making a meaningful connection to it, but you will also discover stuff about yourself.

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn- John Muir


These exciting  awards are the educational programme of the John Muir Trust (, and can be tailored to suit the needs and interests of individuals or groups.  It is based on the lifework and dream of John Muir himself, who spent his entire life discovering and exploring wild places and campaigning for their preservation and protection.

Here is a link to their promotional video:

What is a John Muir  Discover level Award

Discovery Award is the introductory level and should take around 4 days. 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 responsibilty
  • Share experiences

Our approach to delivering a John Muir Award

John Muir Award outdoor activities: Bat and MothJohn Muir Award: Outdoor activity Meet a tree

We believe that one of the best ways of learning about the natural world is through direct experience. Therefore, for our  John Muir Award Adventures; we will be your guides, supporting and enabling your personal journey, whilst you discover and explore wild places through informal,  fun activities and crafts.

Our practical conservation tasks will teach you skills to increase your knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the natural world.

The last section of the award is sharing our discoveries and experiences of  wild places to encourage other people to visit them. This can be achieved in a variety of ways, depending on the interests and skills of the group. However, in the past we have created videos, written poems, created art with natural objects, photography and social media.

How to take part?

Families, individuals (children and adults) and organisations can achieve a John Muir Award with Sylvan Adventures via our adventurers club, outdoor learning and overnight adventures.

Duke of Edinburgh Awards can be enhanced by working with us to achieve a John Muir award and volunteering opportunities are possible.

Costs. The John Muir Award is free to all participants and can be included in our other adventures – please enquire for costs as these will vary depending on numbers of participants and activities.

Current: John Muir Award Projects

Supporting a small group to achieve the conserver level award by exploring the wild places in and around Torbay, carrying out practical conservation on a nature reserve, and sharing their journey and experiences through social media.

Past: John Muir Award Projects

Nature Explorers Project 06/2014 – 07/2014

John Muir Award project for young people by young people sponsored by the New Wave grant. 10 John Muir Awards and 8 young star navigator awards were achieved. The project consisted of nature awareness activities, practical conservation, a stall at Preston Picnic and including an overnight woodland camp in South Devon.


Play England’s Exploring Nature Play South West 04/2013 – 06 / 2013.

This was a family discovery level John Muir Award, organised and delivered by us for Play England’s Exploring Nature Play South West project in Torbay. We explored and discovered two local, wild places, Primley Park and Fort Apache Adventure Playground, through night walks, games and nature art. Practical conservation tasks included tree planting, surveying and litter collections. To share our discoveries and experiences of the wild places with the wider community, we created videos and artwork, poems and took photographs, which were shared on Facebook and in the local media.

I don’t think there was anything that I didn’t like- except when I couldn’t go. I would have loved to do a residential- Jane Henbrow (Play Guru), John Muir Adventure Project
The sessions were well thought out and inclusive- Adult Adventurer, John Muir Adventure Project

Please check out some more testimonials from this Project

Exploring Nature play Vodafone volunteering report