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Following Government advice to stay safe and protect the NHS, we are working hard to continue to deliver for you. Find information here on how to enjoy the National Park virtually, and how our services are operating during this time.

John Muir Award in the South Downs National Park

John Muir Award in the South Downs National Park

‘In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks’ – John Muir

Do you like being outside in the fresh air? Do you like discovering new places? Do you want to help look after the wildlife and beauty of the South Downs? If the answer is yes to any of these questions then the John Muir Award could be for you!

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 and 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. The South Downs National Park is a fantastic place to complete your award and there are a wide variety of opportunities to take part as a group, individual or family.

What does it involve?

Four Challenges are at the heart of each John Muir Award. Each participant must:

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

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.

  • Discovery Award (introductory level) minimum 4 days
  • Explorer Award (intermediate level) minimum 8 days
  • Conserver Award (advanced level) minimum 20 days over 6 months

How to Get Involved

Everyone, whatever age, can take part so visit the Learning Zone for more information on how you can get involved. If you have any questions at all about the award please email the South Downs Learning team at