John Muir Award

We have taken part in the John Muir Discover award on our four beach days.

What is it?

The John Muir Award is an environmental award scheme focused on wild places. It supports people to connect with, enjoy and care for nature, landscape, and the natural environment - wild places.
It does this through a structured yet adaptable scheme.
It’s for people of all backgrounds – groups, families and individuals.
It’s non-competitive, inclusive and accessible.
Its name comes from John Muir, the Scots-born conservation pioneer known as ‘the founding father of National Parks’. It was launched in 1997 by the John Muir Trust, which was formed in 1983 to safeguard and conserve wild places in the United Kingdom.
The John Muir Trust’s vision is of a world where wild places are respected and protected, where nature flourishes and where the value of wildness is shared for the benefit of everyone.
The John Muir Award is its main engagement initiative. The John Muir Award was set up to
  • Promote educational, social and personal development through engagement with wild places and involvement in conservation.
  • Encourage an active environmental approach within organisations.
  • Ensure that people’s circumstances don’t exclude them from opportunities to experience wild places.
The John Muir Award is delivered through partnerships with many diverse organisations – youth groups, schools, clubs, Local Authorities, residential and outdoor centres, adult and family support groups, ranger services etc.



Identify a wild place (or places) on which to focus your John Muir Award activity

It should have some natural character and scope for at least 4 days’ worth of activity.

It can be a particular wild place, a range of wild places or a journey – gardens, school grounds, local parks, along rivers and coastlines, in National Parks and mountain ranges.

Sapphire Class - Year 3 and 4
Sapphire Class have taken part in the John Muir Environmental Award this year. The children spent four days at four different days.
Day 1 - Alnmouth Beach
We started our award by spending the day at Alnmouth beach. Firstly, we played some games in the sand before creating our own sea monster out of things we could find on the beach. Next, we climbed Bracken Hill and listened to our surroundings. We drew what we could hear before drawing a bird's eye view of the beach. We then used our drawings to recreate the landscape out of shells, seaweed and anything else we could find. After lunch, we discussed the importance of keeping the beach clean and participated in a litter pick. We found lots of interesting things including half a welly and a bike tyre! 
Day 2 - Boulmer Beach
We visited Boulmer beach for day 2. We started off by discussing rock pools and what kind of creatures we might find in them. We then explored the rock pool on the beach, looking for all of the different types of creatures we had discussed previously. After lunch, we went on a hunt along the sand dunes to find different plants and animals. We discussed how, although so close to each other, the habitats between the dunes and the rock pools were so different. We found lots of different creatures including spiders, butterflies and even a toad! Lastly, we walked back along the beach collecting anything we could to add to our home made rock pools. We even found a fish!
Day 3 - Druridge Bay Country Park
We began day 3 by participating in a nature ramble. Not only did we observe the plants and animals, we had to complete a treasure hunt. We had lots of different things to find including a 3-leaf clover, a budding flower and something soft. Next, we took some time to lie and listen to our surroundings. We listened to all the different songs of the birds, the rustling of the forest animals and the lapping of the waves. Using the materials we found on the treasure hunt, we created some art work as a group. We had to come up with a story that our art told and we shared with the rest of the class. Finally, we created a nature reserve for the different animals that might live on or near the beach. 
Day 4 - Low Newton Beach
On our final beach day, we began by making self-portraits using all of the different materials we could find on the beach. Next, we explored the rock pools for different creatures before exploring the beach and the dunes for different kinds of rocks. Using the rocks we found, we created a "rock museum" to showcase all of the different rocks we found. After that, we had a walk to the bird shelter where we could observe all of the different birds around the lake. We used our beach books to sketch different birds that were on the lake.After lunch, we wrote poems about our four beach days and shared them with the class. We finished off by walking along the beach to see what wildlife we could spot. We even saw a jellyfish! 
We have all had a fantastic time participating in the John Muir award and have learnt so much about conserving the environment!