The John Muir Award....


"The John Muir Award encourages awareness and responsibility for the natural environment, in a spirit
of fun, adventure and exploration"


Having helped hundreds of students gain their JMA in the past I thought it might be fun to create a series of walks in Cumbria that also allow families to discover and explore some very special areas and hopefully go on to help conserve some of these spectacular locations too.


In a nut shell, Tale Trails are 1-2 hour family walks based around a fun story and a hand drawn map for kids. They encourage families to explore, discover, burn some energy, get outside, use their imagination and have some fun!


Kids can explore each walk with their own colourful map and use the story to spot things and search for clues along the trail. 


Initially I set about visiting some of the quieter locations in the area to discover some really special hidden gems and I think I succeeded! I explored every nook and cranny, trying to find the most exciting and interesting places on each walk. I then spent time really getting to know each location, learned about the wildlife in each area, what happened there as each season changed, listened to the unique sounds and then started to create some Tale Trail maps so I could share these special places with other people. 


Below I have outlined some of the possible ways you can also explore and conserve these special places and hopefully then go on to gaining your very own family or individual John Muir Award.


To find out more about gaining your John Muir Award please visit




How I helped.....


There are loads of different ways you can help conserve an area here are just a few things I have done over the last year.....









The Grumbletrog of Cliburn moss

Cliburn moss is managed by natural England please visit....... to find

out how you can help. I did a butterfly  survey in the neighbouring meadow one summer.







The Nozomi bird of Aira force

Aira force is maintained by National Trust

please visit

to find out how you can help 









The Glenridding Griffin of Lanty's tran


Cleared out the culverts on the pitched steps going up to the tarn.











Pip the Impossible of Lowther


A litter pick around the estate and a study on the heron diets around the heronry.










Hetti the Carvetii of Pooley Bridge


A litter pick along the trail and habitat piles in the woodlands.








Eric the Curious of Hallin Fell


A tree survey of the tree species in Hallin Hag woodlands on the Lakeshore path.












What next.......Getting started on each of the 4 Challenges


1) Discover Decide which Tale Trails area you would like to focus your Award activity.

To get your hands on some Tale Trails and start exploring visit my Buy page.....


2) Explore and enjoy each trail and really get a feel for it, understand and
appreciate it and become familiar with as much of it as you can.
Each Tale Trail map is packed full of ideas on how to achieve this.


3) Conserve This could be a practical conservation act that will leave an area in better shape or it could involve supporting a relevant environmental issue, or minimising
human impact (make sure the land owners are informed beforehand).


4) Share The ability to ‘bring nature to life’ by sharing experiences of wild places can
be extremely powerful and inspiring to an audience, but also beneficial to the
participants. Throughout his life John Muir shared his experiences, feelings and
vision for wild places with a wider audience)


To get started and complete your proposal form click here