John Muir Award & Learning

The Shropshire Hills are an excellent place for learning for all ages.

RVCBS Clun school visit 21.10.15The John Muir Award has proven a great way to engage local schools and raise awareness of the Shropshire Hills AONB.

Named after the pioneer of the National Parks movement, the John Muir Award helps participants to discover and explore a wild place, to do something to conserve it, and to share their experience.

Since 2012, we have worked with local primary schools to help the children and teachers to gain their Award.  Catherton Common, Walcot Wood, Bury Ditches and the Stiperstones are some of the wild places chosen by the schools to explore.


Norbury Primary School was the first in Shropshire to achieve the John Muir Awards.  We introduced the Award to the children and teachers in 2012, and together we went on to complete all three levels.  2012–13 Discovery Award, 2013-14 Explorer Award, 2014-15 Conserver Award.

“The outdoor learning that we have undertaken with the AONB over the past seven years has been invaluable. It develops children’s understanding of their local environment and the wider landscape of Britain. Being outdoors develops confidence and often engages children who may not otherwise participate fully in school.  In December 2014, we were judged to be an outstanding school by Ofsted and much of their judgement reflected the extra-curricular activities which we provided, in conjunction with the AONB and the JMA.”   Norbury Primary School Head Teacher

JMA logo


The John Muir work in schools has been developed and delivered together with Shropshire Wildlife Trust and is supported by the AONB Conservation Fund.  In 2017-18 we are working with Farlow Primary School and Clunbury Primary School.

Click on the links below to find out more:


Based on these activities, resources have been developed to help other AONBs deliver the Award across the UK. Follow the link below to view:

Resource Guide: Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty


For more information please email Catherine Landles, Community & Landscape Officer,


Other learning opportunities related to the Shropshire Hills:Education in Carding Mill Valley

Events and guided walks offer opportunities for informal learning.

Many other groups provide volunteering opportunities.

School Visits

Photograph by Tom Middleton

Photograph by Tom Middleton

The National Trust’s education facility at Cardingmill Valley offers a range of organised activities for school parties.

The Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre offer activities for schools and workshops through the school holidays.

The Shropshire Wildlife Trust, with support from the AONB Partnership, produced the directory “Where Wild Schools Go” of sites suitable for countryside visits by schools.

Outdoor Education

Facilities in the area include Manor Adventure.