Working with young people

AONBs are landscapes of fantastic diversity offering natural and cultural heritage to explore.  Through different projects we help young people to connect with and care about the Shropshire Hills landscape.

In partnership with South Shropshire Youth Forum, local schools and other youth groups we have worked with many young people in and around the AONB over the years.  The AONB Conservation Fund has also been able to support projects aimed at encouraging young people to explore their local landscape.  

Take a look at past project activities:

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

children taking part in activities to gian their John Muir AwardNamed 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.

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.

The children and teachers at Norbury Primary School were the first to achieve the John Muir Awards, and went on to complete all three levels; Discovery Award, Explorer Award and Conserver Award. Quote below from the Head Teacher, Les Ball.

“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."

Based on our work with schools through the John Muir Award, resources have been developed to help other AONBs deliver the Award across the UK.  Click below:

Resource Guide: Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty


In November 2019, we subitted a Young Ranger project application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund.  If successful, the project will be working with South Shropshire Youth Forum to set up new Young Ranger groups in the Shropshire Hills.  It aims to help 12-16 year olds develop an emotional connection with the special heritage of the AONB, and involvement in and care for local heritage. We hope to hear whether the application has been successful in the new year.