What is the John Muir Award? 

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The John Muir Award is an environmental award scheme focused on wild places.  It is inclusive and accessible for all, and encourages people from all backgrounds to connect, enjoy and care for wild places.  The award is achieved by completing four challenges

Discover a wild place

We will discover some of Glasgow’s Wild Places including Pinkston Basin itself, the canal system of Glasgow and Scotland’s smallest nature reserve at Hamilton Hill Claypits. 

Explore a wild place

We will explore our wild places. Learning how to paddle through the canal system of Glasgow, we will learn about the diverse wildlife that can be found within our wild places while we learn how to have fun and play in the outdoors safely .  


We will work on different projects to help protect and maintain Glasgow’s wild places. This could range from doing a litter pick along the canal from your canoe to monitoring the water quality in the canal through citizen science projects. 


Most importantly we will tell others about our adventures. This can include having a discussion about our experiences, creating presentations and posters to show in our school or even making a video    about our experiences.


Example Programme 

Day 1 0930-1430 

Day 2 0930-1430 

Day 3 0930-1430 

Day 4 0930-1430 


An orientation session of the chosen venue including an introduction to the John Muir Award. 



Introduction to paddle sports. Either canoeing or kayaking. 


Introduction to conservation and the first conservation project, a litter pick on the canal from canoes.  


A team work focused session. Focusing on interpersonal skills and problem solving. 


Learning about urban conservation, ecology and biodiversity. Working on a short term project to give something back to nature. 


Final paddling session, putting all the skills learned into practice by going on a journey on the canal or playing games in the basin. 


The Survival Game! 

An opportunity to learn about food chains and surviving as an animal in the wild. 


A review of the John Muir Award, what have you learned? 

Talking with others about your experiences.


How do I get there? 

The course is delivered at Blairvadach’s city centre hub at Pinkston Basin:  


Glasgow Watersports Centre,  

 75 North Canal Bank St, Glasgow, G4 9XP  

Resources for the John Muir Award @ Pinkston

What to pack video

John Muir Award @Pinkston Portfolio

Letter for Parents

BV Pond Study Sheet

BV Pond Study Data Entry

John Muir Award Website