A record of my adventures in celebration of the beautiful Peak District National Park.

Ruth Dixon


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Week 1 – 39


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Week 40 and on into 2018



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My ‘mind map’ with thoughts on how I could work towards completing The John Muir Award over the next twelve months.

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Four seasons in the White and the Dark Peak, with particular interest in the Hope Valley and surrounding areas. The Hope Valley is an area which includes both the White and the Dark Peak and so is a great base for discovering new walks and  places to explore, look at the biodiversity and  record how seasonal changes affect different habitats.

Specific areas to revisit regularly throughout the year so that I can study, record and enjoy the changes that take place.

*The Longshaw Estate (Dark Peak – Moorland and woodland)


*Stanage Edge and surrounding areas (Dark Peak grit stone edge,woodland and moorland)


* Exploring The Limestone Areas in and around the Hope Valley

13113874_538127733062612_1540384139_n.jpgstilelong.jpgThese are all places which I visit regularly and I am excited to learn more about the diversity, history and ecology of these areas. I’ll be travelling by foot, bus and bike so it will be interesting to find out how accessible the Peak Park is to non-drivers.

I am going to discover more about John Muir and his life and work by using the JM website resources, with a particular interest in what inspired him as a young person growing up in Dunbar, Scotland. I would like to plan a visit to this area at some point this year.



Be active! – Walking and cycling throughout the year. I am going to take part in a map reading/navigation course run by the Peak Park rangers to give me more confidence to explore new routes around the Peak Park.

Time – Make time to appreciate, enjoy and relax in nature through sitting quietly and engaging all of my senses. Outdoor yoga and meditation. Sit spots. Visiting areas at different times of the day, the night and the year. Looking closely at the smallest of natural wonders and enjoying the contrasting landscapes of the Peak Park.

Understand – Notice, identify, research and record the changes to flora, fauna and landscape throughout the seasons. Sketch and photograph. Compare the white and the dark Peak’s ecological differences.

Attend guided walks, talks and training offered by the local Peak Park rangers and other local natural history groups.



Leave no Trace – Litter PickingI vow to pick up all litter that I see in the wild places that I explore and to act as a positive role model for others to do the same.

Community Science Surveys – Register with Moors For The Future to take part in specific surveys on flora and fauna. Nature’s Calendar – Take part in a project run in partnership between the Woodland Trust and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. RSPB Garden bird survey.

Biodiversity – Creating and nurturing healthy habitats for wildlife by; Wildlife gardening –planting a wild flower meadow, maintaining a small pond and insect ‘hotels’ and feeding the birds throughout the year in my garden. Growing young Oak tree seedlings with the view to planting them locally in the future.

Promoting campaigns – Displaying posters, encouraging others to get involved. Researching local and national campaigns that I may be able to assist with. Particularly find ways to persuade dog owners to take their poo bags home (posters, leaflets from the ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ organisation).

Working with the Peak Park Rangers – Keeping regular communication with local rangers, Tom, Bill and Pete so to become involved in local projects, volunteering my time and enthusiasm.



Blog – Keep a regularly updated wordpress blog/website to record my adventures throughout the year.

Creativity – Use photography, sketches and keep a diary. Share on my blog.

Outdoor art – leave natural art installations in the wild places that I explore for other visitors to discover, photograph.

Networking – Share my knowledge, experiences and interests with colleagues and the young people that I work with. Organise and host a networking event for other FS leaders and outdoor educators working in the local area to share ideas and experiences.

Helping others to connect with nature – as part of my day to day work as a FS practitioner and National Trust volunteer.

Local Press – Send an article to a local newspaper and/or an online group/forum sharing my activities and experiences and promoting the JM Trust and local conservation.