Hill and Moorland Leader Training

The Hill and Moorland Leader training course run in the Peak District is a fun, information packed three days guaranteed to inspire you.

From mountain hare poo to night navigation we cover the syllabus and add the real world practical advice on leading groups that makes a difference. Delivered by highly experienced instructors who have led groups all over the world and are passionate about passing on their knowledge.

Who is it for ?

The Hill and Moorland Leader training course is for those who want to lead groups in upland terrain and off the paths. Its very popular with DofE leaders, Scout leaders, HF holiday leaders and those who have no need to venture into more demanding mountainous terrain that requires a Mountain Leader qualification.

Hill and Moorland Leader Training Overview

The Hill and Moorland Leader scheme is a nationally recognised leadership qualification. It is administered by Mountain Training and allows holders of the award to lead groups on day walks over hill and moorland terrain. It sits between the Lowland Leader and the Mountain Leader in the qualification framework.

Over three days we look at the many aspects of leading groups safely in more remote areas. Every day (and over one evening) we are outside navigating, learning about the environment and importantly, discussing the decision making skills that you will use everyday you are leading groups in the hills.

Our Hill and Moorland Leader training courses are not only highly informative but also fun and run in a friendly manner. We take great pride in the very high percentage of people returning for assessment and other courses.

At the end of the course you will have the opportunity to receive detailed individual feedback on your strengths any areas that you may need to improve on. This is done together with generating an action plan and identifying a realistic timetable to assessment.

Hill and Moorland Leader Training Course Format

The Hill and Moorland Leader training course is largely practical in nature although we undertake several theoretical exercises. There is significant emphasis on navigation and group management to deliver a safe and enjoyable hill experience. Navigation in particular is an area looked at in detail on the assessment and often where candidates struggle.

We offer the below as a guide to what we will cover. We don’t specify exactly what we do each day as a good mountain professional matches the objectives for the day with the weather and other factors. Discussing what we do on a day allows us to explore this important decision making skill of leading in the hills.

In outline:
Day 1 – After an introduction to the Hill and Moorland Leader training course, we look at individual equipment and cover some navigation techniques before heading out around the local area to put these skills into practice. During the journey we look at how to dynamically risk assess and manage hazards and will discuss different approaches required for different types of groups. In the evening, after a theory session on the weather and weather forecasts, we will plan a hill day for a notional group.

Day 2 – Equipped with knowledge of how to interpret the weather forecast we look at how it will affect our journey before heading out. We will continue to look at navigation to build skills at an appropriate pace but also build our group management skills. In the evening we venture into the night to learn the skills of night navigation. Please note night navigation requires the dark! In midsummer this means that we will finish in the early hours of the morning. At other times of the year, we are off the hill before midnight.

Day 3 – Today we put everything into practice as you lead a flowing walk, navigating, managing hazards, enthusing others with environmental knowledge and spending some time looking at what to do if things go wrong.

We finish the day with individual feedback and discuss your personal action plan so that you fully understand when you should attend Hill and Moorland Leader assessment and how best to prepare for it. You will be able to depart not later than 1700.

During the course, whilst on the hill, you will be encouraged to deliver a short talk (about 5 minutes) on a topic of your choosing, but related to the local environment (ecology, geology, history etc) or covering a relevant skill. A short presentation of this type is expected by most providers whilst on Hill and Moorland Leader assessment (and on all higher awards).

Course Details

  • Location: Peak District
  • Cost: £240 per person
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Ratio: 1:6
  • Level: Instructor
Select course date

More Information

  • Course Dates
  • Bespoke Dates and Locations

    If there are two or more of you that want training, or you would like some different dates or a specific location, please contact the office and we will arrange something to suit your diary.

  • Meeting Point

    The Hill and Moorland Leader training course will meet at 0900 in The Sir William Hotel in Grindleford in the Hope valley.

    Grindleford has good bus and train links to Sheffield and a good train link to Manchester. There is ample free parking at the hotel.

  • Equipment Required

    You will need to bring all the clothing and equipment you need to lead a group for multiple consecutive days on the hill including a waterproofed map of the area and a compass.

    Robust footwear and high quality waterproofs are absolutely essential. A suggested kit list together with some tips and links to gear reviews are contained in the joining instructions.

  • Recommended Reading

    We give some suggestions below, but more detailed suggestions together with a host of helpful links and videos are contained in our Hill and Moorland Leader training Joining Instructions.

    • The Hill and Moorland Leader Award Handbook contains all the details of the syllabus, the remit of the award and a skills check list.
    • The official handbook Mountain Training’s walking schemes is: Mountain Training handbook – Volume 1. Hillwalking. Steve Long. Mountain Training
    • The BMC have a range of useful articles and a dedicated YouTube channel BMC TV covering a range of walking issues.
    • Mountain Training also have a YouTube channel, which can be found here.
  • Fitness Level

    You require sufficient fitness to be able to spend 3 days walking in hilly terrain and have plenty of spare energy to cope with any emergencies within the group. Regular full days of hillwalking are the best preparation which also increases your experience and skill level.

  • Eligibility

    In order to attend a Hill and Moorland Leader training course you must meet the requirements outlined below. You can however book beforehand and we will help guide you through the process.

    • Be registered specifically for the Hill and Moorland Leader scheme with Mountain Training (see below).
    • Be at least 18 years old.
    • You must have recorded a minimum of 20 Quality Hillwalking Days on appropriate terrain (ideally on DLOG) which can have taken place at any point (pre- or post-registration). Some answers to frequently asked DLOG questions can be found on the Mountain Training website here.


    Registration with Mountain Training

    This is relatively straightforward and can be completed online at:
    Here you can also find short videos explaining the award and other useful resources.


  • Accommodation Options

    This Beyond the Edge course is non-residential to allow you to select between a thermarest or 5 star hotel as you require.

    There is lots of accommodation in the Hope Valley and we recommend The Sir William which offers BtE clients a discount and this course runs from here.

    Further details and other options are listed on our Accommodation page.

    If you are struggling to find something or want something special, contact the office and we will endeavour to assist.


  • How do I book ?

    The best way is via this webpage. Choose the date from the options on the above and then submit your booking and request an invoice or pay.  If your course is under six weeks away you must pay the full amount.

    For bespoke events get in touch first so we can check diaries and if required give you a quote. Get in touch by either calling the office on 01142 631 155 or emailing us.

  • Does the course include accommodation ?

    Not usually! We prefer to let you choose where you will be most comfortable. This may be in a tent or in a luxury hotel.

    In the Peak District we work out of the The Sir William hotel. This is a comfortable Inn with stunning views over the Hope valley and it also serves great food. We recommend that you stay here as they are well versed in looking after walkers and climbers, offer a discount to BtE clients and it’s a 30 second commute from the breakfast table to our meeting room! Further details and other options are listed on our accommodation page.

    If this doesn’t suit you for whatever reason, further accommodation options can be found on our accommodation page.

    For bespoke courses and events we can arrange whatever you desire from a bivouac under the stars to a spa hotel.

  • Children, Parking, Dogs, COVID and everything else...

    You will find all of the most frequently asked questions and their answers on our FAQ webpage.

Course Details

  • Location: Peak District
  • Cost: £240 per person
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Ratio: 1:6
  • Level: Instructor
Select course date

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