I was recently thinking about my Mountain Leader assessment (way back in the mists of time) and that I have no recollection of at any point being asked any questions about the environment or about any flora or fauna.
It wasn’t until five years later while attending my MIA training and then assessment did I formally have to start gaining knowledge regarding the environment and outdoor nature.
Moving on from those dark days all the Mountain Training awards now require candidates to have a variety of knowledge regarding the landscapes we are walking and climbing in.
And something else has changed; we now have access to resources both in traditional printed form but also online. The problem is sifting though the reams of information. Thankfully there are now two books currently available that distill and clarify a good variety of knowledge useful to leaders regarding geology, birds and mammals, various plants and other useful information on archaeology and myths and legends.
A lot of text books are fairly dry and will just enable you to identify the flower or bird however both these books contain extra snippets of information that make the subject more interesting for us and also for our clients who will be learning from us. For example did you know that bilberries are good for haemorrhoids or that hazel nuts were believed to engender wisdom and creative inspiration?
Both books come highly recommended for all Lowland, Hill and Moorland and Mountain Leaders as well as Mountaineering and Climbing Instructors.
The Nature of Snowdonia can be bought here –https://www.pesdapress.com/index.php/product/nature-of-snowdonia/
And the Nature of the Beacon Beacons here – https://www.pesdapress.com/index.php/product/nature-of-the-brecon-beacons/
Lowland Leader Award https://www.beyondtheedge.co.uk/lowland-leader-award/
Hill and Moorland Leader https://www.beyondtheedge.co.uk/qualification-courses/hill-moorland-leader/
Mountain Leader Award https://www.beyondtheedge.co.uk/qualification-courses/mountain-leader/