“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” Said the famous environmentalist John Muir and in line with his philosophy the Tees Valley Wildlife Trust are giving people and opportunity to take part in 4 week course – The John Muir Award.

The course is a part of a series that the Trust is delivering in partnership with Middlesbrough Community Learning based around two of its nature reserves, Portrack Marsh and Maze Park. The Award is an environmental award scheme focused on wild places. It encourages people of all backgrounds to connect with, enjoy, and care for wild places. Starting on Thursday 8th June and for the following three Thursday’s participants will discover and explore two of the most important habitats in the Tees Valley, Portrack Marsh for its wetlands with over 100 species of birds recorded on the site and Maze Park with its extensive grassland which has have attracted more than 12 species of butterfly including the increasingly scarce grayling and dingy skipper. Following on from discover and explore participants will get the chance to help the Wildlife Trust on a conservation task. The final part of the award is where participants share with others what they have been doing.

Born in 1838 in the Scottish port of Dunbar, John Muir emigrated with his family as a child to the USA where he became a founding father of the conservation movement, and devoted his life to safeguarding the world’s landscapes. John Muir showed the people of his time – and ours – the importance of experiencing and protecting our natural heritage. His personal and determined involvement in the nature conservation questions of the day was, and remains, an inspiration for all of us.

By doing the Award you will be in a small way following in his footsteps and showing that urban environments can be as good for wildlife as more natural ones. For more details and to book on the course contact the Trust on 01287636382 or info@teeswildlife.org