Explore the moors, peatlands, and woodlands of the Yorkshire Dales National park and beyond. This five day course will be a chance to meet with like-minded individuals whilst learning about the local wildlife, practical conservation techniques and biodiversity recording. Each day we will use a different habitat to cover topics including moorland and woodland conservation techniques, fieldwork surveying methods, protected species conservation, and management of invasive non-native flora and fauna. Throughout the course you may have the opportunity to meet guest staff from professional conservation organisations.

This course is designed to be suitable for a Duke of Edinburgh Gold Residential experience but it is open to anyone looking to improve their appreciation of biodiversity and conservation. Please check the suitability with your Duke of Edinburgh Award leader before booking.

Participants will also work towards a John Muir Award and upon successful completion of all criteria you will receive a John Muir Discovery Award certificate.

Tutor: Aaron Bailey

Aaron Bailey has delivered outdoor learning for the FSC since 2018, teaching fieldwork skills in biology, ecology and geography. He has previously worked as a marine conservation volunteer with sea turtles in Costa Rica, monitoring and conserving threatened species; as well as having experience in leading expeditions and DofE residentials in the UK and abroad.

Example Timetable


Afternoon: Introduction to ecology

Evening: Team building activities


All day: Freshwater and grassland ecology, ID and surveying skills. Lithoseral succession survey

Evening: Mammal and moth trapping


Morning: Open traps. Moth ID and recording

Afternoon: Red squirrel habitat conservation or tree planting

Evening: Big questions - discuss and debate conservation topics


All day: Practical conservation task of NNR peat bog with National Trust, plus guided walk.

Evening: Campfire


Morning: Biological recording online. Wrapping up award paperwork

Accrediting Agency

Duke of Edinburgh Award

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Full Board Accommodation
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • In Course Transport

Before You Attend

What to Bring

  • Wash kit
  • Reusable drinks bottle, flask and    sandwich box
  • Personal medications
  • Torch
  • Day sack / rucksack
  • Notebook and Stationery
  • Camera (optional)
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • Indoor shoes
  • Thick socks
  • Warm coat for evenings and cooler days.
  • Warm old clothing for outdoors (not jeans)
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers*
  • Walking boots*
  • Wellington boots*
  • Warm hat and gloves for inclement weather and sunhat and sun cream for sunny days.
  • Enough cash for your time here, there are no cash points nearby

* These items can be borrowed at the centre free of charge.

All bedding and towels are provided.