Dates are being revised due to Covid-19

Suitable for Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Gold Residential, designed for you to achieve a John Muir Discovery Award, and supporting #IWill4Nature campaign. Over 5 days, with a group of like-minded young people and expert leaders you will explore the lochs, forests and mountains in the Highlands of Scotland, challenge yourself with adventurous activities, conserve a local habitat, have fun and make new friends. Discover the amazing of flora and fauna of the Caledonian pine forests, and the habitats in the sub-arctic mountain landscapes of the Cairngorm National Park.

Explore this unique area with a mountain leader and nature expert –  identify local species, survey freshwater sites, go hill walking and consider the wide range of users of the National Park, look for pollinators, and learn techniques for observing wildlife on your own doorstep. Conserve and do your bit for the Cairngorms, in the spirit of #IWill4Nature and #YearOfGreenAction. Find out about the large-scale conservation ambitions of Cairngorms Connect, and contribute using Irecord and Pollinator project recording (UK PoMS). You’ll explore how this relates to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and what they mean to you.

Share your experiences throughout the programme with discussions, photographs and words (using The Lost Words, and the Cairngorms Shared Stories project). Participants working towards their DofE Gold award receive a 5% discount make this known in the ‘notes’ section when booking.
Always check with your DofE Leader before booking.

The option of sole accommodation might be available for an extra fee by contacting us 6-8 weeks before the date of your course.

This course is part of FSC Scotland Outreach

High quality FSC courses delivered in Mainland Scotland at a variety of locations.

FSC Scotland Outreach is an exciting opportunity to continue to deliver FSC Natural History Courses in the unique environments that Mainland Scotland has to offer.  Started in 2019, our partnership with Glenmore Lodge has allowed us to access sites in the Cairngorms National Park where Britain’s largest, most natural habitats are home to a quarter of the UK’s rare and endangered species.

We anticipate that this course will run with approximately 8 participants.

Tutor: Katie Rudge

Katie Rudge has over 10 years’ experience in science education, and has delivered outdoor learning and field-studies courses for the FSC since 2017.  She is currently the Outreach Officer for Scotland, where she is working to build partnerships that aim to broaden the impact and reach of FSC delivery in Scotland, so that more learners are able to engage with Nature, Science and Sustainability.

Example Timetable


Afternoon: Welcome and Introductions
Familiarise yourself with your surroundings and get to know your team.

  • Team building games
  • Photography challenge
  • Discuss personal aims and objectives for the week

Evening: Night walk
Head into the woods for a night time exploration with a view to detect and monitor the populations living in these unique habitats.


Morning/Afternoon: Practical Conservation
Experience conservation on a landscape scale - a day engaging with hands-on practical conservation with Cairngorms Connect, a partnership of neighbouring land managers, committed to a bold and ambitious 200-year vision to enhance habitats, species and ecological processes across a vast area within the Cairngorms National Park.

Evening: Sustainable Development
Explore the UN Sustainable Development Goals and what they mean to you.


Morning/Afternoon: Biodiversity Day
You will explore the diversity of life in this amazing ecosystem, consider the wide range of users of the National Park, and collect data that will contribute to national recording schemes such as pollinator project recording (UK PoMS).

Evening: Planning
With guidance from a mountain leader based at Glenmore Lodge, your team will plan a one-day expedition.

Morning/Afternoon: Mountain Day
Challenge yourself with a full-day of hillwalking as you explore the sub-arctic mountain landscapes of the Cairngorms National Park with a mountain leader.  Identify local species and appreciate the diversity of habitats.

Evening: Leave no Trace
Using the principles of Leave no Trace, practice fire-lighting skills and relax around the fire – a chance to reflect on your experiences of the week and maybe try some campfire cookery.


Morning/Afternoon: Inspiring Landscapes
Explore the diversity of landscapes through language and literacy, inspired by The Lost Words and the Cairngorms Shared Stores project.

Course finishes at 4:00pm

Please note the above programme is designed to give an overview of the types of activity involved in the residential but may be subject to change, for example due to weather or other factors.

What's Included

Before You Attend

What to Bring

  • Boots with good tread and ankle support
  • Waterproof jacket and waterproof over trousers*
  • Wellies*
  • Personal medication
  • Warm hat and gloves
  • Wash kit and towel
  • Warm clothing, plenty of layers and changes of clothes
  • Small day rucksack*
  • Head torch (or other torch)
  • Water bottle and lunch box
  • Midge repellent/net

*Can be hired if arranged in advance of course.

Sorry this course has ended