Walking Award Open Day

Posted by Jon Garside on 14/02/2011
Which way now?! Credit Chris Proffitt

Earlier this month, Stuart Igoe, from Outdoor Activities Service delivered a day introducing people to two national leadership awards.

The day was held on 5th February close to the West Pennine Moors on behalf of Bolton Council Outdoor Education Team and in conjunction with the Mountain Leader Training Association, British Mountaineering Council and Mountain Leader Training England (MLTE).

The day was aimed at giving people an overview of the two nationally recognised qualifications for leading summer hill walking groups, the Walking Group Leader (WGL) and Mountain Leader (ML) awards. It was attended by people who came with a variety of experiences and qualifications, these included:

• People with no previous qualification interested in finding out about the difference between the two awards.
• Leaders who had the Basic Expedition Leader Award and were thinking of now moving onto either the WGL or ML award.
• A small number who had done their ML training a while ago and were unsure about whether to go for WGL or ML assessment.
• Former military personnel who were looking at converting their military qualifications into a national equivalent.
• Some who had done their ML training and wanted advice on their logbooks and what to what to expect on assessment

On a very wet day, 44 people turned up at Rivington Church Hall on the edge of the West Pennine Moors. After the welcome speech and introductions there was a talk about the two awards by Stuart Igoe who is a WGL and ML course provider. Questions were taken from the floor and answered by Stuart Igoe and Mal Creasey, MLTE Development Officer.

After a short break there was an indoor session looking at the differences between WGL and ML terrain. This was followed by a talk on the training and assessment courses and an open question and answer session on everything from employment opportunities for award holders to the international recognition of the awards. The morning session ended with a raffle with prizes donated by the BMC, MLTA, MLTE and Outdoor Activities Service.

In the afternoon, the participants had the opportunity to take part in either a session on navigation run by staff from Bolton Council Outdoor Education Team and staff from Outdoor Activity Service or a ML rope work / security on steep ground by Mal Creasey from the MLTE and Stuart Igoe. Depending upon your viewpoint, the conditions were ideal for both activities  – constant rain!

All the participants agreed that it had been a very informative and enjoyable day and that they had learnt a great deal.

Watch our ML and WGL films to find out more about these awards.

Report by Chris Proffitt



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