The Lowland Leader Award (LWLA) is a nationally accredited award developed by MTUK (Mountain Training UK) and operated by the MTS, MTE, MTNI and MTW as part of a National Framework of awards for those leading and instructing in hill walking, climbing and mountaineering. The HML is also aimed at those who have already achieved training or accreditation through the wide range of local or organisational schemes available. The minimum age for entry into the scheme is 17.
All MTUK awards are designed for those with a personal commitment to the activity and are centred on the belief that personal experience and understanding of the inherent risks of hill walking and climbing is the best way to maximise safety and good judgement.
Scope of the Scheme
The Lowland Leader award offers the opportunity to gain experience and demonstrate technical competence in leading groups on one day walks in lowland countryside and woodland in summer conditions. The terrain should fit ALL of the following criteria:
In the UK and the Republic of Ireland
Walks must not cross any hazardous terrain (eg. cliffs, very steep slopes, water hazards, etc).
Throughout the walk the group should never generally be more than 3km away from a key access point such as a car park, lay-by or populated area. Any potential escape routes should also lie within the scope of the defined terrain for the Lowland Leader award
Walks will require the ability to plan routes, use simple navigation skills using a map and compass to be self-sufficient.
Walks must follow paths or tracks that are both marked on a map and clearly visible on the ground, and that do not do not require navigation across untracked areas.
Walks must use bridges or other recognised water crossing points.
Walks must only take place in summer conditions (ie. when there is no unavoidable snow or ice on any part of the route).
The purpose of this scheme is to promote safe enjoyment of the areas as defined above.
Be at least 17 years of age.
Open account and register for Lowland Leader award on MTUK website.
Have done and logged an absolute minimum of 10 varied walks in Lowland terrain where the use of a map is required - or - have attended a walking and navigation personal skills training course recognised by Mountain Training.
Book on and attend a recognised Lowland Leader training course (16 hours minimum).
Consolidation period (complete a minimum of 20 logged Lowland terrain walks; more is strongly recommended). No duplicates can be logged. Include a breadth of Lowland terrain ie. coast, forest, farmland.
Book on an approved assessment course (must be at least 18 y.o.)
Complete any "home papers" sent to you a couple of weeks prior to assessment and bring to the course.
Have a valid first aid certificate ( appropriate 16 hour course)
Attend and meet the required standard on an approved Lowland Leader assessment course (16 hours minimum)
Continuing experience entered in a log.
These courses assume a basic competence as a countryside walker as it is aimed at potential leaders. It emphasises those skills that a participant may have difficulty in learning without expert guidance. A high proportion of the course will be practical and includes:
Walking, route finding and navigation.
Hazards and Emergency Procedures.
Leadership responsibilities and group management.
Access, conservation and environmental knowledge.
Weather and other background knowledge.
Training courses have a staff ratio of no greater than 1:8, and assessment ones 1:8. Attendance at a training course is not a qualification in itself.
Maps & Reading
To get the most from your course you may wish to do some background reading prior to departure.