Friends of the Award

Supporting Young People to Achieve

In conjunction with the City of Edinburgh Council’s Bangholm Outdoor Learning Centre and Mountain Training, we deliver the Lowland Leader Award. This is the National Governing Body qualification for leading groups on day walks in lowland countryside and woodland. The Expedition Skills Module allows qualified Lowland Leaders as well as Hill and Moorland Leaders to lead groups on camping expeditions in terrain applicable to their leadership award, and to supervise groups remotely.

Upcoming Dates

Our Courses

Our Lowland Leader Training and Assessment courses are based at the Bangholm Outdoor Learning Centre in north Edinburgh or The Risk Factory in southwest Edinburgh, most of the course however is based in local countryside areas. They are non-residential.

  • Friday evening 1800-2100
  • Saturday 0900-1900
  • Sunday 0900-1800

Our Expedition Skills Module courses are based around a short 2-night expedition in a local countryside area.

  • Friday 1800 to Sunday 1400


Each of our courses cost £120, or £75 for volunteers and staff at schools, outdoor centres or in DofE within the City of Edinburgh Council. Further funding may be available for local volunteers and we will assist you with an application for this as available.

These costs include all instruction, loan of equipment, camping fees (for the Expedition Module) and refreshments at base. We organise car sharing to keep transport costs to a minimum. You will need to bring your own food for each day.

“I liked the fact that we were outside the whole day practising, and having real scenarios happen”
Lowland Leader Trainee
“Really enjoyable course – wish it was longer”
Student Outdoor Instructor and Lowland Leader Trainee
“Neil was a fantastic course trainer and had so much enthusiasm for what he was doing that it was slightly infectious!”
Lowland Leader Trainee​
“I will feel more confident about leading pupils in lowland areas – navigating and keeping them safe”
Emily Fitchett
Teacher and Lowland Leader trainee​

Your journey to becoming a Lowland Leader

  1. Register for the Lowland Leader Award via Mountain Training‘s website. Registration involves a one-off payment of £47.00.
  2. Gain personal experience of walking in lowland countryside (farmland, woodland and coasts). This experience can comprise a mix of solo walks, walks with family or friends, club walks or led walks, but you should always use a map. You can join our Facebook group to find others to go out walking with. Log all your walks, including walks done in the past, into the Mountain Training DLOG. When you have logged 10 varied lowland day walks you are ready to proceed…
  3. Book onto and attend a Lowland Leader Training Course. The course usually includes two days out walking and some indoor sessions. Training courses are run by highly experienced instructors, and will build on your personal experience equipping you with most of the skills required by a Lowland Leader. The training course ends with a personal debrief and recommendations on how to proceed…
  4. Consolidate your skills by gaining further walking experience including assisting with leading walking groups. Log all your walks into DLOG. Before assessment, you need a total of 20 quality lowland day walks (including walks done before training).
  5. Complete a 16-hour outdoor first aid course. City of Edinburgh DofE Volunteers can access these courses free of charge from time to time, click here for dates and booking.
  6. Book onto and attend a Lowland Leader Assessment course. The course usually includes two days out walking and some indoor sessions. Assessments are run by highly experienced instructors who will give you ample opportunity to demonstrate your competence, experience and knowledge. The training course ends with a personal debrief and hopefully the confirmation that you have Passed the course… You are now a qualified Lowland Leader and are qualified to lead day walks in lowland countryside.
  7. Gain personal experience of camping on walking expeditions. Log all of your expedition camps into DLOG. Once you have 10 nights expedition camping experience, including 2 where you have helped lead a camping group, you can…
  8. Book onto and attend an Expedition Skills Module course. This course usually involves a 2-night camping expedition in lowland countryside and it is a combined training and assessment course. Experienced instructors will be looking at your campcraft and expeditioning skills, but the course also involves training and knowledge sharing about how to train and supervise expedition groups to operate independently. This makes the module particularly relevant to DofE. The course hopefully ends with a confirmation that you have gained the Expedition Skills Module… You are now qualified to lead overnight walking expeditions in lowland countryside.

Lowland Leader information and Syllabus Expedition Skills information and Syllabus
To be informed about future dates, or for any more information on these schemes please contact Neil on or (0131) 467 4753.