Hill & Mountain Skills - the scheme so far

Hill Skills in the South East of England Mountain Training created the Hill & Mountain Skills scheme to educate the public about safety in the hills and mountains. Through structured training the courses aim to teach people important skills such as how to plan a day out, navigate safely and avoid obvious hazards, all in the context of having a great day out in the hills.

The national training boards (England, Scotland and Wales) have run seven induction workshops for over 130 new tutors and providers of the Hill & Mountain Skills scheme. The tutors are all award holders and for some this will be their first opportunity to deliver courses on behalf of Mountain Training. The induction workshops included information about the course syllabus, designing a programme for the course and practical delivery skills on the hill. The current providers are playing an important role in the development of the scheme and opportunities for new providers will become available in the future.

After the first 10 months of the scheme, 370 participants have completed a course (210 Mountain Skills and 160 Hill Skills). This is a good start for our first non-leadership based scheme and compares relatively well to the training elements of our other schemes; during the same time period 498 people completed the training element of the Lowland Leader scheme, 375 did Hill and Moorland Leader training and 1,363 did Mountain Leader training.

Hill and Mountain Skills the scheme so far

Regionally, Wales hosted the most courses (39 of the 88 which took place) and the future is looking bright with 144 courses currently scheduled for the rest of 2015 across the UK. The courses that were run for private groups – 46% of the Hill Skills courses were private and 36% of the Mountain Skills courses – were dominated by the schools/colleges sector and this is reflected in the age distribution with 46% of the total number of participants aged 14-24.

Mountain Skills in Snowdonia Mountain Training has promoted the scheme through various channels including events, online and printed articles and social media. In the spring there will be a series of articles on UKHillwalking.com, focusing on the skills that form the Hill & Mountain Skills syllabus.

What next?

Our plans for the future of the scheme include further promotion of the scheme nationally, more resources for tutors (a tutor manual) and participants, better links with the education system and maintaining a strong relationship with Mountain Rescue to help raise awareness of the scheme.

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