Learn Training Mountain Training Lowland Leader qualification

Mountain Training Lowland Leader qualification


This article takes a more detailed look at the Lowland Leader qualification, so you can decide whether it’s the right qualification for you.

Who is it for?

The Lowland Leader qualification is ideal for teachers, community workers, those involved with DofE, or anyone who wants to lead summer walking groups in lowland countryside and woodland. ‘Lowlands’ means you will be operating in a landscape of fields and woodland, where there are clear paths on the map and on the ground. This would include spectacular landscapes across the UK, from the South West Coast Path to the Great Glen Way.

The Lowland Leader Qualification is nationally recognised as a robust, quality assured measure of your competence and will be accepted as such by most employers and authorities. It can be used anywhere in the UK when you are in appropriate terrain and not straying into moorland and mountain areas where more advanced skills might be needed. The Lowland Leader qualification is not a recognised leadership qualification outside the UK.

What does it cover?

The course looks at route-finding skills, an understanding of hazards and risk management, leadership techniques and an appreciation of equipment needs and the impact of weather. There is an optional Expedition Skills module available for candidates who wish to move on to leading camping trips and supervising groups on backpacking expeditions.

How does it work?

Get some personal experience, do a training course, consolidate your learning, go for assessment and then continue developing as a Lowland Leader. The length of time it takes to become a Lowland Leader depends on how much experience you already have. Mountain Training recommend at least three months between training and assessment, and if it takes you a few years to feel ready, that’s fine too.

The training and assessment courses are two days each, which means they can take place over a weekend so there’s no need to take time off work. Before attending a training course you should have a 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 (such as Hill Skills). Building up a logbook of walks will be straightforward for many people as they regularly go hill walking in non-mountainous terrain because it’s close to home and easy to organise.

There are providers the length and breadth of the UK who have been approved to deliver the Lowland Leader qualification so most people should be able to do a training and assessment course close to home.

FIND a course on the Mountain Training website

CASE STUDY: Sahedul Islam, Lowland Leader

"I currently work as a Programme Officer for an International NGO in London. My background is in humanitarian aid – I’ve worked in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Mali and most recently the Turkey/Syria border.

Until 5/6 years ago I was not active at all. Growing up in the heart of London and on a council estate I spent most of my time at home or in the local park. I never left my postcode, let alone London. It was only after doing some volunteering work aboard in Tanzania that my appetite for the outdoors really grew, and since then, I haven’t looked back.

My favourite places to walk are Epping Forest – it’s just so easily accessible. 30 minutes on the Central line and I’m walking in forestry, and South Downs Way/Seven Sister. The terrain, the English Channel, the cliffs, it’s so different from the usual walks I do.

I genuinely believe in life you should do what makes you happy. Walking and exploring is my passion, and it’s what I want to do. I would love to be a full-on, full-time Mountain Leader. And so the Lowland Leader scheme is the first step on this path."