Lowland Leader Courses in the Lake District

a signpost showing the dales way and public footpaths - chris ensoll mountain guide

The Lowland Leader scheme is a national qualification administered by Mountain Training, for people who want to lead groups on day walks in lowland countryside and woodland in summer conditions, for example teachers running Geography field trips, Duke of Edinburgh group leaders. The majority of the UK and Ireland is made up of this type of terrain so you'll never be short of places to go walking. Detailed info about the stages of the scheme can be seen on the Mountain Training website. Chris is approved by Mountain Training as a course provider for the Lowland Leader scheme. 

Why book with us?

There are many Lowland Leader course providers throughout Britain, so why should you book with us? 

  1. We present the course syllabus in a relaxed, fun atmosphere, with the emphasis on interactive learning to encourage you to ask questions and get the most out of your time with us.

  2. We view the assessment course as an opportunity for extending your learning and competence.

  3. We offer discounts to returning clients: 5% off to any candidate who has previously done a Mountain Training qualification course with us.

  4. Our clients think we do a great job! Check out some of their comments towards the bottom of the page.

What are the pre-requisites for the Lowland Leader scheme?

Before training:

  • You must be at least 17 years old

  • You should have an interest in leading groups in lowland countryside

  • You must register for the Lowland Leader scheme

  • You must have recorded a minimum of 10 varied walks in lowland terrain where the use of a map is required

The period between training and assessment varies in length for each person and is an opportunity to develop your skills, paying particular attention to any weaknesses identified during the training course. There is no time limit.

Before you book onto a Lowland Leader assessment, make sure you have done the following:

  • You must have attended a Lowland Leader training course or been granted exemption

  • You must have logged a minimum of 20 walks in lowland countryside in different types of terrain (woodland, coastal, farmland etc)

  • You must hold a current first aid certificate, minimum 16 hours and relevant to your work as a Lowland Leader

a family group walking on a public bridleway - chris ensoll mountain guide

What do the courses cover?

  • Leadership Skills and Group Management

  • Walking Skills

  • Planning a Walk

  • Basic Mapwork and Route Finding Skills

  • Equipment

  • Hazards and Emergency Procedures

  • Environmental Awareness, Conservation, Access and Land Ownership

Detailed information on each of the above topics can be found in the Lowland Leader handbook (download it from the Lowland Leader page on the Mountain Training website).

We operate a flexible programme, allowing us to make the most of the weather conditions. This is what a typical programme looks like:

Day 1: start around 11am
Course introductions
Introduction to:

  • Weather

  • Route planning

  • Navigation

  • Walking & route finding

  • Hazard identification

  • Group management

  • Personal equipment

  • Group/leader equipment

  • Access and conservation

Day 1 Evening: poor visibility/darkness navigation, finish around 8pm

Day 2: start at 9.30am
Responsibilities of the Lowland Leader
Weather interpretation
Plan a quality lowland walk for the day and identify the associated risks on the planned walk
Introduction to:

  • Navigation

  • Walking and route finding

  • Group/leader equipment

  • Group management

  • Hazard identification

  • Accident/missing person procedures

  • Access and conservation

Feedback, logbooks, personal action plans, consolidation period and assessment outline (training course only). Finish around 5.00pm.

Where are the courses based?

All our scheduled courses are based in the Ambleside area of the Lake District. Our choice of venue for each day varies with each course, depending on the weather conditions and the participants. We can also provide courses in other parts of the country on request.

If you need to book accommodation, Ambleside is a good base. Info and ideas for accommodation can be downloaded here: Lake District travel and accommodation

What equipment will I need?

You can download a full kit list here

navigating on a lowland leader course - chris ensoll mountain guide

What about transport?

You may be asked to use your car during the course to travel to the training venues each day. If you would like to travel to the Lakes by train, we may be able to pick you up from Windermere railway station.

How much will it cost?

£150 non-residential
5% off to any candidate who has previously done a Mountain Training qualification course or a masterclass with us. 

When are the courses?

We run Lowland Leader courses on a bespoke basis: if you have a group of four or more, we can put on a course on a date to suit you. 

Useful blog posts

LLA training course, 27th & 28th September 2014
Confused? You’re Not Alone
7 Ways To Make Your Goals More Achievable in 2017
Why Do Hill Walkers and Mountaineers Need Movement Coaching?
7 Top Tips For Rock Climbers & Mountaineers
Top Tips From The Experts For Aspiring Outdoor Professionals
7 Ways To Make Your Goals More Achievable In 2018 (And How We Did In 2017)
5 Ways To Get More Out Of Your Time In The Hills
How To Stay Dry Whatever The Weather #2: Boots
Managing Risk in the Mountains #1: The Three Variables
How To Stay Dry Whatever The Weather #3: Walking In The Rain
Managing Risk in the Mountains #2: Heuristics & Mind Sets
So What Do I Carry In My First Aid Kit?
My Top Three Favourite Rucksacks and Why I Like Them
What's To Love About Lichens?
What's The Future For Maps?
Everything You Need To Know About Ticks
5 Reasons Why You Should Learn To Navigate Using Contours
5 Really Cool Things To Look Out For In The Mountains
Who Needs A Mountain Mentor?

Useful resources

Mountain Training
Mountain Training walking awards downloads
Hillwalking, by Steve Long
The British Mountaineering Council
Mountaineering Scotland
Mountaineering Ireland
Mountain Training Association
Mountain Training e-learning modules: Mountain Geology and Mountain Weather. Access these by signing in to the Mountain Training CMS and choosing the E-Learning tab under Accounts & Settings

What do our clients say about us?

My enquiry and booking were very last minute (only booked the day before) and also over a Bank Holiday but I still got a swift and helpful response which I really appreciated. I will book the assessment in advance next time! Chris is clearly extremely knowledgeable and experienced and the course was delivered in an enjoyable and informative manner. I loved the little tips that probably went past the current training to the next level but also gave a great insight into what is expected at that next level.
Liane Shaw, Lowland Leader training, August 2017

a woman and child walking through woodland on a public footpath - chris ensoll mountain guide