Outdoor Education

Mountain walking

There are 4 different courses available:

  • Fen and Moorland Leader training

  • Fen and Moorland Leader assessment

  • Mountain Leader (summer) training

  • Mountain Leader (summer) assessment

To book or for more information on courses please contact Hampshire Mountain Centre: mountaincentre@hants.gov.uk / 01874 622914

Mountain walkers
For HCC employees working with young people within HCC contexts (ie: schools, DofE, direct youth provision), there is support available, from Outdoor Education, to provide a discounted rate - just provide evidence of HCC employment when making a booking.

Mountain Walking qualifications

Mountain Training UK (formerly MLTUK) qualifications are nationally recognised and hold a very good reputation. They are a necessary prerequisite for those wishing to lead groups of young people in the hills.

Course content

The content is determined by the level of training or assessment being undertaken. However there are key elements common to all:

  • group management and the responsibilities of the leader

  • navigation, using appropriate techniques for the conditions

  • access and conservation issues, awareness and appreciation

  • walking skills in different conditions and on different terrain

  • personal equipment required for varying conditions and roles

  • campcraft, in all its aspects

  • mountain hazards and emergency procedures: medical, environmental, crossing rivers, etc

  • weather, an elementary knowledge, using forecasts and making short-term predictions.


Registration with Mountain Training England

Course participants are required to register with the MTE separately, prior to attending training. Registration is not included in the course costs. Further details are available on the Mountain Training website.

Walking experience

The ML and WGL courses are for experienced walkers who are becoming competent in walking and navigating in mixed terrain within uncultivated upland, moorland and / or mountain areas.

At least 20 quality days walking in appropriate terrain are expected to be logged prior to attending training.

Many of our other courses  would provide suitable introductory activities for less experienced walkers e.g.:

  • the Outdoor Leader Course provides a foundation in group management outdoors
  • the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Expedition Trainers course has a comprehensive walking and leading component
  • the Camping course provides a very good  foundation for leading camping residentials
  • associated activities such as mountain biking could provide open country and navigation experience.

Walking Group Leader or Mountain Leader (summer)?

ML involves wild camping, movement on steep or rocky terrain, and some rope work, whereas WGL does not involve steep or rocky terrain, and focuses on the skills required for valley camps.

WGL navigation is of a similar standard to ML. However the terrain is well defined by obvious boundaries, such as roads and coastlines; hazards within it are more readily identifiable and avoidable.

Typical terrain – where do you walk?

Where do you want to take groups?

Non-mountainous, uncultivated, upland terrain e.g.

  • Dartmoor
  • South Wales
  • Peak District
  • Yorkshire Moors
  • South Downs/ New Forest/ Exmoor

- appropriate award is Walking Group Leader.

Mountainous terrain, including steep, rocky ground e.g.

  • Snowdonia
  • Lake District
  • Cairngorm
  • Western Highlands

- appropriate award is Mountain Leader (summer).


Walking group leader award (WGL)

For leaders of walking groups in summer conditions in non-mountainous hilly terrain, know variously as upland, moor, bog, hill, fell or down. Such areas are often subject to harsh weather conditions, requiring an element of self-sufficiency, and this scheme will help you to develop the necessary skills and experience.


Walking group leader assessment (WGLA)

Candidates spend four days in small groups with an experienced assessor, looking at all aspects of leading in hill and moorland environments.

For experienced walkers who have completed their log book experience following the WGL training course, or the ML training course.

Candidates must have a current appropriate First Aid certification.

The course includes one night of lightweight valley based camping.


Mountain leader (summer) award (ML)

The mountains of the UK are remote, technical and exposed to harsh and unpredictable weather. This makes them hazardous places for novice walkers, and the ML is designed to help responsible leaders who wish to operate in mountainous terrain in summer conditions.

The ML course helps to develop your group management skills, your ability to navigate in all conditions and to deal with mountain hazards (including steep ground).

The course includes one night of lightweight high level camping.


Mountain leader assessment (MLA)

Candidates spend five days in small groups with an experienced leader or assessor looking at all aspects of the syllabus. Successful candidates will be able to work with young people in the hills, including steep and rocky terrain.

For experienced hill walkers who have either been exempted from doing their training course by the MTE or have completed their log book experience after completing their training course.

Candidates must have a current appropriate First Aid certification.

The course includes two nights of lightweight high level camping.