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Free chance to learn more about the outdoors at inclusive Inverness weekend

By John Davidson

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The Ramblers' Out There Award is offering free outdoor skills to young adults. Picture: Ross MacDonald / SNS Group
The Ramblers' Out There Award is offering free outdoor skills to young adults. Picture: Ross MacDonald / SNS Group

Young people in the Inverness area are being given an opportunity to learn new outdoor skills while having fun exploring the local area.

A free two-day course for 18 to 26-year-olds later this spring aims to break down barriers for people of all backgrounds who want to enjoy walking and other activities.

Ramblers Scotland’s free Out There Award training scheme gives young adults the chance to gain introductory skills, learn about responsible access and enjoy walks with like-minded people.

The walking charity says that the award events have a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. They aim to appeal to people of all backgrounds and to help diversify participation in walking.

Ramblers Scotland’s young adult development officer Sam Knight said: “We’ve amazing landscapes and world-class access rights in Scotland, but sadly too many people still feel walking isn't for them, often simply due to their background, ability or age.

“We know that young adults in particular can lack walking partners and knowledge of where to walk. The Out There Award offers a welcoming environment for beginners to try walking, learn navigational skills and have fun.

“We aim to bring outdoor skills to people's doorsteps and leave participants feeling confident that the outdoors is for them, whatever their adventure.”

The Inverness event, taking place from May 4-5 based at Inverness Leisure, will introduce people to the basics of navigation before going on to explore a local walk with qualified instructors.

Anyone aged 18 to 26 can register for the event, or one of 10 others taking place across Scotland, at www.ramblers.org.uk/outthereaward

Last year, 103 people completed the award, with 100 per cent saying they’d recommend it to others.

Successful participants receive a year of Ramblers Scotland membership and are linked to the charity’s six young walkers groups, including Inverness Young Ramblers. They also get a walking starter pack, containing useful items such as a dry bag, neck buff and emergency whistle.

The Out There Award receives funding from the Scottish Government and Smarter Choices, Smarter Places.

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