Navigation Course For Walkers

Ranger with map and compassMoorland Adventure working with the Countryside Ranger Service present a navigation course for everyone who walks in the countryside.

During 2012 the Countryside Ranger Service in partnership with Moorland Adventure are offering a number of in depth navigation for walkers training courses. Participants can even gain a qualification if they wish or just book on one event for a taster.

The course is intended to give people the opportunity to develop the skills needed for good navigation in open country and mountains. As well as navigation we will look at kit, mountain safety and first aid.

The programme will start in a classroom and look at the map and compass basic skills, and finish with several full ‘mountain’ days (in the Peak District). The minimum age for course attendance is 16.

Moorland Adventure are approved providers of the National Navigation Award Scheme (NNAS) and if course participants wish they can work towards gaining a bronze or silver NNAS qualification. For participants wanting to obtain the Silver NNAS Award, the award has training and assessment stages, this involves a minimum of 12 hours training and an  8Km. assessment hike.

For the  confident navigator wishing to gain the award, the minimum requirement involves attending the two previous full day training walks on the  10th and 24th June  prior to the assessment day  on the 8th July. The cost for the 3 days will be £50.00 per person (plus an extra £4.00 for the NNAS badge and certificate if you want it) . For more information visit the NNAS website.

However the course is also designed for anyone to dip in or out of, at anytime.

This course is intended to develop personal proficiency and gain a nationally recognised award in navigation. It is NOT a mountain leadership qualification.

Course structure

The courses are structured as follows:

  • Evening 1 Basic map skills.  Types of map, symbols, grid references, Scales, contours
  • Evening 2 Map and Compass skills, types of compass, Magnetic variation, taking a bearing, route choice and route cards
  • Evening 3 More map and compass skills, reinforce the lessons learnt so far. Country code and access
  • Evening 4 Route planning, route cards, kit and emergency procedures. Aiming off, attack points, collecting features
  • 2 x Half day Practical based in a country park/countryside. Route choice, walking to the map, orientating the map.
  • Full day practical based in open country. Follow the route planned in the evening.
  • Full day practical based in open country. Any questions and practical navigation exercises.
  • Full day Practical based in open country. NNAS Bronze assessment, map work, grid references, use of compass, walking on a bearing
  • Full day practical based in open country. Any questions and practical navigation exercises.
  • Full day Practical based in open country. NNAS Silver assessment, map work, grid references, use of compass, walking on a bearing

The Learning Outcomes

Bronze NNAS

  • Understand the nature of a map as a two dimensional plan.
  • Understand how to use map symbols and scales, on a variety of maps.
  • Take a 6 figure grid reference for any given position and also locate such a reference on the map.
  • Orientate the map with and without a compass.
  • Use the orientated map to identify land features and indicate direction of travel.
  • Choose simple navigation strategies and routes.
  • Use linear features (e.g. paths and tracks) as handrails in simple navigation exercises.
  • Estimate distance on both map and ground.
  • Using a basic understanding of contours, match major landforms like hills and valleys to their map representation.
  • Plan a safe, suitable walk.
  • Relocate using simple techniques on paths and other handrails.
  • Understand access rights and responsibilities.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of local and national access issues and access legislation.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the Countryside Code, and of procedures to be followed in the event of an emergency.

Silver NNAS Award - The learning outcomes: (additional to those of the Bronze Award)

  • Devise a strategy for a navigational stage, to break it down into 'coarse' and 'fine' navigation and to use clear features en route to check that they are 'on course'.
  • Understand and apply the following components of a navigational strategy 'aiming off', 'attack points', 'collecting features', simplifying navigation, and apply them in varying terrain.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of contour features, both large and small, on the map and on the ground.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the navigation physical and factors affecting route choice.
  • Judge distance accurately on the map and on the ground.
  • Plan a safe walk or route involving Silver award skills and strategies.
  • Employ simple relocation strategies when lost.
  • Use a compass to follow accurate bearings and to check the direction of footpaths or other linear features on both map and ground.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the effects of fatigue and physical discomfort brought on by navigating in demanding countryside and/or extreme weather condition. Knowledge of basic first aid is also expected.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and application of the Countryside Code and current access legislation as for the Bronze level together with an appreciation of basic environmental factors in mixing 'man with nature' (e.g. footpath erosion and methods of dealing with it), and responsibilities towards other countryside interests like farming, forestry and conservation.

Course requirements and costs

All participants will need to bring waterproofs, suitable boots,  pen and notebook to all training sessions (including indoor ones).

Course timings & costs are as follows (please note NNAS Silver course prices are listed above):

  • Evening courses  7 – 9 pm    £9.50
  • Half day course  9 – 1         £12.00
  • Full day course   9 – 5         £20.00

Course dates

Session date Session title Session location Link to event listing
13th March 2012 Evening session 1 Tegg's Nose Country Park, Macclesfield Event listing
20th March 2012 Evening session 1 Queens Park, Crewe Event listing
10th April 2012 Evening session 2 Tegg's Nose Country Park, Macclesfield Event listing
15th April 2012 Half day session Clough House Car Park, Wildboarclough Event listing
17th April 2012 Evening session 2 Queens Park, Crewe Event listing
22nd April 2012 Half day session Brereton Heath LNR Event listing
24th April 2012 Evening session 3 Tegg's Nose Country Park, Macclesfield Event listing
1st May 2012 Evening session 3 Queens Park, Crewe Event listing
15th May 2012 Evening session 4 Astbury Mere Country Park, Congleton Event listing
20th May 2012 Full day session Edale Car Park Event listing
3rd June 2012 Full day session Pym Chair Car Park Event listing
10th June 2012 Full day session - Bronze NNAS Derbyshire Bridge Car Park Event listing
24th June 2012 Full day session Edale Car Park Event listing
8th July 2012 Full day session - Silver NNAS Edale Car Park Event listing

For the full listings information for these courses please click on the event listing link for each event or visit our Ranger events pages.

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