Lowland Leader Assessment

After nearly 2 years of waiting since my training, I’ve finally completed my Lowland Leader assessment. I passed it!

Travel

The assessment took place over 2 days based out of Allendale Town near Hexham in Northumberland. It was about 1 hour and 10 minutes from where I live near Durham, and I also passed Hexham race course which will be a good place to visit when the racing is on!

Location

Allendale Town near Hexham is situated on the North Pennines area of outstanding natural beauty.

Skills

I used a range of different skills while on the assessment much like on the training it was mostly route planning, group management, navigation, guiding techniques as well as relocation, health and safety and night navigation.

Equipment

One of my problems last time was lack of waterproofs so this time I had several sets of water proofs available including a great Trespass waterproof. I also replaced my ripped waterproof trousers with some more substantial over trousers which are great for Autumn and Winter, but I might need some lighter ones for Summer like these Berghaus Deluge Trousers.

Routes

I walked 2 days around the Allendale area, it was a very interesting area with some interesting features, including lead mining and the Isaac Tea Trail. This might be something to have an attempt at before The Durham Round.

The first day I headed North of Allendale up towards Water Meeting, then heading South East demonstrating my ability to relocate myself when being led blind for about 45 minutes twice. The second day I headed South along Isaacs Tea Trail and then route modifications on the fly due to unmaintained paths and cows with calves. Navigation became trickier as points to navigate to became smaller and more specific, e.g to specific permissive paths or contour lines in a field. Challenging and enjoyable still!

Reflection

The assessment was brilliant. I was nervous going into it as you can see my outdoors activities have been pretty low over the last year. Life got in the way. This assessment through has further cemented my enjoyment of life outdoors and also given me confidence that I am an accomplished walker and an excellent navigator. My general outdoor knowledge is good but this could be better.

Actions

  1. Get some tree identification guides
  2. Get out and enjoy the great outdoors more!

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