Hill & Moorland Leader

The Hill and Moorland Leader qualification is ideal for walkers who want to learn the skills required for effective group leadership in the hill and moorland areas of the UK and Ireland. It is used extensively by those involved with the Irish President’s/Gaisce Award, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, plus many walk leaders and outdoor instructors. Hill and Moorland Leaders operate in terrain that is generally more remote than that used by Lowland Leaders and not as steep or rocky as ground covered by Mountain Leaders. The terrain covered by this programme is limited to non-mountainous areas (such as upland, moor, bog, fell, hill or down) having no steep or broken ground. The scheme does not provide training or assessment in the skills required to lead others in the mountains or cope with the special hazards of winter conditions


In a previous life this qualification was called the Walking Group Leader (WGL) – in 2014 we renamed it and made some minor changes. The “overnight experience” element of the WGL was removed and we created a separate Expedition Module which can be “bolted on” to the Hill and Moorland Leader if you want to increase the scope of your qualification to include overnight expeditions.

All candidates who had yet to complete their assessment, were given a period of 1 year to do so until January 2016. The training received will continue to be recognised after January 2016, but candidates will be assessed to the new scheme syllabus.

HML training (3-days)
HML assessment (3-days)

Registering for the AwardRegistering for the Award
Before registration candidates:
  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must have at least a year’s worth of experience of hill walking
  • Should have an interest in leading groups in the hills
  • Must be a current member of a mountaineering council: Mountaineering Ireland, the British Mountaineering Council or Mountaineering Scotland. (You can join one when you register if you are not already a member).
  • Before attending the training you must have completed and logged at least 20 quality hill walking days in suitable terrain

What Our Visitors Say


“Excellent week in the Scottish Highlands with a very knowledgeable and expert guide (Bren) who planned and executed a week with multiple options for each day to counter and take advantage of weather conditions. I learnt a lot about local geography, fauna, and mountain skills needed to traverses the Scottish highlands in all seasons and will take away a lot of knowledge and skills along with my own ability.
Bren is very reassuring and confident when planning and mapping routes which is in turn instilled on each climber/ mountaineer as safety is highly respected. A must have experience for those who want to learn about survival skills in different conditions, themselves and learn new abilities for mountaineering. ”

Gavin Drummond
Gavin Drummond
Posted June 2021
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