Inspired by famous conservationist, John Muir, make memories while protecting the sand dunes in Cornwall this summer

Girl running through sand dunes, image by Dynamic Dunescapes

The Dynamic Dunescapes project announces a new partnership with John Muir environmental award, encouraging families to learn about and enjoy time in the sand dunes.

With their winding paths, sandy mountains, hidden pools and rare wildlife, sand dunes are a wild and often underexplored habitat on our doorsteps. They’re home to many special and rare plants and animals, from natterjack toads and sand lizards to dragonflies and delicate orchids – and they’re also great pockets of wilderness to explore. However, sand dunes are becoming increasingly scarce, putting the wildlife that lives there at risk.

Dynamic Dunescapes is working to protect and restore sand dune habitats in England and Wales, making them better for wildlife and for people. The John Muir Award is a free environmental award scheme focused on wild places, for people of all backgrounds. It helps people connect with, enjoy, and care for wild places, and is inclusive and non-competitive.

Landscape of Gwithian Towans

Gwithian Towans, Image by Emma Brisdion

Thanks to this new partnership, you can now celebrate and protect your local, incredible sand dune habitats by completing the award with Dynamic Dunescapes. Families can complete the award as a group – a perfect activity during the summer holidays.

Andy Nelson, People Engagement Officer for Dynamic Dunescapes, says: “We’re delighted to announce this exciting partnership with The John Muir Trust. We’ve created a free activity pack full of ideas for families or individuals to fill in, to log your journey as you go. The four themes of Discover, Explore, Conserve and Share run throughout the activities, encouraging participants to really connect with their wild place – in this case beautiful Cornish sand dunes!

Register for the award at and download your activity pack, available in English and Welsh, to get started.

Common Blue Butterfly

Common Blue Butterfly, Image by Natalie Hunt

John Muir was a conservationist whose passion for wild places led him on a life-long quest to protect them. The John Muir Trust is a charity founded in 1983 to safeguard and conserve wild places in the United Kingdom and set up the Award to continue this mission.

Dynamic Dunescapes is a partnership project working across 34 sites in England and Wales, the projects aims to undertake 7,000 hectares of conservation restoration, supporting 33 important sand dune species. The project is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the EU LIFE Programme. Project partners are Natural England, Plantlife, National Trust, Natural Resources Wales and The Wildlife Trusts.

In Cornwall the project is being delivered by Cornwall Wildlife Trust, at two different sand dune systems: Penhale Dunes near Perranporth and The Towans, near Hayle. The project is rejuvenating the dunes by creating more areas of bare sand, removing invasive species, grazing overgrown areas with ponies and working with local people to care for and encourage responsible use of these beautiful areas.

Find out more information about the Dynamic Dunescapes project on the website: You can also email to find out more about the project here in Cornwall