National Navigation Award Scheme courses

Bronze, Silver and Gold level personal performance, non-competitive, incentive scheme for all ages to learn navigation skills and gain confidence to get out and enjoy the countryside.

  • 2021 - The year for UK adventure!
    Firstly I would like to thank you for your patience and understanding during these difficult days. A full course schedule will commence from April with courses taking place right across the south and south west of England and Wales.
  • Book with confidence
    Book with confidence: Courses booked and postponed in 2020 can re-book onto a suitable replacement course right up to August 2021. Courses booked in 2021 that are cancelled due to the Covid pandemic can be rebooked for a suitable replacement course taking place anytime during 2021. Courses cancelled for other reasons will be subject to the normal booking terms and conditions.
  • Keeping safe
    Keeping us all safe:
    Do not attend the course if you have or may have been in contact with anyone who has displayed any of the symptoms of coronavirus. You should consult and follow the official government advice if you are not sure wether you are able to attend; If in doubt postpone and attend another day!
    Joining instructions will also include details of where to assemble at each car park/start location.
    Every participant will get their own pack of maps, compasses and laminated resources to use for the duration of the course. These will all be sterilised at the end of each course and copies of the resources will be available to download from the website.
    Each participant will have their own signing on form.
    The course will be taught whilst maintaining social distancing with a maximum group size of 6 participants and will make use of the wider tracks and paths; during the course there will still be plenty of opportunity to stop, ask questions, look and learn.
    Each participant will need to be fully equip for the expected weather and ground conditions and should also bring a small personal first aid kit and consider bringing an 'orange survival bag' (especially during wetter/colder weather).
    Participants and the group leader will always be guided by and follow current government advice on how to 'Protect yourself and others from Coronavirus' - website link: The government guidance gives instructions for staying safe outside your home and for meeting people from outside you household.
    All activities are risk assessed and an extra assessment has been made for carrying out emergency first aid by the group leader (Nigel) who always carries emergency equipment and a full first aid kit.
    A full safety and socially distancing briefing will be made before the course starts.
    Face coverings: These are not mandatory for any course; you may want to bring one anyway incase for any reason outdoor distancing is not possible or you need require non emergency first aid assistance. A folded buff or simple covering made form a folded scarf will be sufficient.
    Lifts: Nigel will not be able to give anyone a lift from the station or to/from accommodation. Some courses start close to the station (20 minutes walk) or a one to one/two midweek course could be arranged that starts at the station or closer to it.
  • using a compass bearing to cross open heathland on a silver nnas
  • learning how to check the correct path on a nnas bronze course
  • beginners learn to use maps and compass on a bronze level nnas
  • lady on a one to one nnas silver course relocates herself when lost
  • using a compass to confirm direction on a silver assesment course in new forest
  • silver assessment couple plan a route using maps and compasses
  • planning and walking in mountains using fine detailed bearings and contour interpretation
  • gold level training with a map and compass on dartmoor moorland

£139* per person bronze or silver NNAS

£219* gold training & assessment or £289 (3 day course)

Three day silver NNAS - £199

Bronze NNAS - suitable for absolute beginners or those looking to improve navigation skills

Silver NNAS - intermediate course for those who have completed bronze NNAS or similar level course

Gold NNAS - The ultimate personal navigation challenge!

All equipment provided - just bring yourself!

Around 6-7 hours each day

One to one, couples and groups

Comprehensive joining details and suggested kit list

*10% off full course prices if you have completed other NNAS courses with New Forest Navigation

The National Navigation Award Scheme is for those that want nationally accredited recognition for their map reading prowess! Learn essential map reading skills, develop navigation confidence and strategies by progressing through the award scheme levels. A rewarding and fun way to learn how to use a map and compass.

Each course level is officially acknowledged by a National Navigation Award Scheme certificate. Whilst not navigation qualifications the NNAS scheme is highly regarded by many organisations as a quality assured standard. The NNAS Bronze award is accredited by the Scottish Credit & Qualifications Framework (SCQF) at Level 4, and 2 SCQF credit points are awarded on completion.

Beginners start at the NNAS bronze to confidently navigate tracks and paths using a map and compass. Those looking to improve intermediate skills can start at NNAS silver to navigate more open countryside sometimes away from main tracks and paths, finer details map reading and further compass techniques. NNAS gold is for those who want to navigate UK hills and mountains using precise navigation strategies, precision map and compass skills and by utilising contour information.

Bronze and Silver training and assessment courses are around 12-13 hours in total (two day course for each level) and take place in the New Forest. Group sizes are only up to a maximum of 6 people and are taught a pleasant 'learning pace' for people to comfortably learn skills. Gold training courses are held over two days in the mountains and hills of south wales.

One to one, one to two, couples and groups always welcome with courses arranged to suit. Midweek courses dates and navigation training tailored to suit you and you activity can always be arranged.

ALL map reading equipment is provided and each candidate will receive an official NNAS certificate on successfully completing the course and navigation assessment. Proper maps and quality compasses are provided for the course. You just need to bring food, drink and yourself!

Course joining details are sent a couple of weeks before the course start date and include comprehensive details to get to the start locations. Get in touch if you are using public transport and want a lift from the station (Brockenhurst) to the course start car park and the day two start to/from you accommodation.

The National Navigation Award Scheme silver can be delivered as a 3-day course for small groups, couples and individuals. The NNAS bronze is a fantastic group or team learning adventure that can be tailored to suit YOU - ideal for lowland leaders, DOE leaders and participants, walking group leaders and groups of friends who want to explore 'beyond the guide book'!

I would just like to drop you a line to give some feedback on your silver NAAS course and assessment.
I can only say how exceptional the course was and how good the content for navigation was, the course was both enjoyable and whilst we had long days, they were made to seem short and fun.
An excellent weekend of learning and assessment by an excellent outdoor adventure trainer.
I would have no hesitation in recommending you to anyone who wants to learn navigation, compass techniques and map reading. Dave Kemp - May 2015

National Navigation Award Scheme learning outcomes

  • Latest information
  • What you will learn
  • Course start locations
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Explore the calendar below to see course dates, locations and information - you can tick or untick specific calendars to view just those, use the 'TODAY' button as you explore the dates to see fewer dates, and the 'ALL THIS MONTH' button to see everything in one mad column of information!

October 2018

Friday, 19th



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All this month
Available for hire? - 1:1, 1:2, groups. - Email Nigel for details. - securemail
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The New Forest is ideal for bronze and silver level National Navigation Award Scheme courses. The forest offers a massive variety and number of tracks, paths and forest rides; the more open heathland and fainter forest paths are excellent to try out and test map, compass and fine navigation techniques.

Bronze level NNAS
Navigation in the countryside using paths tracks and other linear features, basic map interpretation and compass work is included.
Read all the National Navigation Award Scheme Bronze level learning outcomes

Silver level NNAS
Navigation in the countryside using skills acquired at bronze level and adding skills required to navigate to features and places some distance from paths and tracks, accurate compass work is required and an ability to use appropriate navigational techniques to go across country in some cases.
Read all the National Navigation Award Scheme Silver level learning outcomes

Gold level training NNAS
Navigation in the countryside using skills of the first two levels, but adding techniques and skills for dealing with complex contour features large and small. The Gold Award is delivered as separate Gold Award Training and Gold Award Assessment courses. Gold level courses take place on Dartmoor or South Wales.
Read all the National Navigation Award Scheme Gold level learning outcomes

Gold course format and details
The Gold NNAS course will be held over 2 days in Wales. The actual course length will be around 14 hours with a longer first day and shorter second day. Each day will involve up to 10-16km of walking on sometimes rough open moorland without tracks or paths.
You won't need to be super fit or an already experienced mountain walker. A willingness to learn new skills in a fantastic and challenging environment is all you need!
Each day will be spent on Welsh hills and mountains with the likely hood of experiencing mountain weather! Participants will need to suitably equip and prepared to learn in all conditions. Part of the course will be about coping with and navigating in a variety of weather conditions, but it might just be sunny!
If you have some, but rusty map reading and compass experience then book the three day gold which has a pre course day session where you will be able to revise and refresh mountain techniques, contours etc.
Read the Gold NNAS learning outcomes to get and idea of what you will learn.

Quality tuition with equipment included
The course fee includes over 12-14 hours of quality tuition, informal assessment and ALL equipment required. Participants receive an official NNAS certificate at the end of the course after successfully completing the assessment. Gold level training course participants will get a personal improvement plan to ready themselves for gold level assessment that takes place at a later date.

Flexible course options
NNAS courses can be taught over two separate days/week ends or midweek to couples, groups and on a one to one basis. Three day direct entry courses for Silver and Gold level can also be arranged.

NNAS accredited
New Forest Navigation is accredited by the National Navigation Award Scheme (NNAS) to train and asses Bronze and Silver awards and to provide Gold training and assesment.

Tab 3

The National Navigation Award Scheme bronze course starts from Standing Hat car park or Wilverley car park and Fritham car park.

Wilverley Plain and Standing Hat car parks are very close to the villages of Brockenhurst and Burley and not far from Lymington and Lyndhurst. Fritham is close to Brook and Bradshaw and can be reached easily from the A31/M271 junction and is also easily reached from villages in the New Forest.

The National Navigation Award Scheme silver course (New Forest) starts from Abbots Well car park, Frogham, Fordingbridge. Full directions are given when you book but the car park is located close to Fordingbridge, Ringwood. Abbots well is easily reached via the B3079 Brook and Bramshaw road from the A31/M271 junction/s from London and south East England, and central New Forest towns and villages.

If you are coming from further a field they are all very central and easily reached from Christchurch and Bournemouth to the south west, Salisbury and Wiltshire area to the north and from Hampshire, Surrey or London using the main road network. Do allow enough time to travel across the forest and download or check directions before you come!

The National Navigation Award Scheme gold course is in south Wales near the Brecon Beacons. The course meeting point is at the village of Tal y Bont on Usk for both days. Accommodation can be found in the village it self, nearby at Brecon or Crickhowell and a good camp site is just up the road at Pencelli. Full details will be given when you book along with advice and guidance of what clothing and equipment you need.

If you need any further information before you book then do get in touch securemail

  • NNAS privacy policy and sharing of booking information

    National Navigation Award Scheme courses - TahDah account
    NNAS courses are now facilitated through an online system CMS managed by ‘TahDah’ when you book a course New Forest Navigation will add you name, email address and other details to that online system. (
    NNAS courses - additional details

    In order to enter your details onto the NNAS website I need you to supply your date of birth and/or email. I have pasted some information below about why this is required. In a nutshell the NNAs use a secure online management system and require the information so each person is only entered once onto the system. The date of birth is used so there are no duplicates - if you go on to do other courses with NNAS or other organisations using Tahdah you will then only have one record with them.
    Those undertaking an NNAS course will now have to provide their Date of Birth and/or email. This information is required so that participants can be entered onto the NNAS online management system.
    The NNAS require your Date of Birth and/email address to complete their online management system. This information is required to enter your details onto the NNAS system that is provided by TahDah Verified Ltd. (a software company).

    Extract from NNAS Terms and Conditions - Please read the full policy here
    We process personal information about members, customers, staff, volunteers, complainants and representatives of other organisations.  We may collect and process data about you in the manner set out below.
    You may give us information about you by filling in forms on, or downloaded from, Our Site or by corresponding with us by phone, e-mail or otherwise. This includes information you provide if you register to use Our online Management System hosted by TahDah Verified Ltd. (a software company) (link to TVLs terms & conditions), subscribe to our service, participate in discussion boards or other social media functions on Our Site, enter a competition, promotion or survey, and when you report a problem with Our Site.
    If you register with Us to become a provider of NNAS/ODA/YNSA courses your details will be shared with TahDah Verified Limited (TVL) who host the online Management System used by Us to manage our awards.  NNAS & TVL may contact you by electronic means for purposes of managing the System and your registration.
    Participants on an NNAS course will have their name, date of birth, email address (if provided), and the level of NNAS course undertaken, shared with TahDah Verified Limited (TVL) who host the online Management System used by Us to manage our awards. If an email address is provided you will receive a login password for the online Management System so that you can manage and update your own details on the database.
    You have the right to ask us not to process your personal data for marketing purposes. We will usually inform you (before collecting your data) if we intend to use your data for such purposes or if we intend to disclose your information to any third party for such purposes. You can exercise your right to prevent such processing by checking certain boxes on the forms We use to collect your data. You can also exercise the right at any time by contacting us at

Need more information?

Gift Vouchers available for ALL courses...

Gold level National Navigation Award Scheme training and assesment course

Learn how navigate safely and confidently in UK hills and mountains using precise map and compass techniques and contour information

using fine contour details and accuarte compass skills to navigate in uk mountains in wales

  • Learn to navigate across open moorland and mountain terrain using contour information and major and minor landforms.
  • Judge distance and use techniques of time, pace and contour information to maintain constant contact with the map.
  • Use Gold National Navigation Award Scheme techniques to plan and walk safe routes in open country and make on the spot adjustments in technique for terrain, weather conditions and other factors.
  • Learn essential hill skills and understand the navigation demands posed by hill and moorland terrain.

Course format
The Gold NNAS course will be held over 2 days in Wales. The actual course length will be around 14 hours with a longer first day and shorter second day. Each day will involve up to 10-16km of walking on sometimes rough open moorland without tracks or paths. Ideally you will have already completed the Silver NNAS or a similar course or have some experience of using a map and compass to navigate away from tracks and paths.
You won't need to be super fit but will be able to spend two long days walking in the hills and mountains over sometimes steep or hilly terrain and across pathless moorland terrain. A willingness to learn new skills in a fantastic and challenging environment is all you need!
The Gold NNAS training and assessment course (2 days) costs £219 per person and the three day course costs £289 (1 pre day and 2 days) - 10% discount for those who are progressing through the award with New Forest Navigation.

Map reading courses gift vouchers

Vouchers can be bought for all map reading courses and outdoor skills courses.

Gift a voucher and let the recipient book a course on a date that suits them.

Vouchers can be now bought now and do not have to be used until end of December 2021!

Details and directions to New Forest Navigation map reading courses start locations. It is always advisable to download or familiarise your self with the directions rather than relying on a mobile data signal once you get to the forest.
Martin Down and north New Forest Day one and day two, Bronze National Navigation Award Scheme courses usually start from Martin Down A354 car park - Please note none of the car parks have public toilet facilities.
North New Forest courses include starts from Abbotts Well (Frogham car park) and Rockford Common car park
National Navigation Award Scheme - Silver level courses usually from Abbotts Well and Rockford Common car park
Central New Forest day one reading courses usually start from Wilverley Plain car park, Anderwood car park and Standing Hat car park - Standing Hat car park does not have any toilet facilities.
Central New Forest day two and bespoke midweek and weekend map reading courses usually start from Fritham car park and Abbotts Well and Frogham car park. Neither of these car parks have toilet facilities.
Central New Forest National Navigation Award Scheme - Bronze level courses usually start from Anderwood car park, Wilverley Plain car park and Fritham car park.

New Forest - Starting locations for map reading courses

New Forest Navigation map reading courses start from car parks and villages within the New Forest National Park. The New Forest is located in south Hampshire, South East England. It is easily accessible from the surrounding counties of Dorset, Wiltshire, Surrey, Sussex and London. No need to travel to Snowdnia or Peak District with the New Forest on your door step!
Course start locations are reached easily from all New Forest villages and towns, which all have a huge range of accommodation options; Brockenhurst, Lyndhurst, Lymington, Christchurch, Fordingbridge, Ringwood, Burley, Sway and further afield at Bournemouth, Southampton and Salisbury.

New Forest Navigation

Learn Map Reading and how to use a Compass courses in the New Forest.
New Forest National Park, Hampshire, UK