Training Opportunities

Upcoming courses which support the delivery of Duke Of Edinburgh within Aberdeenshire Council. To make a booking please email

BASP 1st Aid Course Alford Community Centre – 09.00 – 17.00 Saturday & Sunday

05-06 March 2022

07-08 May 2022

Cost: £150.00 per person

Lowhills Refresher Course

  • Sunday 9.30 am – 4.30 pm 20th March 2022 (Venue to be confirmed)

Prerequisites for the Lowhills Update course are prior completion of the 2 day Lowhills course, plus submission of an updated Lowhills logbook of hillwalking & leader experience. 

This refresher course is required every 5 years & consists of a 2 hour classroom session, followed by practical outdoor exercises.  Topics include planning procedures, risk assessments, leadership skills & practical navigation exercises along with an opportunity to share experiences & discuss best practice.

Cost: £85

Lowhills Course

  • 1st course- Day 1 on 13th March, + Day 2 on 27th March at Sir Arthur Grant Centre
  • 2nd course- Day 1 on 24th April, + Day 2 on 8th May at Sir Arthur Grant Centre

The prerequisite for the 2 day Lowhills course is prior submission of the course Logbook featuring at least 20 hill walks.  Suitable walks are longer than 10km/ 5 hours, venture into terrain beyond 300m in height and are largely unfamiliar.  The likes of coastal walks, loch circuits and valley walks should not be included.  Download Lowhills Logbook PDF version  Download Lowhills Logbook word doc version  A place on the course cannot be confirmed until the logbook has been submitted & assessed.

More details of the scope & content of the Lowhills Training Scheme can be found in the Logbook.  In summary, the scheme is aimed at Aberdeenshire staff & formally recruited volunteers who wish to lead a group camping & or hillwalking beyond 300m & up to 600m in NE Scotland.  Day 1 of the course is spent partly at Sir Arthur Grant Centre near Monymusk and partly on nearby Millstone Hill.  A home research brief is issued on Day 1 for submission on Day 2- this requires a couple of hours to complete.  Day 2 is spent completing practical exercises on Bennachie.

Cost: £165

Lowhills Gateway course

  • 1 day course 12th June, in the hills around Glen Dye

The new Lowhills Gateway course is aimed at those Aberdeenshire staff & formally recruited volunteers who wish to lead a group walking & or camping in terrain below 300m, and those who aspire to join the Lowhills Scheme but lack the hill experience & navigation skills to confidently accrue the required 20 days hill walking experience.  Topics covered include basic navigation, equipment & clothing, lightweight camping skills and emergency procedures

Cost: £85

DofE Live

DofE Live: Shaping Our Future- online events 8th-12th March 2021.

Instead of a single day conference in a venue, a week’s online exploration of “overcoming obstacles, creating opportunities” 

An opportunity for existing, new and potential DofE Leaders, education professionals (including headteachers) and CLD practitioners. In fact, anyone with an interest in helping young people be the best they can be.

Click on the link to be part of a fascinating, thoughtful and positive week  – and starting following #DofELIVE on social media to find out more.

If you have any questions, please email or contact your Operations Officer.

RSPB Youth Council Volunteering Opportunity

RSPB is looking for volunteers ages 12 to 17 who would like to join their Youth Council

The Youth Council is an advisory committee comprised of 10 representatives of the RSPB’s teenage membership, that provides a youth perspective and a youth voice on projects and issues that the RSPB is working on. As a council member you’ll have the chance to make your ideas a reality; influence RSPB projects; speak publicly at a variety of events; hone your writing skills by contributing to Wingbeat magazine; get hands-on at RSPB conservation camps; and gain a host of CV-boosting skills along the way. If the idea of joining the Youth Council gets you excited, we’d love to hear from you. You don’t need any experience of campaigning or conservation to get involved in the council, just a love for nature.

What’s involved: We would like you to write your own 200 word manifestos, which will be reviewed and voted on by a youth judging panel.

Dates: Please send us your manifesto by 31 July 2020. For full details:


Volunteers’ Week

Messages from HRH The Earl of Wessex, among others!

A thank you message to DofE volunteers from HRH The Earl of Wessex. Aberdeenshire’s Lord Provost has also posted a thank you video. There’s also been a flurry of activity from some of our participants- see below and click for messages from Ona and Holly

Hi there, my name as Erin and I am former pupil of Meldrum Academy. In my 6th year I decided to undergo the Gold Duke of Edinburgh scheme which improved my self confidence and enhanced my character as a whole. This experience wouldn’t have been possible without the great help and support from the volnteers who worked alongside this programme. I would like to thank Penny, Duncan and all staff at Meldrum Academy who shared their time to help make my goal possible! Thank you!

You can now do our Hi5 Award at Home


The Hi5 Award at Home is an exciting SCQF level 2 award for young people that records and recognises wider achievement.  This could count towards your Skill section of the DofE Award.  Just make sure you update any change on your eDofE, your plans fulfil the DofE criteria and gain approval from your Leader or Coordinator.  Full details here

Quoich Bridge Replaced and Car Park Reopened

News from Mar Lodge Estate: Following floods in 2015 which changed the course of the Quoich, the replacement Allanaquoich Bridge has now been completed. The bridge is located 50m upstream from the site of the previous bridge. The car park is on the west side of the river as before. The bridge is for the use of walkers, cyclists and horses. Vehicle access is for estate use only