BELA and LLA etc


Sports awards etc

I assume you mean the Sports Leader UK BELA compared to the Mountain Training Lowland Leader Award?

A major difference is LLA doesn’t include expeds, although that’s only a 2 day add on course to allow LLA to camp in relevant terrain.

So LLA doesn’t include camping by default?

No. It’s fundamentally a day walk award.

If you wish to include camping then the two day expedition skills module’ is available for those who hold Lowland Leader / Hill & Moorland Leader.


BEL now LEL (Lowland Expedition Leader): longer course, includes camping. Run through Sports Leaders UK.

LLA: shorter but needs an additional 2 day bolt on for camping. Run through Mountain Training.

Much of a muchness. I prefer Lowland Leader (I was previously a course director for BEL, now a course director for LLA). I think Mountain Training being the professional body for Mountain activities in the UK makes Lowland Leader better in terms of established framework building towards higher awards.

I think the fact that you can be deferred training for LLA if you have done ML training is a big bonus, especially for those who live a long way from mountains and therefore who take longer to get their QMD’s.

The same is true for HML training too, for those walking without the ropes. Once HML training is done, you can complete an LLA assessment.

For much of the UK population, the HML is probably a more achievable qualification than ML too

It’s more achievable and actually more usable, unless you live north of Edinburgh, in the Lake District or in Snowdonia you are covered by HML.

I also like that all 3 Mountain Training Qualifications are the same format. (And Expedition Skills is the same for LLA and HML so you don’t need to redo it.)

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What’s the distinction between HML and ML?
My old-days experience was all in the Brecon Beacons; which, having not bothered to look into it since I don’t live there any more, I just assumed would be ML territory.

Not an AT person, but the HML candidate handbook says this

2.1 The Hill and Moorland Leader qualification offers the opportunity to gain experience and demonstrate technical competence in leading groups on hill walks in areas of the UK and Ireland that fall within the technical definition outlined below. Such areas may often be subject to hostile weather conditions and require an element of self-sufficiency and this is reflected in the syllabus of this scheme (see also Appendix 1).
Suitable terrain for the Hill and Moorland Leader will meet the following four criteria:
• open, uncultivated, non-mountainous high or remote country known variously as upland, moor, bog, fell, hill or down
• areas enclosed by well-defined geographical or man-made boundaries such as classified roads (areas that merge
with mountain regions and do not have well defined boundaries are excluded)
• areas of remoteness that are easily exited in a few hours, returning to a refuge or an accessible road
• areas where movement on steep or rocky terrain is not required (in either a planned or unplanned situation)

Thanks for that.

I would think that the Beacons would fulfil those criteria, with the exception of the term “non-mountainous”… But clearly that is open to debate I guess within their definition of the scope.

As far as I’m concerned - they’re mountains. Not as high as some mountains, like Snowdon for example; but mountains none the less.

HML Handbook
ML Handbook
The ML handbook defines the Beacon Beacons as mountainous as you suspect. It does make taking cadets out on the “fun” hills more challenging :frowning_face:

Yes… Not like the old days. If we weren’t out with the Sqn we’d just go out and play on the mountain with our mates.

“See you later Mam… Going up the mountain.”