By: Marie McNulty – Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere
The Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere have just finished procuring the services of Stef Lauer to run a Biosphere Experiences Guide Training course as part of the SHAPE project. Ten people have signed up for the free training that takes place over two weekends in May and June.
Stef has been involved in various aspects of guiding for over 15 years, including a spell as Head of Operations for 5* adventure travel company Wilderness Scotland from 2011-15, where she was involved in the development of their Wilderness Guide Training Programme. She is a trained Leave no Trace practitioner and has worked with businesses in the Highlands tailoring her Guiding the Extra Mile course to their individual needs. With personal experience of setting up a guiding business, running events and engaging with the public she is well positioned to be able share her knowledge and expertise to train new entrants to this growing market.
The course has been aimed at people who are already passionate about their local area and have an interest in local culture, the outdoors, the arts, wildlife, heritage and history, dark skies, local produce and stories or legends. Its intended to equip them with the skills to share their knowledge with others and to set up new guiding businesses.
The course covers:
- How to provide a safe welcoming experience
- How to share information confidently and in an engaging way
- The Art of story telling
- Use of different modes of transport foot, bike, bus
- What makes a good tour?
- Permissions, Regulations & Insurance requirements
- Basic Business Start-up considerations for a new self-employed guide
Ed Forrest Co-ordinator for Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere says: “We hope that by providing this training opportunity it will encourage the start-up of new heritage tourism businesses who will provide unique, authentic experiences for visitors to our UNESCO Biosphere.”