Friday, 15 June 2012

Volunteering on Dartmoor

I have recently volunteered as an army cadet civilian assistant in my spare time. This means that I get to help lead expeditions and bushcraft sessions for the cadets, but don't have to attend regular drill nights. This last weekend I was able to take some time off from my usual Crown Estate duties to help take a group of cadets from Minehead and Cannington Platoons to Okehampton Camp on the edge of Dartmoor to do silver Duke of Edinburgh and 2 star expedition training. We spent 2.5 days doing navigation, camping, hill skills and a bit of camp craft thrown in for good measure. Though we had an enjoyable but challenging 27K route planned to take in some of the higher tors, we had a couple of injuries, and so had to cut it short to just 15K. We had two relatively dry nights of camping however, and, despite it feeling like mid-winter on sunday, as you can see from the picture the sun shone for at least the start of the walk! Though this is an extra-curricular activity of mine, The Crown Estate allows staff a couple of days a year to undertake a range of volunteer activities- some people read with school children, others run football teams- I choose to get wet and tired on the moors of the south west! Andy Player

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