A trip to Derbyshire for Gold and Silver Duke of Edinburgh students
Mrs Kirby and Mr Taylor, Duke of Edinburgh Co-ordinators report ...
Gold Duke of Edinburgh
Seventeen students visited the hills of Derbyshire as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Gold practice expedition on Saturday 7th April. Students had undergone some training at Hathersage in the winter, and therefore we were pleasantly surprised to find the village bathed in sunlight on our arrival. After having had an early start from school, with breakfast en route, the students had an hour of full kit checks and an opportunity to check routes before setting out on their long walk from Hathersage to Edale. Students found this long day carrying heavy bags a great warm up for what was to follow on Sunday. Sunday’s route took them to Kinder Scout, a moorland plateau and National Nature Reserve in the Dark Peak of the Derbyshire Peak District in England. Part of this moor, at 636 metres (2,087 ft) above sea level, is the highest point in the Peak District, and is a challenging navigation environment even in good weather. Only the week before snow had hampered walkers up in the dark peak. A very challenging day was had by all students as they learnt about their strengths and weaknesses. Their final day of walking took them over Lady Bower reservoir and back into Bamford, where they enjoyed the luxury of a camping barn to refresh themselves. They were able to prepare their qualifying routes on the morning of the fourth day. Once their planning was completed, the students packed up and walked back to Hathersage to get the bus home. The expedition was a very successful practice expedition with the students learning a lot about themselves. The group will complete their qualifying expedition in the Brecon Beacons in July.
Silver Duke of Edinburgh
Our largest ever cohort of Silver Duke of Edinburgh participants took to the hills of Derbyshire on Saturday 7th April. Fifty one students got up early to catch the bus to Derbyshire. They arrived to fabulous weather and a full day of expedition training. The group were split in half with some staying in Hathersage, and the other half staying in Hope. They spent the morning learning first aid skills, map reading and planning routes. In the afternoon they took to the hills to put some of their map reading skills into practice, and then set up camp and cooked for themselves. On Sunday they had to pack up and carry their kit to the second campsite. All groups stayed in Calver for the second night. The students enjoyed great weather and views over stunning landmarks such as Stanage and Froggart Edge. On Monday they packed up to walk to their final campsite. All groups worked hard to improve their map reading skills, group work and fitness levels. The final night saw the weather change into a damp evening and a subsequent misty morning. On the final day they walked or were bussed back to Hathersage to complete their qualifying route plans. This was a fabulous experience for our largest Silver group yet. The group will go onto their qualifying expedition in the Brecon Beacons in July.