Your expedition will be one of the most exciting parts of doing your Duke of Edinburgh's Award – there are so many different options as to how you do it.
This year's expedition dates:
22nd - 26th April
27th - 31st May
Cost for this year: £408 - which includes training, shared equipment e.g. tents and stoves and assessments.
Five ways to respect the Countryside Code
1. Leave gates as you find them
A farmer will normally close gates to keep farm animals in, but may sometimes leave them open so the animals can reach food and water. Leave gates as you find them or follow instructions on signs. Leaving a gate open if it was shut could let animals stray onto dangerous roads.
2. Leave no trace
Protecting the natural environment means taking special care not to damage, destroy or remove features such as rocks, plants, and trees. They provide homes and food for wildlife and add to everybody’s enjoyment of the countryside. Litter and leftover food doesn’t just spoil the beauty of the countryside, it can be dangerous to wildlife – so take your litter home with you, and help protect our environment by removing any other litter you see.
3. Respect livestock
Large farm animals can be daunting, but they are likely to be just as scared of you as you are of them! Keep to paths and pass animals calmly and quietly to avoid disturbing them – and please do not feed them.
4. Stick to the pathways
We are lucky to have free access to routes across farmland throughout the UK. Straying from official paths in these areas can damage the crops that farmers depend on for their living. Damaging crops costs farmers money and threatens access to the countryside that many people enjoy. Stick to the paths provided. It’s worth remembering that each of the countries across the UK has its own rules, policies, and rights of access and we should be familiar with these if we venture further afield.
5. Follow the signs
England has about 118,000 miles of public rights of way, providing many opportunities to enjoy the natural environment. Before you go on expedition get to know the signs and symbols used in to show paths and open countryside.
Case Study - Arran
"As a person who has never done anything like this before, I loved the whole experience, it allows you to learn a whole range of skills while seeing beautiful scenery and having a laugh. Although it isn’t without its challenges; walking for hours in different environments can take its toll which meant having a positive mental attitude towards it was essential from my own experience. In our group we got lost a couple of times, one being in dense fog and heavy rain on a large featureless moor. We used teamwork and our problem solving skills to eventually find our way back onto the path and without these skills it could’ve been very plausible that we would have had to call for help.
Overall the expedition allowed me to enhance my problem solving, communication and team working skills and provided a great experience to learn skills such as map reading and taking a bearing. I would recommend this to anybody."
Case Study - Lauren
"My favourite part of the expedition was reaching the top of one of the three peaks on the practice expedition and the amount of support from everyone in the group when completing the challenge. The most challenging part of the assessed expedition was ending up off course on one of the hottest days of the year. To resolve this we worked as a team to motivate each other by thinking of the end result and solved the problems we were having to get back on track and finish the day. Skills I developed included working well as a team to motivate each other, support each other in areas we found difficult. We solved problems we faced effectively even when frustrated and tired. I communicated with others in the team to agree on routes and resolve disagreements"
Don’t forget to log your Employability skills on the Skills Log from taking part in this opportunity!Team Working – to successfully complete your expedition you need to be able to work well as part of a team and communicate effectively with each other.
Perseverance and Initiative – the whole Award takes a lot of dedication and motivation, specifically the expedition which is probably the most challenging section.
Leadership – there may be moments where you find yourself needing to step up and lead the way.