Eleven Year 12 students travelled to the Black Mountains in South Wales at the end of the Easter break to complete their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Practice Expedition.
Students completed training in micro-navigation techniques, crossing some challenging terrain to find the memorial and wreckage of a Vickers Wellington, Royal Canadian Air Force MF509, which crashed on 20th November 1944 on a training exercise. This checkpoint was difficult to locate and proved a suitable spot for lunch and discussion.
On the way, students learnt about features of the limestone upland environment, encountering many shake holes and swallow holes above the cave at Dan yr Ogof. Over the course of the four days, students also encountered almost every weather condition and are therefore fully prepared for any elements they may encounter during their assessed expedition.
Everyone did remarkably well navigating in thick fog (with visibility of less than 50m for most of the second day), coping with high temperatures and sun and remaining optimistic despite wind and rain on the last day. Students demonstrated good camp craft and expedition skills and are now in the process of planning for their assessed expedition on Dartmoor at the beginning of July.