02 January 2023 | Trust news
Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust continues exciting collaboration with Dartmoor National Park to help students embrace the great outdoors
Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust (DMAT) and Dartmoor Community Engagement Rangers have been working together to allow more students to explore and experience the Dartmoor countryside.
As part of the collaboration, a new initiative was launched in December with a group of students from Holsworthy Community College. They have named the project themselves as ‘Dartmoor Dudes’ and the project will aim to create a safe and open space for young people to experience the outdoors whilst learning more about the wildlife and countryside, for those who do not normally participate in some of the existing outdoor programmes like the Duke of Edinburgh scheme. This initiative is intended to help them reap the benefits of being active in the outdoors whilst addressing barriers or stereotypes that cause young people to not pursue outdoors activities.
The guided sessions will be led by Community Engagement Rangers who will help the focused groups to access the outdoors and see it as place for them to use and benefit from. The young people will partake in a 6-week range of outdoor activities which will include practical based, sensory, and creative tasks where they will use tools, gain key skills, and develop an awareness of their local area. Some of the adventures include nature photography in Okehampton; reaching the top of a tor at Sourton Tor and a conservation task at Meldon reservoir and quarry.
Andy Watkins, Head of Key Stage 3 at Holsworthy Community College said
‘This opportunity is one that all the pupils involved are really looking forward to. After speaking with them were all agreed straight away they would love to be onboard and they were passionate about coming up with a name for the project. For a lot of the students it is going to be extremely beneficial for them in terms of building confidence and resilience in a wide range of different scenarios and situations. I’d like to thank the Dartmoor Rangers for putting this in place for the pupils and i truly believe a great deal will come from it.’
The support from the Dartmoor Community Engagement Rangers comes as part of a one-year funded programme that is supported by the Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The Dartmoor National Park Authority has said it would love to see and support much more of these programmes to deliver a real lasting legacy, but funding or partnership working (joint posts) have to be secured.
Dan Morrow, Trust Leader and CEO at Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust, said:
“This exciting collaboration with the Dartmoor Community Engagement Rangers is a great way for us to expand our offering to students and enrich their educational experience at DMAT. Despite living and learning so close to Dartmoor, many of our students have never spent any time exploring the many wonders it holds. Through these initiatives we hope to ensure every single one of our young people and children will get to experience and learn from the beautiful countryside we have right on our doorsteps.
Richard Drysdale, Director of Conservation and Communities, from Dartmoor National Park Authority, said:
“We are always looking for ways to make the national park more accessible and to encourage young people in the local area to truly appreciate what amazing experiences it has to offer. We are incredibly excited to collaborate with DMAT on these initiatives and proud of our shared commitment to enriching the lives and education of local students by helping them explore, understand and enjoy the protected landscape on their doorstep.”