Duke of Edinburgh: The Natural Navigator

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On Friday 20 - Sunday 22 April, three Silver Duke of Edinburgh teams embarked on a challenging expedition over the central South Downs as part of their training for the upcoming qualifying expedition in June. 

The teams started their navigational challenge at Whiteways car park, north-west of Arundel, before micro-navigating through the scenic Slindon Estate to Gumber Bothy, an off-the-grid experience high on the South Downs.

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Pupils awoke early Saturday morning to the sound of a working downland farm with cattle creating more decibels than the average DofE group, unusually.  The task ahead was to navigate successfully as a team through the heavily forested Graffham Down; a managed wooded area filled with unmarked paths, fire trails and working game routes. The day was long, although all teams fruitfully arrived in camp at Graffham Campsite before heavy rain and thunderstorms set in.

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The final day of the expedition began with a quadriceps-engaging, rather fatigued, route march 200 metre in height, up onto the scarp slope of the South Downs. The teams were very successful in applying all they had learned this year in training to the test. They will be completing their final qualifying expedition from 23 - 25 June in the New Forest.

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Learn more about the Duke of Edinburgh Award at Bede's >