National Tribe Wild Tribe teams conquer 10 Tors

WT 45 finishNational Trust Wild Tribe 45 mile team approach the finish

Pete Davies, our Area Ranger in the Plym Valley and myself (Adrian Colston, General Manager for Dartmoor) have just got back from the annual 10 Tors expedition on Dartmoor. The National Trust had three teams entered and we worked closely again all year with Torquay Boys Grammar School who also had three team entered.

The weather over the weekend was truly awful – very windy and dozens of really lumpy showers. Despite this we managed to get all six of our teams (six young people in each) around intact. A brilliant achievement – well done to all the participants and a bit thanks to all our trainers and helpers. Here are a few photos from the weekend along with a link to our 10 Tors photo gallery.

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Wild Tribe Success

Wet weather, strong winds and, at times, zero visability couldn’t stop the National Trust’s Wild Tribe teams from achieving Ten Tors success again this year. Both the 35 and 45 mile teams crossed the finish line early on sunday afternoon to cap over 8 months of preparation that began with the first training walk back in September 2012.

The Wild Tribe 35 team completed Route G at 13.14 following visits to Watern, Sittaford, White, Beardown, Great Mis, South Hessary, Black, Staple, Lynch and Chat Tors; while the Wild tribe 45 team completed Route S at 15.16 following visits to Watern, White, Beardown, South Hessary, Trowlesworthy, Hartor, Staple, Lynch, Sourton and Oke Tors.

In difficult conditions, both teams gave excellent performances that highlighted their commitment, determination and navigation skill. An impressive achievement that is a credit to themselves and I am proud of them all.


Ten Tors Wild Tribe – 35 style

Members of the National Trust’s ‘Wild Tribe’ 35 mile Ten Tors team relax after the first day of their final training session. The team who, along with the ‘Wild Tribe’ 45 team, train with Torquay Boys Grammar School and are supported by NT staff and Rangers, were preparing for the annual Ten Tors event that begins on the 11th May.

Starting at Two Bridges, at just after 7am, the team visited Beardown Tor, Lower White Tor, Sittaford Tor, Shilstone Tor and Sourton Tor before arriving at their overnight campsite at just after 6pm.

An early start the following morning enabled them to visit Chat Tor, Lynch Tor, Great Staple Tor and Great Mis Tor before arriving back at Two Bridges in the early afternoon.

Wild Tribe 35 mile team members, from left to right: Charlie, Tom, Alfie, Finley, Gullie and Callum.



Wild Tribe 35

Eight months of preparation and twelve training events paid off last weekend for the National Trust’s 35 mile ‘Wild Tribe’ team who, just like the 45 mile team (See the excellent post by Aggie Fielding), successfully completed the 2012 Ten Tors Challenge.

The 35 mile ‘Wild Tribers’, along with approximately 400 other teams, began their Challenge at 0700 on Saturday morning – Two rounds from the 105mm Howitzers and a three helicopter flypast signaled the start! From then on it was all down to the team.

Following Route C, one of 26 different routes set by the Challenge designers, Team C3040 made their way to Oke, Shilstone, Sittaford, Beardown, South Hessary, Black and Staple Tors on the first day. After a night under canvas and some well deserved food, all cooked by themselves, they set off early on Sunday morning to complete their final three Tors: Great Mis, Lynch and Kitty.

With the Ten Tors climbed, and 35 miles walked, all that remained for the team was the much sought after finish line which they duly crossed at 1244. It was a wonderful effort by an excellent, determined and committed team.

Helping them with their training and watching them develop as a team has been a wonderful experience. I can only thank ( in picture order, left to right ) Jonathan, Matt, Connor, George, Alice and Jess for their amazing efforts and contributions to a successful ‘Wild Tribe’. 35 miles in less than twenty hours of walking, carrying all their overnight equipment, over the rugged terrain of Dartmoor is an impressive achievement and I am proud of them all.


Ten Tors 2012 – By Aggie Fielding (45 mile Wild Tribe)

Dear reader,

You may be aware, I was on the 45 mile Wild Tribe team walking for the National Trust and I finished my Ten Tors journey at 12.20 on Sunday the 13th of May 2012 . As a proud “Wild Triber” I thought it would be great to share my wonderful adventures with the National Trust and Torquay Boys Grammar School! 🙂

My journey began on a winter morning on my very first training walk with the boys. I was welcomed onto the boys regime immediately and I quickly found out that it was nothing like training with the girls. The boys were full of banter and were up for anything. They started my first walk with a casual run to Nuns Cross and this was where I first met my team. It was dark and Ellie and I had no idea who we were with but the guys set up their tents practically on top of a leat all the same. The next day a massive realisation moment hit me; the boys were fast, like REALLY fast and every one of the boys trainers had an attitude that “tanking it” was normal; basically meaning that you had to walk at abnormal speeds. But they were all so brilliant and very apologetic; especially after Simon led us to the wrong Tor on our very first walk (sorry Simon)… And from then on in I think it was generally excepted that the girls would navigate. But I made it through my first ever training ahead of schedule, having completed an extra leg and I came home surprisingly intact and qualified for the Wild Tribe… Which was an amazing feeling.

From then on I got to know everyone better and better. It became excepted that at least once on our walks, Dave from my team would say “light jog guys?”, that Mr Jones would thank Ellie and I for taking care of his boys and that Tony would add an extra 3k to the end of the walk just for the fun of it.  We had some low points, but the high points made up for them, like singing nine rounds of “Nine German bombers…” in a very out of tune manner or finding out from Mr Colvile that we were being pulled off the moor by the military because they’d finally realised that waist high bog was not a good thing to be caught in. We all developed personality wise and I found myself leading my team across rivers (basically they watched as I crossed to reduce the chance of them getting wet). Despite this, training was always a massive success and each walk made me more proud to be part of such a brilliant team.

Finally, the event weekend arrived and my team and I all collected our hoodies (one of my Ten Tors highlights) and after queuing for hours to go to briefing, finally made it to the Betty Cockles pub to enjoy a massive plate of spaghetti and share a huge slice of chocolate cake (as Simon won a £1 bet as Dave and Seb realised that it was impossible for them to eat an entire one each). Needless to say we all slept well until woken at around 5am by chatting from surrounding teams and “Chariots of fire” on full boom. The start was fantastic, especially with the army helicopter flyover and we walked reasonably fast to our first Tor, although we were slowed by a horrific bog (myself being the only one to be completely engulfed by the frightening sludge). We picked up the speed and intercepted the 55 boys at Tor 5 as they practically jogged past us, the absolute machines that they are. We made it to Tor 7 before eight and set up camp below Tor 8. In our sheltered spot we cooked our food and laughed at each others awful tan marks. We had an early start, and checked in to 8th just after 6 and we trooped on all the way to 10th, now sustaining a number of injuries and set out from tenth knowing that on our last leg we had to tackle Killer Valley. But we made it as a complete team and received our medals with massive smiles and a ginormous sense of achievement.

I have loved every part of Ten Tors and have learned so much from my time on the Wild Tribe. I have met some amazing people, particularly Tony who will continue to inspire me into the future with his ability to tackle anything and I have gained an important life lesson that “Pain is temporary, but pride lasts forever”. My fellow walkers have been so brilliant and their unique bog-crossing techniques never ceased to amuse me. But most importantly, my team have been phenomenal and because of them I have had the most fantastic time.

So thank you so much to Adrian and everyone at the National Trust for giving me this opportunity, thank you to everyone at the Boys School for making me part of the family and thank you to my team; Well Done guys

National Trust 45 mile team at the finish – I’m the one on the right

‘Wild Tribe’ spend time on the South Moor

Nuns Cross Farm was a welcome sight for members of the National Trust ‘Wild Tribe’ 35 Mile Ten Tors team last weekend. Following a slightly wet Friday night spent out on the moor, the team had risen early and set about achieving their 28km training route.

By the time they reached the Farm, the team had scaled the heights of Ryders Hill, Eastern White Barrow, Great Gants Head and had even had time to pay a visit to Duck’s Pool. All that remained for them was the final leg back to Combestone Tor via Whiteworks and Hexworthy.



Training for the Ten Tors.

Training for the National Trust’s ‘Wild Tribe’ Ten Tors team continued last weekend with a trip to the north moor with Torquay Boys Grammar School.

A circular route starting from Belstone village took in visits to Scarey Tor, East Mill Tor, Wild Tor, Hound Tor and Cosden Beacon.

With good weather conditions and clear visibility supporting the ’45 mile’ team’s excellent progress, there was even time at the end of the day for an additional  climb up Irishmans Wall to the top of Belstone Tor!



Our very own ‘Wild Tribe’ complete 10 Tors

As an organisation we want to be as well known for our work in the countryside as we are for our work with our houses and gardens. We also want to appeal to all sections of society regardless of age.

To that end we have spent the last 6 months preparing for the Dartmoor 10 Tors Challenge organised and run by the Army. This year for the very first time we had our own team ‘National Trust Wild Tribe’. The team consisted of 3 girls and 3 boys aged 14-15. They set off on saturday morning at 7am and completed a course which included Sourton, Kitty, Lynch, Great Mis, Black, Beardown, Higher White, Sittaford (where they camped) Hound and Shilstone Tors before returning to Okehampton camp. They carried full kit including camping gear, cooking equipment and food. Their course was 35 miles as the crow flies and I guess they went around 40 miles in 28 hours – total respect!

Amazing – well done and thanks to Freddie (Team Leader), Emma, Harley, Annie, Laurence and Jasmine.

You can read more and see additional photos about Wild Tribe on my blog here.

The National Trust are really grateful to Paul, Team Manager at the Maynard School Exeter, Nigel, Team Manager at Torquay Girls’ Grammar School and Peter, Team Manager at Torquay Boys’ Grammar School for all their help in mentoring us this year. Without their help, guidance and advice there would have been no Wild Tribe. Thanks finally also to the Army to organising the event and letting us join in.

New posts from the General Manager

I’ve had a couple of weeks annual leave but I have been out on Dartmoor  a lot. This weather is unprecedented and fantastic.

I’ve stayed ‘local’ for my holidays but have been out in the National Park  around a dozen times.

Read about the spooky lifestyle and life cycle of the nationally threatened oil beetle here.

Want a good walk up the River Plym? Try this.

The National Trust’s 10 Tors Team – Wild Tribe has been out training in fabuous weather and fantastic landscapes – read about it here.

Finally I have been trying to uncover a savage murder mystery on the moor – dozens of slain Emperor Moths found on the moor – who dunnit?