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.


‘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.



Half Term at Castle Drogo

Looking for something to do this half term? Come along to Castle Drogo and see the house waking up for the new season. There have been some dramatic changes over the winter. We have had to Acro prop the scullery and after some pieces of concrete came away from the ceiling outside the larder we have unfortunately had to close this area as it is now unsafe. This is a clear example of how serious the water ingress to the castle has become and why we need to act now to save it. For more information visit http://tinyurl.com/6lvaxj5 The castle is open every day from 11am to 4pm until Sunday 19 February and then is open at weekends until Saturday 10 March when it will be open for the new season.


There is also lots to do outside this week to make the most of the slightly warmer weather. Why not come and take a walk around the gardens to see if you can spot the first signs of spring. We have a trail around the garden and grounds with lots of activities to do inspired by Dartmoor and the Drogo estate including a scavenger hunt and the chance to become an animal estate agent. The trail is available for £1.50 from visitor reception and includes a prize at the end. On Sunday 19 February at 10am you can join the Teign Valley Wild Tribe at Fingle Bridge Meadows were there will be lots of hands on activities to get involved with (£2 per adult, £4 per child, booking advisable on 01647 433356).

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?

Wild Woods ‘n Willow at Castle Drogo


Castle Drogo on Dartmoor

Join Chagford based Wild Woods ‘n Willow for a day of family bushcraft on Sunday 1 May at Castle Drogo between 10am and 4pm.  (The last session starts at 3.30pm.)

Families can have a go at weaving fish shapes with willow and rush, create fire by making sparks with firesteels onto various tinders and cooking wild foods on an open fire.  Each activity costs £5 per child.  All children need an adult with them.  Ring 01647 433356 for more information.


Wild Woods ‘n Willow are a team of enironmental educators who aim to inspire awe, wonder and respect for nature in young people through practical, sensoryand playful acitivties outdoors.

Going wild!

On Sunday the 6th March, we held the first of our “Wild Tribe” activity days at Fingle Bridge. The purpose of these days is to allow families to take part in various activities ranging from Bushcraft, Green woodwork and rural skills, Forest school and countryside management. Around 50 people turned up to our first event which was held at Fingle Bridge near Drewsteignton. Families tried out den building, fire lighting, nature walks, two-person saws, axes, green woodwork and more.

Wild Tribe will take place on the first Sunday of every month right through until October. Activities run from 10am until 3pm, costs are £2 for adults and £4 for children. Places can be booked by calling 01647 433356. Go wild with us!
Wild Tribe Fingle Bridge

Wild Tribe

Wild Tribe is a chance to experience, explore and learn about the countryside its wild life, traditions and pastimes.

On the first Sunday of every month in 2011, starting on the 6th March, there will be a Wild Tribe event on and around the Fingle Bridge meadows.

The vision is to help and guide families and young people who wish to develop their own relationship with the countryside. We can over time provide a wide range of activities all based around the National Trusts estate which will excite, stimulate and educate and be guided by the interests of the Tribe members themselves.

Woodland dayA group may have with a particular interest in say traditional woodland skills, another in natural history, another in wildlife watch, either live or by setting up web cams, families with young children may enjoy forest school, older children may like to set up a mountain bike course. Each group would be a part of the Tribe and could come together to share their experiences on Wild Tribe days. People will be encouaged to move between groups to widen their experience and enjoyment.

Over the first few months we will be setting up a number of activities for you and your family to try we hope then if we get feedback to tailor the events to the needs of the families attending.

There is no compulsion to ‘join’ anything and it will be fine to come to just occasional days, however if you want to make a regular commitment to attending Wild Tribe events then much more can be achieved over time. This will be especially true for children who can grow into areas of interest and develop new skills and experience.
To book places at the Wild Tribe day or to get further information please ring 01647 433356 and ask for Tom or 01626 834748 and ask for Mick. Or email mick.jones@nationaltrust.org.uk