By: Blonde Two
One significant element of all Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards is to take part in some kind of voluntary work. I wholeheartedly applaud this, not only does volunteering give youngsters (and us oldsters) a greater understanding of the world we live in, it gives the opportunity to experience that wonderful feeling of “Giving-Something-Back”. Over the last few years, the Two Blondes DofE youngsters have been doing this in a variety of different ways but, until this week, they haven’t had the opportunity to volunteer on Dartmoor.
When our Gold group were planning their recent bunkhouse (DofE) training trip, they were very keen to make sure that they included some Dartmoor volunteering in their itinerary. We were obviously thrilled about this – what better reward for all of our hard work than to end up with a group of young people who care enough about their local environment to do something for it?
All of the above reasons led to us meeting Ranger Bill (what a lovely chap) at New Bridge on Tuesday. Bill is one of nine Dartmoor Rangers who, as well as being the first point of contact for the public and local residents, look after all of Dartmoor’s 368 square miles. This includes maintaining the 724 kilometres of footpaths and rights of way that criss-cross the moors. Just to help you get that mega-long footpath network into perspective; it would take the Two Blondes 46 days to walk all of them if we walked for twelve hours a day (we are not going to do that) and there were no hills (there are many).
The Rangers are busy people which is why it was so great of Bill to take the time to talk to and work with our youngsters. He did this superbly and they all came away wanting to do more to help. We will tell you more about exactly what they got up to soon but in the meantime, if you should see a Ranger (it might be Bill) around on Dartmoor, give them a cheery wave – they deserve it!
You can find out more about the Dartmoor Ranger and Volunteer Service on the DNPA website here – http://www.dartmoor-npa.gov.uk/lookingafter/au-rangerservice
If want to find out more about volunteering on Dartmoor (there are lots of different opportunities) then have a look here – http://www.dartmoor-npa.gov.uk/aboutus/vi-volunteers