Countryside care on your DofE Expedition
Part of completing any level of the Duke of Edinburgh Award involves participating in an expedition as part of the adventure stage of the award. The Adventure stage of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a thrilling and transformative journey that challenges participants to explore the great outdoors, cultivate teamwork, and develop a spirit of adventure.
The adventure stage of the DofE Award encourages young people to step outside there comfort zone and foster essential skills like navigation, survival and problem solving as well as building a deeper relationship and respect for the natural environment.
With thousands of young people across Scotland (and the wider UK) participating in DofE and heading out for expeditions, it is vital that participants and DofE leaders understand the importance of looking after the rural land they are exploring in.
If you’re looking for more information about your Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition, check out our blog here
The Right to Roam Act, Scotland
The Right to Roam Act in Scotland, officially known as the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, is a landmark piece of legislation that grants individuals the right to access most land and inland water for recreational and educational purposes.
This act has significantly enhanced the freedom of movement for outdoor enthusiasts, allowing them to explore and enjoy the breathtaking landscapes that Scotland has to offer.
Under this legislation, people can walk, hike, and engage in various recreational activities on a wide range of privately-owned land, as long as they do so responsibly and with respect for the environment and property.
Here are some ways you can follow the ‘Right to Roam’ act on your Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition:
- Respect Wildlife & Livestock
- Leave gates how they were found
- Stick to Pathways
- Leave no trace
Respect Wildlife and Livestock
Part of the adventure stage of your DofE award involves planning for your expedition, when you are planning your route, you should try stay away from fields that may contain livestock. Crossing fields with livestock may cause distress to the animals and could result in you getting seriously injured.
We appreciate that avoiding livestock fields isn’t always possible, which is why you should be respectful of the animals and to the farmer by following these simple steps:
- Don’t go near or touch the any animals
- Walk around the outskirts of the field- even if it takes you longer
- Keep quiet and walk normally- don’t run and dance around the field
- Do not approach the young animals especially
Leave gates as found
On your expedition, it is a courteous and responsible practice to leave gates as you found them. Ensuring that gates are securely closed or open as you encountered them helps maintain the integrity of the surroundings.
Leaving gates open may lead to livestock escaping the fields and onto roads, which could cause serious injury to themselves or people.
Stick to pathways- when possible
As you plan your expedition route, you will learn what each map marking means and what it looks like- e.g markings for designated paths is a dashed black line. This information helps you plan your route so you know what kind of ground to expect. When you are planning your expedition, you should try stick to a route that follows pathways- this helps prevent land erosion.
Here are some ways you can help prevent land erosion on your Duke of Edinburgh expedition:
- Stick to paths
- Walk single-file if there is no clear path
- Don’t take shortcuts
- Walk around the edge of fields
Leave no trace
Leaving no trace is as simple as it sounds- take everything home and leave nothing but footprints.
- Take home rubbish
- Camp in campsites
- Use a stove instead of building a fire
- Bag your toilet paper
What we do at My Adventure
My Adventure (Edinburgh) is an outdoor tours operator based in Edinburgh. Specialising in walking or canoeing, we take groups of young people on Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh expeditions across Scotland.
As well as running Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, we also run experiential outdoor learning programmes for young people in Edinburgh who are out with, or part-time in mainstream education.
- Top Ten tips for your Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition here
- A guide to the Duke of Edinburgh Award: here
- A guide to the Duke of Edinburgh Award: Silver here
- A guide to the Duke of Edinburgh Award: Gold here
- Duke of Edinburgh award: Essential equipment: here
- Top Tips for Backpacking in Scotland: here
- The best head torches for adventures in the outdoors: here
- Stag Party Adventures Edinburgh: here
- Planning a Hen Party to Edinburgh: here
- Hen Party Adventures Edinburgh: here