The Ten Tors Charter
Ten Tors is a Youth Development event that aims to encourage young people from the South West:
a. To take part in a planned challenge within the Dartmoor National Park, which is designated to conserve the natural and cultural environments whilst promoting opportunities for people to enjoy and understand the area.
b. To enhance their self-confidence and aspirations through the development of leadership, problem solving, team work and hillwalking/camping skills in a wild country context.
Ten Tors comprises two annual Challenges:
a. The Ten Tors Challenge is a two day expedition for teams of 6 young people aged between 14 and 19. Each team must visit 10 specified checkpoints requiring a walk of 35, 45 or 55 miles over the rugged terrain of Dartmoor depending on the ages of the team. A team must be self-sufficient; camp on the moor overnight and complete the distance between Saturday 0700 and Sunday 1700 hrs.
b. The Jubilee Challenge is a one day expedition for young people who have a disability or have special educational needs. As individuals or as members of teams, they must cover, on foot or by wheelchair, one of four specified routes with a distance of up to 15 miles.
Both Challenges are adventures that demand careful planning, determination, endurance, training, skilful navigation and teamwork by the participants. They are expeditions to be completed as a team not as a race.
For the participants, the Ten Tors and Jubilee Challenges are the climax of a structured and sustained training programme requiring commitment, responsibility and teamwork. The primary objectives throughout are:
a. To help young people to appreciate the benefits of personal fitness through healthy outdoor activity.
b. To foster an ability to walk and camp safely in wild country and to navigate effectively with only map and compass.
c. To teach how to cope with adversity and how to strive to achieve.
d. To contribute to a growth of self-reliance and personal responsibility, and to stimulate leadership qualities.
e. To engender team spirit, adventure and recognition of the contribution made by each team member.
f. To instil an appreciation and respect for the landscape, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Dartmoor National Park and other areas of natural beauty, and the vital importance of conserving and enhancing their special qualities.
g. To encourage a yearning for further challenge through new found confidence, motivation and success and to act as ambassadors to promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the National Park by the public.
h. To help young people to understand the contribution made by landowners, statutory and voluntary bodies, commoners and local communities and to encourage young people to support conservation efforts.
For the Adult Volunteers, training for the Challenges and taking part in the Event provides an opportunity to demonstrate the value of helping others through preparing young people to play a more active and positive role in society, encourages volunteering and assisting the development of local responsibility.
For the National Park Authority, Ten Tors provides an opportunity for young people to enjoy and experience Dartmoor’s wildness and remoteness. However, it is vital that any large scale recreational event using this living landscape does not compromise conservation of its special qualities. The Authority works closely with the Ten Tors Policy Committee and seeks active support and engagement from all involved to ensure that Dartmoor’s precious environment is protected and access opportunities are promoted.
For Local Communities, Ten Tors brings socio-economic benefits; through the purchase of accommodation, kit and supplies; by participants acting as ambassadors for responsible walking on Dartmoor; while communities gain from participants’ more active, positive and responsible roles in society.
For the Armed Forces, the Challenges provide the opportunity to work closely with organisations and individuals in the South West in order to establish and maintain links with local communities for mutual benefit. The event requires a ‘partnership’ of many other organisations, particularly the voluntary medical services, the Devon Air Ambulance Service and the Dartmoor Search and Rescue Group. In particular, Ten Tors is run by the Army and enables the military to practise their vital resilience role supporting the civil authorities and communities in times of crisis. Ten Tors also allows the Army to demonstrate its contribution to the local community. This is particularly important at a time when Communities are being asked to offer greater support to the Armed Forces through the Community Covenant initiative.