25th April, 2022

DofE Waddow Hall Practice Expedition

Forty Year 9 students completed their practice expedition around Waddington, Lancashire this weekend (23rd-24th April).

It was time for Year 9 to put on their big bags (stuffed with everything they would need for two days away – tent, stove, food, sleeping bag and mat) and head out into the rolling hills around the lovely village of Waddington, just outside Clitheroe.
After an early start (8am coach from school) we arrived at Waddow Hall just before 9:30am. Within 20 minutes the first groups were on their way, heading on a clockwise or anti-clockwise route taking in West Bradford, the Green Lane ravine and the area around Eaves Hall Hotel.
Most of the groups stayed on route most of the time and made it around the loop in around 4-5 hours. Along the way they encountered sheep in the middle of lambing season, some cows and crossed rivers in the bottom of deep valleys.

After cooking a great range of food on the Trangia stoves our students were well fed following their efforts in the day. This gave them enough energy for an impromptu game of plate frisbee, sock ball catch and the old favourite Manhunt! It was good to see the students making their own entertainment and simply playing. We followed this with our debrief of the day and S’mores done over the firepit.
It was a cold and windy night with clear skies and plenty of stars, so the prospects weren’t so good. However, the majority of students reported that it was OK with some sleeping in some extra clothes. Pegging out the tents with extra guy lines was a must.

By 6am the sun was coming up and students started to awake and arise. (some chose to lurk in their sleeping bags till the last possible moment). By 10am the campsite was clear and groups were back out.
Again, there were a few route mishaps but everyone reached the final destination, Bashall Barn, well within the planned timeframe. There were shouts of joy when the parked coach came into view and some sleepy heads on the journey back.