Scouting around at Longshaw

Published : Fri 19th Oct Author : National Trust

From 5 to 7 October, our Longshaw Estate in the Peak District hosted the Apex challenge to 400 venture scouts.
Longshaw Estate in the Peak District hosted the Apex challenge to 400 venture scouts from all over the UK on the tenth anniversary of the event….. and survived. The Apex challenge began in 2002 and is an adventure competition for scouts to test out their navigation, orienteering and teamwork skills by completing challenges. The National Trust played a significant role with Chris Millner, Mark Attwood and the Longshaw team on hand to ensure the Scouts got the most out of their weekend while causing minimum impact to the Estate.

100 teams camped for the weekend which was kicked off with music, fireworks and a personal message from Bear Grylls. The main events included activities such as rock climbing, abseiling, archery and mountain biking. Challenges included catapulting and catching severed hands (plastic ones!), rescuing rubber chickens and tugging a team-mate along a giant waterslide, all for the scouts to gain points. The activities took place all over the Longshaw Estate with canoeing on the pond at Bolehill quarry and catapulting at the Owler Tor rocks.

Along with the scouts came groups such as soldiers from across the country to guide teams through the Apex Challenge's longest ever assault course. There were also qualified archery instructors who set up a range to national standards for aiming at balloons.

The Moorland Discovery Centre was in use twice a day as a kitchen base for all important re-fuelling of the scouts.

The National Trust team at Longshaw were proud to make links with this special event and feedback from locals and visitors was really positive. Chris Millner said; "It was great to see so many teenagers having a fantastic time at Longshaw, and they really got to know the site with activities spread all over – there was even a challenge taking them through the tunnel at Toad's Mouth! We worked with the organisers to protect special areas and our SSSIs (Site of Special Scientific Interest). Staff members were running around throughout the weekend to help with set-up & tidying up and to ensure everything ran smoothly. We even had a go at the Archery challenge too!"