Dartmoor Preservation Association (DPA) has announced the relaunch of its successful small grant-giving scheme ‘Moor Boots’.

The scheme aims to remove financial barriers to experiencing the great outdoors.

Originally set up as part of the ‘Moor than Meets the Eye’ landscape partnership, the DPA worked with schools to identify need within a small number of students. The project was an enormous success in 2018-2019 and had a real impact on the students who were selected.   This year ‘Moor Boots’, will be bigger and better than before. To help the new pilot reach as large cohort as possible, the DPA has worked with Ten Tors and Jubilee Challenge organisers to address unique needs within different teams across the region. However, applications are not yet open, until planning for the coming years is complete.

Tom Usher, DPA CEO, said: “Ten Tors is arguably the most demanding outdoor challenge for young people anywhere in UK National Parks and has been incredibly important introducing people to Dartmoor and setting a life-long love of National Parks in the next generation." The traditional Ten Tors Challenge, the famous multi-day hike, requires participants to complete the event without supervision, demonstrating an immense show of courage, skill and training across the challenge. the Jubilee Challenge, closer to Okehampton Camp than the traditional Ten Tors Challenge, caters to young people aged 14 to 21 with complex needs, who would otherwise struggle to access the tough and demanding nature of the full overnight challenge. Participants are supported to complete routes suited to their abilities, ensuring a fulfilling experience for everyone.   Team leaders across the South-West have submitted a fully costed application to the DPA and we have approved grants for roughly 50 young people across 11 different organisations to buy high-quality camping equipment including hiking boots and waterproofs. Teams can then keep and reuse this equipment for future adventures. 

Tom added: “One barrier I have found is the cost of kit and equipment for Ten Tors. Once a student has exhausted the options of borrowing equipment from friends and family often the only option is to choose to not take part. The support from ‘Moor Boots’ could be the help a young person needs to continue their journey with Ten Tors and the great outdoors.” "Having financial support for kit can make a huge difference in enabling students to access the outdoors and engage positively with the environment. It takes away the barriers and helps our students to set goals, take on a challenge and give them the confidence to succeed in life and go on to support their communities."