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Frensham Heights Sixth Formers return to Knoydart

Updated: Oct 5, 2023

As part of their Sixth Form experience, ten Year 12 students embarked on an adventurous week on the wild west coast of Scotland. The first stage of the trip was a 2-day sea kayaking adventure, involving a paddle out through the beautiful surroundings of Loch Moidart. The team adapted well to the challenge of balancing themselves in a narrow kayak, as for many this was a new experience. We stayed dry mostly, apart from 1 member of the team who found themselves wetter than they wanted to be quite quicky! We made our way to the far western shores to a stunning wild camping spot, on a desolate beach, surrounded by small rocky outcrops and a sunset view of the islands of Eigg and Rum. The evening involved a fantastic camping experience, with outstanding cooking skills being demonstrated on gas stoves, coping admirably with the onslaught of midges and enjoying a fun campfire on the beach.

During the next phase, we were based at an outward-bound centre on the shore of Loch Eil. The group took part in several adventurous pursuits in which they stepped outside their comfort zones. Activities included rock climbing on the rocky slabs of Glen Nevis, swimming in the cool waters of Loch Eil and in gorge walking up two rivers. The students challenged themselves by climbing up waterfalls, jumping off rock ledges into deep pools, swimming below underwater arches…and coping with more midges!

The expedition culminated in a journey to the wilderness of the Knoydart peninsular. The team began their journey with a 10km hike across hilly terrain in uncharacteristically hot conditions to the isolated settlement of Tarbet. A short ferry ride later and we arrived at our final destination of Inverie, famed for being the most remote community on mainland Britain. The main aim the following day was to assist with the rangers from the Knoydart Foundation in building a woodshed for their campsite. All the material for this project were bought by the Foundation with the proceeds from fundraising by the students. In the words of the ranger:

"In awe of the efforts of Frensham Heights School’s lower sixth pupils who helped us put up a log shed for our campers at Long Beach in just a day……the group also teamed up to repair steps by the River Inverie making the path more accessible to visitors and locals alike. Despite contending with midges, horseflies and high temperatures, there wasn’t one word of complaint from the group – awesome work.”

The final evening of the trip was based around another campfire on the beach and the moment embodied the Frensham spirit, particularly the values of togetherness and courage to try. We told stories about the week, shared good memories and celebrated the accomplishments the team had made. The group excelled themselves in their attitude to different elements of the trip, the physical and mental challenges as well as their polite and cheerful approach to everything we did. They were fantastic ambassadors for their school, and they should be proud of themselves. Well done Team Knoydart 2023!

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