Ten Tors teams can celebrate as the weather is set to improve in time for the 62nd Ten Tors Challenge this weekend (May 11-12), which will see thousands of young people trek across Dartmoor.

This year's poor weather has made training particularly hard for the teams and raised logistical concerns for organisers, who feared that the usual parking arrangements may have to be changed if the ground was too wet.

Major Ruth Gilbert, a former student of Okehampton College and key organiser, expressed relief at the improved forecast and confirmed that usual parking arrangements would remain in place this year.

"We've had really wet weather, unprecedented weather, over the last few months, and that's obviously made training particularly difficult. We're hoping that the participants themselves will be much more well-prepared. And hopefully, the weather forecast looks like it will be dry now," she added.

Excitement will be exceptionally high this year as the Red Devils, the British Army's parachute display team, will be jumping over Okehampton Camp to coincide with the beginning of the challenge on Saturday. Meanwhile, the TV presenter and survival expert Ray Mears will be the official starter.

This year will also see the first Jubilee Challenge Plus. It is aimed at young adults with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) who may find the traditional Ten Tors Challenge inaccessible. It provides an appropriately arduous challenge with an overnight camp.​ 

Major Gilbert said: "It's for people who don't perhaps have a physical disability but have some sort of neurodiverse challenge. They have their accompanying adults with them throughout; they know the young people and their behaviours. We've piloted the scheme the last few years, and it's been really successful. It means that across the spectrum of the three challenges, there's something for everybody."

Ten Tors will be part of the 75th-anniversary celebrations of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. This legislation, aimed at conserving the countryside and providing recreational access to the public, has been instrumental in enabling events like Ten Tors to take place.

Major Gilbert added: "The theme this year is we're celebrating the 75th anniversary of the National Parks and access to the countryside. We work closely with Dartmoor National Park Authority and thought that, especially in this kind of post-COVID era, it would be fantastic to celebrate that - and encourage lots of people to get outside.

"Without the support of the National Park Authority, the Duchy of Cornwall and the local landowners, we just wouldn't be able to do it."

In total, 2,400 teenagers aged between 14 and 19 are set to participate in the Ten Tors Challenge this year. They will trek unaided over different 35, 45, or 55-mile routes. Meanwhile, young people with physical disabilities or special educational needs can participate in the Jubilee Challenge. Up to 400 young people will complete routes of up to 15 miles supported by Officer Cadets from Exeter University Officer Training Corps.