Landmark birthday expansion plans for activity centre

Splashing about at Walesby Forest.
Splashing about at Walesby Forest.

Bosses at a Nottinghamshire outdoor activity centre have unveiled special plans to mark its 80th anniversary – expansion.

Every year more than 20,000 Scouts and thousands more schoolchildren from across the country visit Walesby Forest to enjoy activities such as rafting, climbing, bushcraft, swimming and more.

A residential lodge at Walesby Forest outdoor adventure activity centre.

A residential lodge at Walesby Forest outdoor adventure activity centre.

It turns 80 next year, having first opened as a Scout centre in 1938, and will mark the occasion with the opening of its second purpose-built residential lodge.

Ian Sinclair, centre chief executive, said: “Walesby started its life as a Scout centre, but over the last 80 years it has grown into much more and we now welcome schoolchildren from across the country, as well as thousands of Scouts each and every year.

“It’s incredibly important for children to get out of the classroom and experience something different – and those adventures are exactly what we encourage here at Walesby through our residential adventure courses.

“We are excited to be improving our provision for our visitors with the addition of a new lodge next year.

Rafting fun at Walesby Forest.

Rafting fun at Walesby Forest.

“We have plans for five in total; the first one was built in 2012 and we are expecting the second to be ready in May next year, giving us accommodation for 36 children, plus teachers or leaders in the new fully equipped facility.

“Over the years, we have seen demand for this type of overnight accommodation increase and we’re looking forward to welcoming even more children to the centre as a result.”

“Developments over the last few years have included extensive refurbishments of Sherwood and Parker lodges, an extension to our catering facility which can now seat more than 200 and the introduction of new activities, including an indoor climbing facility.”

Alistair Bow, chairman of the Walesby Forest charity trustees, said: “Walesby is an amazing facility that welcomes thousands of youngsters from across the country all year round and it’s something I am pleased to have been involved in for the last 18 years; it has gone from strength to strength.

“It makes me very proud to see how successful Walesby has continued to be throughout my tenure as chairman and we are looking forward to seeing the completion of the second lodge in its 80th anniversary year in 2018. It’s exciting.”