UK Ecological Survey Consultants - Ecology Durham - Ecology Northeast

Woodcraft Activity Centre

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Elmer Ecology is currently working with the national charity Woodcraft Folk, OASIS and the Forestry Commission to design and build an outdoor activity / study centre. This will provide the Woodcraft Folk with a regional centre in the North East.

The building will:
- include a minimum of 60 bunks with separate facilities for group leaders
- include two well equipped class rooms
- be constructed to comply with Code for Sustainable Homes level 6
- make use of locally sourced timber as a primary construction material
- provide opportunities for local residents to participate in the building process

The project will also involve a range of enhancements to the immediate surroundings to enable delivery of outdoor and educational activities. In particular, this will involve habitat enhancements, access and boundary improvements.

The Woodcraft Activity Centre will be operated by Woodcraft Active Ltd, with the purpose of ensuring that operational profits are used to cover costs associated with providing reduced and free activities for children and young people from deprived backgrounds across the North East. This will be accomplished through creation of a trust fund with an application process to ensure funds are effectively targeted towards groups with the highest need.

Educational Activities

This project has been informed by discussion with Durham County Council LEA which has been forced to close all of its Outdoor Education Centres to meet savings targets. This has created a high level of unmet demand from schools wishing to make use of residential outdoor education facilities that can provide qualified teachers / activity leaders.

Outdoor adventure

The Woodcraft Activity Centre will also offer both day based and residential outdoor adventure activities. These will include young peoples’ summer camps, weekend activities and 5 day activities. Activities will include archery, canoeing, kayaking, climbing, cycling, orienteering, team building, survival and bush-craft skills, geo-trails and children’s adventure parties. The centre is also well located for groups conducting the Duke of Edinborough Award, and benefits from an excellent network of cycle paths.

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