Opening of Woodhouse Park to members

The following message has been emailed tonight to all Adult volunteers.

To: All Adult members of Avon Scouts

As we start 2021, we look forward with optimism and hope that at some point this year we can start to return to some form of normality with the resumption of face-to-face Scouting. At the present time however, we are in the thick of the peak of the second wave of the Covid pandemic with clear government guidelines that we should stay at home and only go out for essential journeys. Face to face Scouting is once again suspended and groups/sections are having to revert to running their programmes virtually. 

However, with the roll out of vaccinations now underway there is hope that by the spring restrictions will be relaxed, and once again face to face Scout meetings will be able to take place albeit with restricted numbers.

As you are aware from our previous communications The Scout Association have informed us that they will be terminating the current lease on Woodhouse Park Activity Centre and the site will therefore return to the management of Avon Scouts in October this year. Whilst The Scout Association will continue to have the responsibility of operating the site until October 2021 they have made the decision that the site will remain closed until the lease terminates.

We are very conscious that Woodhouse Park Is a resource that is used by many groups to run their outdoor programme and that the closure of the site throughout the spring and summer will be a disappointment. We are also aware that many groups reliant upon schools, community and church halls have not been able to return to face the face Scouting over the autumn when face to face meetings were allowed as these facilities were not available to them.

Clearly having Woodhouse Park open would provide a safe outdoor space for Scouting activities to take place and we are therefore in discussions with The Scout Association with the aim of reopening the site once face to face activities are allowed.  At this stage, we are looking to reopen just the fields and toilet facilities for outdoor use. The residential buildings and onsite activities remaining closed. This will be kept under review and we would hope that subject to government restrictions some limited overnight camping and use of the onsite activities may be allowed later in the year. 

However, in order for the site to open over the spring and summer, we are going to need to establish a service crew to support the centre.  The main roles of the Service Crew will be to assist with the opening and closing of the site, cleaning, and general maintenance.  We are therefore looking for volunteers to come forward to be part of the Woodhouse Park Service Crew. Every offer of help will be welcomed. Opening dates/times will be very much dependent upon the number of volunteers coming forward so the more people that come forward the better.

With your support, we can safely reopen Woodhouse Park to our members. So if you would like to be part of the team assisting the reopening of the site can you please complete the online survey at https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/WHPUPDATE.  

Kind Regards and stay safe

Graham Brant, County Commissioner


Neil Salter

County Chair