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Exciting time ahead for UK Youth’s Avon Tyrrell Outdoor Activity Centre

8 February 2024

  • Blog

Avon Tyrrell Outdoor Activity Centre, UK Youth’s outdoor learning venue dedicated to the development of young people, is looking to build on the success of more than 75 years of experience with a packed programme over the coming months, including hosting hundreds more of its popular educational visits and family breaks. 

The centre, located between Burley and Bransgore in the New Forest, offers educational visits, family breaks and days out, featuring activities such as archery, bushcraft, canoeing, climbing, abseiling, high ropes, orienteering and mountain biking.

Youngsters enjoying outdoor learning at Avon Tyrrell.
Youngsters enjoying outdoor learning at Avon Tyrrell.

UK Youth has been selected as the delivery partner for the second phase of the Adventures Away from Home Fund. Led by the experienced outdoor learning leadership team based at Avon Tyrrell and in partnership with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the new £1.5 million, England-wide fund aims to provide 10,000 under-represented young people, aged 11-18 – or up to 25 for those with special educational needs and/or disabilities – with bursaries to take part in outdoor learning. It is designed to allow under-represented young people to take part in a variety of outdoor learning experiences that utilise the natural environment to support their personal development through connections with others and nature. 

Experiential outdoor learning gives young people the chance to develop life skills, including improved communication, motivation, teamwork and resilience, and building character

David Watts, UK Youth Director of Outdoor Learning

David Watts, UK Youth Director of Outdoor Learning, said: “The outdoor learning team based at Avon Tyrrell see daily how adventures away from home and outdoor engagement supports young people’s personal development.  

“However, far too often barriers to participating in outdoor opportunities disproportionately affect certain groups of young people. UK Youth’s aim is to change that. The AAfH Fund will ensure funding is provided to allow underrepresented young people to experience fully accessible outdoor learning.  

“Avon Tyrrell supports equitable access for all young people and is proud to be a leader in the use of outdoor learning to transform the lives of young people and communities. Young people sit at the heart of our work at Avon Tyrrell and our experience, learn and develop framework ensures we support personal development on every visit, be it one of our popular educational visits or a family break or day out.

“We are open to all and firmly believe experiential outdoor learning gives young people the chance to develop life skills, including improved communication, motivation, teamwork and resilience, and building character.”

David Watts, UK Youth Director of Outdoor Learning
David Watts, UK Youth Director of Outdoor Learning.

UK Youth has also unveiled exciting plans to improve Avon Tyrrell. It is aiming to raise £6.4m to restore the original manor house and improve its environmental footprint, which was built in 1891, alongside plans for an experiential learning and sports hall which will be available for the local community to access. A planning application has now been submitted to the New Forest National Park Authority seeking permission for the development.

UK Youth is a leading charity with a vision that all young people are equipped to thrive and empowered to contribute at every stage of their lives. With an open network of more than 8,000 youth organisations and nation partners; UK Youth reaches more than four million young people across the UK and is focused on unlocking youth work as the catalyst of change that is needed now more than ever. To find out more, visit ukyouth.org

UK Youth is involved in a range of programmes designed to help young people thrive, such as outdoor learning, physical literacy, social action and employability, including Hatch, a youth employability programme run in partnership with KFC. For more on UK Youth’s programmes, see ukyouth.org/what-we-do/programmes

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