Outdoor Learning Service Recommendation | New

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County councilors are urged to approve, in principle, the redevelopment of the North Yorkshire outdoor residential learning site at Bewerley Park, which should allow the service to become more financially independent.

Proposals are due to be submitted to the executive on September 21, recommending more investment in outdoor learning services, provided the service can operate in a sustainable manner in the future and without any subsidy from council taxpayers. .

County Council recommends that upfront funding of £ 400,000 be sought to establish a business case and planning applications for Bewerley Park in the Yorkshire Dales, to bring it up to today’s standards and allow it to operate in a more commercial way. .

A review of our outdoor learning service began in February of this year, which involved collecting feedback from hundreds of adults, children, stakeholders, schools and other organizations.

The review took place as both sites were closed in accordance with government guidelines on residential travel during the pandemic. He examined the range of equipment and activities offered by the service; analyzed data on the use of the two sites and operating costs and involved full inspections of both sites.

The review concluded that the outdoor learning service has made a valuable contribution to our vision that all children in North Yorkshire are safe, happy, healthy and able to succeed, as outlined in the Being strategy. Young in North Yorkshire 2021-2024. It also contributes to the priority for more children and young people to lead “lifelong healthy lifestyles with improved social, emotional and mental health and resilience and reduced health inequalities”, as noted. in our 2021 to 2025 consulting plan.

Organizations that participated in the review said the service helps children and young people by improving their well-being and life skills, such as increased confidence and risk-taking management. A total of 81 percent of people who responded to the questionnaire said it helped participants learn to manage risk, 78 percent said it helped develop their emotional skills, and 63 percent said it helped improve appreciation of the natural environment.

Bewerley Park was built in the 1940s and is mostly made up of wooden huts. The design and layout of the current buildings do not meet the requirements of the functions of a modern outdoor education center, and the large dormitories limit the number of groups that can use the center at any one time.

The recommendations call for the redevelopment of Bewerley Park in principle so that it can bring the facilities up to standard in order to expand its clientele and increase bookings.

The proposals call for an initial investment of up to £ 400,000 for the outdoor learning service to develop an initial business case for the site.

It is also recommended that some minor upgrades be made to East Barnby’s facilities to ensure that they can still meet the needs of the department and the schools.

Cllr Patrick Mulligan, Executive Member for Education and Skills, said: “If the proposals are approved later this month, the service has the opportunity to thrive, but it needs to be commercially viable and be more financially independent. ‘it guarantees the investment necessary to bring the installations up to standard.

“The Outdoor Learning Service is a fantastic resource, which we know is appreciated by the people of North Yorkshires. Generations of people of all ages have fond memories of school trips where they took part in outdoor adventures and tried many activities for the first time, from caving to gorges walking and canoeing.

“But its future depends on its use.

“The two residential sites are set in spectacular countryside in Nidderdale, the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the North York Moors National Park near Whitby.

“We would like schools, charities and other groups to use them to their full potential. They can be used all year round, including in autumn and winter, during school holidays or on weekends. Whether it’s a school looking to book a weeklong residential trip; groups or individuals working with disadvantaged young people, or through charities or other organizations.

“If the investment is accepted, we still have to secure the future of the service by ensuring that it is used well, all year round, so that generations to come can continue to create lasting memories in the North countryside. Yorkshire. “

Cllr Stanley Lumley, Pateley Bridge Division member, said: “The recommendation to move forward and support both centers to become sustainable is very good news.

“Bewerley Park is a much appreciated facility. I was overwhelmed with concern from the local community and beyond when it was announced that the center was under review. I firmly believe that the outdoor learning service is essential for the physical and mental well-being of young people, especially after the crisis of youth well-being during confinement. It has been a rite of passage in North Yorkshire for many generations. The service must evolve on a commercial and sustainable basis, but we are moving forward on a positive basis. “

The report to be submitted to the executive on September 21 will recommend that an initial investment of £ 400,000 be approved to establish business plans for the service and move the plans forward until we can award a contract for the works.

Then the proposals will be returned to the members with the final costs of developing Bewerley Park.

In the meantime, both sites remain open for reservations. If you would like to talk to someone about organizing a course at the center, make a reservation or find out more about the outdoor learning service, you can visit our Outdoor Learning Service Website.


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