I am writing to update you on our work to develop a new, modern and much needed Scout HQ on our Priory Road site. We continue to carry out fundraising activities and have recently appointed a professional grant bid writer who will be coordinating our larger grant applications (so fingers crossed there)!
We have recently completed the installation of a camp fire circle, which has seen a few uses in recent months, it is great to see our young people enjoying an open fire, each other’s company and I must admit a few kilos of toasted marshmallows!
We have welcomed various visitors to the site including Members and the new Chief Executive Officer of Suffolk County Council, who have expressed their support. Recently a test pit was dug to review the soil type and requirements for the footings for the main building, Building Control have inspected the test pit and we have been given advice on the next steps. We have also submitted further documentation to the District Planning Department to have some of the planning conditions discharged.
Environmental work recently undertaken on site includes the clearance and excavation of the pond, creation of a wildlife corridor, demolition and removal of the old stable concrete pad and service box. Over the coming months we will continue to develop the site so that we have the maximum and positive environmental impact possible, carefully balancing the needs of the wildlife and those of the young people that are using the site.
Works will include planting over 500 native tree and hedgerow saplings, blue bells and seeding a wildflower meadow fringe to the site, all of which will enhance the site and increase biodiversity. There will also be some necessary tree work, for health and safety reasons. We will also be ‘constructing’ a nature activity area around the pond with a safety fence, pond dipping decking area, installation of a shed to store equipment in and lining of the pond, we hope that water will soon fill the current hole.
I have outlined a few other tasks and projects that we hope to have completed over the winter on the next page. I am grateful for the continued positive support for our project from the& village and wider community.
Group Scout Leader
On Saturday the 1st December between 10am and 2pm we will be holding an action day at the new headquarters field, to work off that first advent chocolate.
The following activities will be undertaken by our volunteers, young people and their parents:
We will also be erecting and unveiling our new HQ signage at the site and we will have a bonfire to burn the pile of branches, tree stumps that are on the field on that day. We will limit the number of cars to the site but residents are advised that there will be some movement along Priory Road during the day.
In the top left hand corner of our field, we will be constructing a small outdoor chapel and reflective space, a wooden alter with four pews will be installed this area. It will be fenced and gated and will be planted with fragrant plants, including roses, honeysuckle and buddleias. This will create a quiet space close to our nearest neighbours in Priory Close.
When the site was gifted to the Scout Group, we found an agricultural trailer in the undergrowth. This was removed by our friends at Cowham’s who have been working on it and we are very excited to have recently seen the trailer which has been renovated into a shiny outdoor stage. The trailer-stage will be returned to the site in the New Year.
The Lottery ‘communities’ fund’ are currently reviewing an application we have submitted for £10 000 worth of challenging obstacle course style equipment to be installed at the site as a trim trail. We hope to hear a positive outcome early in the New Year and assuming we are successful the equipment that will include balance beams, monkey bars, rope swing and more will be installed shortly after that. This will be an exciting additional facility for the Scout Group that will not only encourage play, but will be used to support communication skills, physical development and teamwork. Childhood obesity is a national concern at the moment; the scouting movement has an important role in getting our young people, out, about and active. National research has shown that young people who attend scouts are around 60% less likely to go on to be overweight. We want to positively and actively improve this even further, facilities like this will support us in our work to help keep the nations next generation fit and healthy.