A NEW Forest Activity Centre has celebrated its strongest year since Covid.

Avon Tyrrell Outdoor Centre has welcomed over 27,000 visitors to its site in Bransgore. 

Avon Tyrrell also saw nearly 17,000 young people enjoy its inclusive learning activities. 

UK Youth director of outdoor learning, David Watts, said: “Young People sit at the heart of our work at Avon Tyrrell and our experience, learn and develop model ensures we support personal development on every visit.

"We believe experiential outdoor learning gives young people the chance to develop life skills, including improved communication, motivation, teamwork and resilience, and building character."

The centre, operated by UK Youth, is a leading outdoor venue dedicated to the development of young people which covers 65 acres. 

UK Youth has also been selected as the delivery partner for the second phase of the Adventures Away from Home Fund (AAFHF). 

AAFHF is a governmental scheme from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport which intends to provide £1.5 million. 

It also aims to provide 8,500 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. 

Ndidi Okezie OBE, UK Youth chief officer, said: “Opportunities for young people to have access to nature and experience outdoor learning are vital for their personal, social and educational development. 

 “Outdoor learning helps young people build confidence, get out of their comfort zone and develop key leadership and life skills – as well as improving their mental health and reducing behavioural issues.”   

This year saw UK Youth receive a royal seal of approval, when it welcomed HRH Princess Royal, patron of UK Youth, in October to launch its new fundraising appeal. 

The Avon Tyrrell Capital Appeal aims to modernise and expand the space and create more opportunities for disadvantaged young people to enjoy outdoor learning experiences. 

Aiming to raise £6.4 million to restore the original manor house, alongside plans for an experimental learning, and sports hall which is hoped to contain a small indoor climbing wall.