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Launch of Chirdon Head Expedition Centre

Photo by Dan Aziz

We are proud to unveil our wonderful, new expedition centre near Kielder. 

The new Chirdon Head Expedition Centre will offer a fabulous, residential environment for fun and challenging outdoor activities and benefit hundreds of young people from South East Northumberland – as well as other similar groups who will be offered the facility at a reasonable cost.

As a measure of its importance to young people in Northumberland, Chirdon Head Expedition Centre was officially opened by HRH Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex on Friday 26th April.

A feasibility study in South East Northumberland highlighted a lack of suitable outdoor facilities for young people. To help address this, we were granted a 25 year lease on a disused cottage (now The Chirdon Head Expedition Centre) in an acre of ground in Kielder Forest – set up via consultation with Forestry England.

The charity Aiming High provided a grant for the first phase of the building work and on site activities are now complete, with a bike track, archery range, team games area and a climbing wall to follow. The main living area has 20 beds, toilets, showers, a kitchen and dining room, a dry room and power supplies from carbon free sources. 

Planned activities including walking and expedition skills to challenge participants’ camp craft skills.  There will be opportunities for mountain biking trekking and courses to improve technical ability and physical strength. Young people here will also be able to try kayaking and canoeing, learning agility and water safety.

Stone walls and land on site, nearby forest areas and Kielder Water itself will be used for conservation tasks and environmental studies and some land around the building will be a wild camp area with 20 tent pitch spaces.

Inside the centre, there will be alternative programme spaces and meeting rooms, an education suite, café and workshop areas to deliver targeted work.

Rob Hall, Executive Manager of CVYP said: “All of us at CVYP are so pleased to have this amazing outdoor facility now open for our participants. A residential setting with outdoor activities is the ideal, fun and relaxed environment to challenge individuals of all abilities in a good way and encourage young people to achieve goals they never would have imagined possible, building confidence and esteem.  We are tremendously grateful for all the help we have been given to make this project possible.

A host of trusts have supported the development in particular The Sage Foundation and CEO Sage Plc Steve Hare. 

Posted on: May 9th, 2019 by Katie Appleyard

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