Staff at a New Forest activity centre are celebrating 2023 after helping thousands of young people experience the benefits of outdoor learning.

Avon Tyrrell Outdoor Centre welcomed almost 17,000 people to its site in Bransgore this year – its highest number since before the coronavirus pandemic.  

The centre, operated by national charity UK Youth, is a leading outdoor learning venue dedicated to the development of young people.

It 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. 

Operating on the principles of experience, learn and develop, it offers educational visits, family breaks and days out, featuring activities such as archery, bushcraft, canoeing, climbing, abseiling, high ropes, orienteering and mountain biking.

David Watts, UK Youth director of outdoor learning, 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.

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

He continued: “As 2023 draws to a close, it is a perfect opportunity to reflect on another wonderful at Avon Tyrrell. 

“Seeing the joy on the faces of the thousands of young people who have engaged in our activities many of whom will never have had the chance to experience outdoor learning beforehand, and often achieving, supported by our thoughtful experienced staff, more than they thought they could – makes it all worthwhile.  

“Thank you to our expert outdoor learning team for their hard work ensuring another successful year of making memories that will last a lifetime for our visitors.”  

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Ndidi Okezie OBE, UK Youth chief executive officer, added: “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.”