Campaign to save outdoor centre used by Leeds Scouts

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A petition to save an outdoor centre used by south Leeds Scouts has received more than 800 signatures.

Aldwark Activity Centre in North Yorkshire provides mainly water-based activities for schools and youth organisations.

But last week it was revealed that the owners, Central Yorkshire Scout Council, will be closing the site at the end of the year.

Now volunteers at the activity centre, who call themselves the crew, have started an online petition to “save Aldwark for the scouts”.

One of them, Katie Bentley, said: “We are trying to get as much support and awareness about this as possible.

“This centre means so much to so many people and the crew are not letting it go without a fight.

“Over the past three years a lot of money has been put in to Aldwark to improve the boat house and crew accommodation.

“The crew have put in a lot of work to help rebuild the boat house and maintain the camp site. The new boat house is only in its second season. It’s such a waste of so many volunteers time and efforts if Aldwark is to close.”

The centre opened in 1967 and has been very important to Scouts across Yorkshire, including Morley, Gildersome and Drighlington.

In 2010 it was visited by adventurer and Scouts ambassador Bear Grylls.

Scouts spokesman Simon Carter said: “Aldwark absorbs huge amounts of resources that restrict our ability to deliver exciting programmes across the County.

“It is a tough decision to exit a much-loved centre, but we strongly believe that what we are doing will ultimately allow more of our young members to enjoy more outdoor activities.”

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