Cuffley Camp to reopen after outdoor education firm buys lease

PUBLISHED: 15:52 29 June 2018 | UPDATED: 16:27 29 June 2018

Resident agent at Hatfield House Oliver Middlemiss hands the keys over to  Cuffley Camp Outdoor Centre to  Nigel Miller, chief executive officer of new leaseholders the Active Learning Group. Picture: Danny Loo

Resident agent at Hatfield House Oliver Middlemiss hands the keys over to Cuffley Camp Outdoor Centre to Nigel Miller, chief executive officer of new leaseholders the Active Learning Group. Picture: Danny Loo

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

The future of Cuffley Camp as an outdoor education centre has been secured today – seven months after funding from Herts County Council was withdrawn.

Ken Maynard, second from right, on the first Nobel School visit to Cuffley Camp in 1962 with his wife, the school's headmaster Leslie Rose and teacher Margaret Boosey (later Mrs Peach). Picture: Ian PayneKen Maynard, second from right, on the first Nobel School visit to Cuffley Camp in 1962 with his wife, the school's headmaster Leslie Rose and teacher Margaret Boosey (later Mrs Peach). Picture: Ian Payne

Active Learning Group has bought the lease of the site, which was established in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War and has seen thousands of pupils across Herts enjoy outdoor activities there.

In November last year the county council announced its plans to withdraw funding after breaking the conditions of its lease, with a 9,000-strong petition to save Cuffley Camp Outdoor Centre not enough to change County Hall’s mind when the decision was made later the same month due to the costs involved.

But today, Active Learning Group’s chief executive officer Nigel Miller was handed the keys to the site by Oliver Middlemiss – resident land agent at landowners Hatfield House.

“It was always intended that Cuffley Camp should continue to operate as an outdoor education centre, so I’m delighted that we were able to secure a partnership with such an experienced team,” said Mr Middlemiss.

Cuffley Camp Outdoor Centre has been empty and unused for over a year now. Picture: Danny LooCuffley Camp Outdoor Centre has been empty and unused for over a year now. Picture: Danny Loo

“We are confident in the ability of Active Learning Group, with their vast experience and knowledge, to deliver excellence in outdoor education for local children.”

Mr Miller said: “We passionately believe that children should be actively immersed in the learning process and in turn, encourage self-assurance and character development in young people. We want kids to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in and explore the outside world to build their creativity, confidence and resilience.

“All of this we commit to provide the local community’s children as new leaseholders of Cuffley. Active Learning Group is 100 per cent committed to rebuild Cuffley so that it may be enjoyed for many more future generations.”

The children’s outdoor adventure company expect Cuffley Camp – situated in the south east of the county, not far from Cuffley and Northaw – to reopen in the summer of 2019 after an investment of more than £1 million.

Cuffley Camp Outdoor Centre, which was set up after the Second World War. Picture: Danny LooCuffley Camp Outdoor Centre, which was set up after the Second World War. Picture: Danny Loo

The firm plan to hold a launch party and are encouraging the public to share their stories, photos and other memorabilia to mark the occasion by emailing lucy@fearlesspr.co.uk.

Mr Miller added: “Our mission is to give local children the opportunity to enjoy learning, being active and form new friendships at Cuffley.

“In 2019, Cuffley will be reborn. With the community’s help, we can capture and learn from all the fantastic collective memories of old and use them to build new ones for many generations to come!”

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