Enabling young people to explore their world
Paul Allum, Campsite Warden at Bears Rails
04 May 2016
Established in 1937, after King Edward VIII gave his permission, Bears Rails Scout Campsite provides outdoor experiences for many visitors each year including the Scouts, Guides, Duke of Edinburgh's Award candidates and other explorers.
Bears Rails Scout Campsite, situated within the Deer Park of Windsor Great Park, offers visitors young and old the chance to enjoy natural surroundings, away from cars and commerce.
For many young visitors from the outskirts of London, the sight of the deer herd is something that never ceases to leave them in awe. The ability to hike from the campsite through the Park without coming across many cars is also something that they don’t usually get a chance to do. Up to 6,000 people take part in an International Jamboree for Scouts and Guides at Windsor Great Park every five years.
For many young visitors from the outskirts of London, the sight of the deer herd is something that never ceases to leave them in awe.”Paul Allum, Campsite Warden at Bears Rails
As Campsite Warden, I’ve worked closely with The Crown Estate team over the years to manage the campsite for the people who use it, reporting back to Windsor and Eton District Scout Council, the management committee for the campsite. In everything we do, we’re supported by local volunteers, whose efforts have helped us avoid the need to commercialise the site too much. So, today, Bears Rails continues to offer visitors a place where they can enjoy authentic natural surroundings, away from the commercial feel of many modern campsites.
Bears Rails is well known by word-of-mouth and many groups come back to us again and again. With the help of The Crown Estate, we make sure that campsite visitors are aware that they can access all that Windsor Great Park has to offer, from the deer herd, lake and forest hikes, to the many places of interest within walking distance. We also try to provide activities that don’t detract from the Park’s historic surroundings – pioneering, rafting and orienteering are popular. We’ve recently expanded activities to include a portable caving system and grass sledges, introducing more on-site opportunities.
The latest help from The Crown Estate will allow us to rebuild the toilet block, originally constructed back in the 1980s, so that we can provide disabled facilities and separate facilities for adults, as well as more up-to-date showers. This follows our recent completion of the new Dyson Hut, named after Sir Frederick Dyson.