£1 million bid to save Forest of Dean Wilderness Centre

Tony Gosling tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Sat Feb 25 12:28:55 GMT 2012

£1 million bid to save Wilderness Centre
Friday, February 17, 2012

CHILDREN spelled out 'Save the Wilderness' in 
giant letters to mark the launch of a £1million plea.
Friends of the Wilderness Centre launched their 
public appeal yesterday to raise the colossal sum 
and buy the closed outdoor education centre near Mitcheldean.

 From left; Trevor Roach, Martin Bragg, Stephanie Boocock and Brian Bennett
It was shut by Gloucestershire County Council in 
August because it simply could no longer afford to invest in it.
The Friends, backed by the likes of Baroness Jan 
Royall of Blaisdon, have been given a first 
refusal agreement by the council, provided they 
can stump up the cash by the end of March.
They plan to reinstate the centre as one of the 
country's leading outdoor classrooms.
Trevor Roach, who is leading the bid, said the 
cash should be enough to buy the centre and pay for vital refurbishments.
"We've been negotiating with the council since 
before Christmas, initially we hoped they could 
lease it to us but they weren't prepared to do that," he said.
"The decision to sell the centre shocked a lot of 
people and we want to keep it open.
"Young people now are increasingly worried about 
the environment but there are less and less 
centres like this where they are able to learn about it."
He added: "We have been given until the end of 
the financial year to present our bid to the council.
"We've taken all the obvious routes of applying 
for grants, approaching corporations, trust funds 
etc. But we want it to be for the community and 
owned, in part, by the community.
"That's why we're asking the public for their pledges.
"Small pledges are very welcome but we also know 
there will be a lot of people out there with very 
fond memories of trips to the Wilderness Centre 
who maybe can help us in a larger fashion too."
The Friends are only looking for pledges of 
support at the moment, which will be called in if 
the council accepts their bid.
Andrew McCartney, programme director at the 
county council, said: "We're continuing talks 
with the Friends of the Wilderness Centre group over the future of this site.
"We know they are keen to take over the centre 
and we are awaiting their business plan, which we 
will consider carefully before making any decisions."
The site is currently occupied by another group, 
activists called Protect the Wilderness.
They have been told to leave the site by the 
council but say they will only do so if the Friends' bid is successful.
Pledge your support to the effort at www.friendsofthewildernesscentre.org
+44 (0)7786 952037
"Capitalism is institutionalised bribery."

"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic 
poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung

Fear not therefore: for there is nothing covered 
that shall not be revealed; and nothing hid that 
shall not be made known. What I tell you in 
darkness, that speak ye in the light and what ye 
hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. Matthew 10:26-27

Die Pride and Envie; Flesh, take the poor's advice.
Covetousnesse be gon: Come, Truth and Love arise.
Patience take the Crown; throw Anger out of dores:
Cast out Hypocrisie and Lust, which follows whores:
Then England sit in rest; Thy sorrows will have end;
Thy Sons will live in peace, and each will be a friend.

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