Outward Bound Trust calls for better guidance on outdoor education as lockdown eases

  • Video report by Hannah McNulty

As England prepares for an easing of lockdown measures next week, one of the country's leading outdoor education providers is calling again for better guidance from the Government for their industry.

The Outward Bound Trust, on the shores of Ullswater, would normally host thousands of children in any year, but under the current plans overnight stays are set to be severely restricted. It's something the Trust says will stop them providing inspirational experiences.

Chief Executive Nick Barrett said: "The Government have said from May 17th we can resume residential work which is our main offering really, but it's going to be super compromised with social distancing and so we can't operate on the scale we desperately want too."

Credit: Outward Bound Trust

Around 9,000 children per year would visit this centre pre-Covid - learning outdoor skills but also team building, problem solving and forging new friendships. 

The outdoor education sector has previously warned about potential job losses such is the cost of being closed for months and offering overnight stays. They say the income from overnight stays would help them recover.

Nick Continued: "There's been a lot of talk about kids missing out academically, but actually the catch up curriculum is here.

"It's doing what we do with young people; building their confidence, building their resilience, giving them an adventure, allowing them to have some fun after all this miserable period we have been through."

The Department for Education told us "Throughout the pandemic we have kept our guidance on both residential and non-residential visits under review, in line with Public Health England advice."