Oxfordshire Outdoors News

Welcome to Oxfordshire Outdoor news – highlighting Service wide events and other news


The recent Govt school closures means the Oxfordshire Outdoors centres are now closed. We will aim to reopen once until the emergency measures are lifted. If you would like to discuss your booking please email the respective centre.

Thanks for your understanding, stay safe


WE HAVE A LIMITED NUMBER OF VACANCIES FOR WINTER 2020 please get in touch for further information …….

Must read report ……

The recently published Outdoor Citizens Character and Resilience and the Outdoors report can be accessed on this link. A copy is also on our Useful Documents page, well worth reading.

Increasing occupancy …..

The work to open a new bedroom at Yenworthy is now complete and allows for an additional 8 beds. At Woodlands the Annex can be used for school bookings. Planning continues at Kilvrough


To new staff at Kilvrough: Trevor is the new Maintenance Officer and Pam the new Cook.


Alex H (Kilvrough) for his recent sea kayak crossing from Mumbles to the N Devon coast. It requires commitment and stamina, a great journey, well done

New articles

We have put together some  Character Education  template exercises, Try them out and let us now what you think.

Congrats to Kilvrough

in achieving their latest AALS revalidation, well done all

Congrats to …..

Ed Abbley (Kilvrough Manor) and Sean Hewlett (Yenworthy Lodge) who are now in post as Centre Manager and to Chris Pierce (Centre Manager Woodlands) who is now the Deputy Service Lead. Well done to all 3, our management structure is now in place. Onwards and upwards ….

Oxfordshire Outdoors going for growth …..

Plans are in place to increase the occupancy across all 3 centres. At Yenworthy we are constructing  a new bedroom and associated facilities; at Woodlands we are making some minor alterations to the Annex; at Kilvrough we will be converting the office into a bedroom. These works will happen during the next few months. Our aim is to provide greater flexibility for schools and groups.

Follow us on social ……

All 3 centres now have a social media presence on Twitter and Instagram with direct links at the foot of each web page. Please follow our work, thanks

Yenworthy GOLD ….

Congrats to Yenworthy for achieving their first AHOEC GOLD award. This validates the hard work and commitment to high quality displayed by all staff at the centre and is fantastic news. This means that all 3 Oxfordshire Outdoors centres now hold this prestigious award and confirms our One Service belief of high quality and consistency of provision, whichever centre you choose to book with. Excellent all round, come and see for yourselves!

Local media covers Gower ….

Gower and the Brecon Beacons featured strongly in a recent ITV Coast and Country episode. Of particular interest was the work of the Gower based organisation Surfability highlighting their outstanding work with people with disabilities and learning difficulties, operating mostly at Caswell Bay, Gower. Well worth a view ……

A very BIG congratulations to ….

Dan Thorne (Woodlands) in recognition of his contribution to the Thai Cave Rescue, July 2018. Dan, Chair, South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team, along with Gary Mitchell, Warden South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team, & Assistant Chair British Cave Rescue Council, recently received the The Wales Platinum Care Award 2018 which was widely reported in the Welsh media. Well done to Dan, Gary and the South & Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team


The BBC Countryfile programme showing the Children in Need Rambles that have taken place across the country featured some inspirational walks.  It highlighted the benefits the  ‘great outdoors’ brings to all of us. Brilliant stuff and please don’t forget to support.

Congrats to Yenworthy

Congrats to all at Yenworthy for their latest AALS revalidation inspection. The inspector commented on one area of development work with the Coastguard and RNLI as outstanding  and has asked to refer this as a model of good practice, great stuff, well done.


Finally they are here

It’s been a long wait but we now have 6 brand new minibuses across the Service and they  replace the older buses within the fleet. They  will make a real difference to our work. The next part of the challenge will be to replace the remaining 6, hopefully within the next 12 months. Watch this space!

Woodlands GOLD

Congratulations to Woodlands with their successful re-inspection for the AHOEC GOLD award. With Kilvrough in place and very soon Yenworthy, this validates the high level of service we offer across our Service, well done to all.

September newsletter

The September edition of our Service newsletter is now available.

New articles

Two new articles: Learning through adventure and Risk benefit: why we do it have been published on our Knowledge Base section, we hope you enjoy them

Through the looking glass  at Yenworthy…..

The installation is almost completed. Replacing the old wooden frames with shiny new white has been a considerable undertaking. It will provide protection against the elements well into the future as well as providing much needed insulation. It’s also had a massive impact on the Centre, giving it an uplift and  visually its quite a change. Check out the new look lounge, it’s certainly striking and is a huge difference to its former state. I’m sure our visitors to Yenworthy will appreciate the change.

Oxfordshire NCS

Its been a great month hosting the week 1 element of the Oxfordshire NCS programmes. Congratulations to the young people and staff for the way they faced the many challenges of this residential course. Personal development was clearly evident and we hope you are equally successful in the rest of your programmes. We look forward to seeing you return to an Oxfordshire Outdoors centre in the future.

Yenworthy windows

The installation of new windows at Yenworthy is underway and what a difference they are already making to the building, look at this pic to compare old and new. For our Yenworthy visitors it means no more drafts! We hope you like them, please let Yenworthy know.


To all schools and groups booking with  Oxfordshire Outdoors during the last academic year. Your support has been tremendous and we would like to wish you a relaxing summer break and look forward to seeing you all again very soon.

We now welcome Oxfordshire NCS groups for the next month and are really looking forward to working with this year’s courses. Let it roll ………

Minibus fleet

Great news, Oxfordshire Outdoors will soon be taking delivery of 6 new minibuses to supplement the existing fleet. Pics to follow once they are on site …….

New website page ….

We have launched a new website page Our knowledge base under the Information tab. The aim is for Oxfordshire Outdoors staff to share their thinking and passion for their work. We hope you find it useful

Good news for Yenworthy …..

We have received approval confirmation from Exmoor National Park Planning Authority for replacing the windows at the Centre. This is great news and means we can now begin to plan for the installation, exciting – watch this space for pics!

Swansea Bay news

Bad news for Swansea as the Govt announces its not going ahead with the Bay project https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-44589083 No doubt there will be lots of differing opinions. The impact on the local region would have been very significant, even more so for Kilvrough. Not to be!

IT glitch ……

Apologies if you have experienced an email bounce back recently. We have it all sorted so everything should now be running as normal for oxfordshireoutdoors.co.uk addresses. Thanks for your patience.

New carpets at Yenworthy ……

Following the winter damage we have replaced a number of the carpets at Yenworthy ……… it’s made a big difference and we hope our visitors  like them too!  Hopefully we will soon have news on a programme to replace windows at the Lodge, watch this space …..



The  June edition of our newsletter is now available, use the link or go direct to the Newsletter page

Important news from Groundwork South – May 2018

I am very pleased to confirm news that the Trustees of Groundwork South have agreed to integrate the Trust’s management structure with that of Groundwork London with immediate effect.

This is aimed at providing a stronger platform for the delivery of Groundwork’s projects and services to communities across the south of England.  Oxfordshire Outdoors is now in its second full year as part of Groundwork South and continues to provide high quality courses for schools and a wide range of other groups, so a case of business as usual.

Otter sighting

Check this out, footage of a recent otter sighting on one of our Gower beaches. Keep your eyes open next time you are down …….

The snow returns ….

Later  in March another heavy fall, along with high winds, again cut off access to Yenworthy. Let’s hope it doesn’t become an annual trend ….


Then the snow came …..

Unfortunately it meant that groups across all 3 centres had to return home early, it’s disappointing the key thing is we avoided any unnecessary epics! Thanks to all affected for your understanding. Yenworthy suffered the most, with roads cut off either side, it was impossible to get a group in. It suffered some flood damage which meant delaying opening by a further day. Fortunately we were able to enlist some mechanical help to assist with the snow clearing. A fantastic staff effort all round to ensure we were able to start up again so quickly, well done all

Oxfordshire Heads Conference

Kevin Jackson, Service Lead, attended the Oxon Heads Conference recently, a great event. Look out for some special offers, they will appear in Schools News and also in our newsletter

Website goes live

We are really pleased that our new website is now up and running. We hope you find it useful and we would really like to know your views too.

PM visits Woodlands

During August the Prime Minister, Teresa May, visited Woodlands to view the Oxfordshire NCS course taking place and talk to the young people participating. Great recognition for Woodlands, for Oxfordshire Outdoors and for Oxfordshire NCS. Well done to everyone involved.