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02nd August 2018

Berkshire Scouts brave the bog to forge path through Englefield Estate woodland

Scouts from Burghfield have lived up to their reputation as stalwarts of the community, while proving that a little mud doesn’t do anyone any harm, by helping to transform an impassable swamp in the Englefield Estate woodland into a path.

Around 80 members of 1st Burghfield and Sulhamstead Scout Group assisted the Estate’s forestry team over the course of three evenings in June to drain a section of track on the edge of Wokefield and Mortimer commons, which had become like a boggy “quagmire”.

The spot is popular with walkers and horse riders who, thanks to the hard work of the Falcon, Hawk and Eagle Scout troops, no longer have to skirt round the bog, but are enjoying a clearer, drier path through the woods.

Always on the look-out for the next community orientated challenge, when the Estate’s Forestry Manager Richard Edwards called on the Scouts for a helping hand, they were happy to help.

The adventurous youngsters embraced the challenge – and the mud – helping to dig a channel and lie a pipe to drain the area before covering it with several tonnes of stones.

The project will count towards their World Challenge badge, awarded for work in the community.

Scout leader Stuart Flower, said: “The Estate team is really supportive of the Scout Group and try and involve us in their ongoing countryside management work wherever possible, giving us the opportunity to do our bit for the community.

“It was like a quagmire before,” he continued. “The Scouts got stuck into the task and had an enjoyable time doing the work, while gaining a real sense of community.”

Burghfield community members were full of praise for the Scouts, one taking to Facebook to say how fantastic their work was and that they were stunned with the results. They explained that even their ponies (who hate bogs too!) were happy with the new pathway.

Many others thanked the youngsters for their hard work and expressed how impressed they were with all that was done.

Richard Edwards added: “We were so impressed with all of the Scouts hard work, they really got stuck in and we’re so grateful for their help. I hope the skills they learnt will not only help towards their World Challenge badge but will be helpful in the future too.”