Arsonists wreck guides’ campsite

Facilities totally destroyed by the blaze at the campsite
Facilities totally destroyed by the blaze at the campsite

DEVASTATED guides have vowed to rebuild their campsite which was wrecked by arsonists.

The Woodlands Campsite on Old Hall Mill Lane in Atherton was destroyed when it was engulfed in flames.

The site’s main building which contained the sleeping area, activity room, kitchen and toilets were all wrecked in the blaze.

Valerie Connell, Division Leader and Chairman of the Woodlands site committee, said: “It’s upsetting to hear that the campsite has been destroyed in such a shocking way.

“Despite this, we’re already planning lots of ways to fund-raise to rebuild the facilities and to replace the equipment. In true guiding style, we’re determined that the campsite will be back next summer so we can continue to offer exciting opportunities.”

The site, which is leased by guides divisions in Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley is usually in regular use during the summer months, but luckily was empty at the time of the fire. Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers groups use Woodlands for meetings as well as camping, overnight sleepovers, games, outdoor cooking and team building activities.

Linzi Anderson, Leader of 1st Atherton Brownies group, said: “It’s important for girls to have the opportunity for these experiences outside their school and family lives. As ‘Snowy Owl’, I have a greater appreciation of how much girls have to gain from a facility like this.”

PC Andy Cook of Greater Manchester Police said: “We are treating this as a deliberate ignition. It has deprived the girls of a much-needed facility and caused a great deal of upset. I would appeal to anyone who has information to call us on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”