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Annual Update 2020

Nestling in the foothills of the Lancashire Pennines, in Shaw, Dog Hill is a brilliant local asset situated on the edge of the moors, perfect for walking and other outdoor activities. Our Centre offers activities to young people from across North Manchester and beyond.
We are aiming to improve the infrastructure of the site (access / reclamation of footpaths / creating defined tent pitches) giving Oldham a fit-for purpose, accessible outdoor activity centre which delivers opportunities for young people to achieve a greater breadth and depth of learning and enjoyment than can be delivered from normal weekly scout group activities.

  • Somewhere people can escape from their
    urban surroundings and encounter a diversity
    of wild plants and animals
  • A destination for school groups to come and
    explore nature and the diverse habitats that the
    site offers
  • Somewhere children are safe to have fun and
    play with friends with no risk of harm –
    providing the parents with peace of mind

Our vision is that Dog Hill activity centre and
campsite will be:

  • A site where children can have fun and learn about
    their heritage and gain skills
  • A base to explore the surrounding countryside for

    walks, canoeing and climbing.

  • A site that can be camped on safely with all the


  • A place to learn new skills in a safe environment
  • Somewhere that offers peace and tranquillity, and meets local people’s recreational and educational


  • Biodiverse where nature is allowed to thrive without the risk of development

    Our future plans include:

  • Keep the bunkhouse in regular use through the setting up of an explorers unit to be
    based from this location on a permanent basis
  • Develop several circular hiking routes from the bunkhouse and actively market the
    offer to scouts and explorers, local DoE participating schools.
  • Archery range / rifle range / 5 a side football field
  • Bush craft training base
  • Centre for district outdoor events, group camps, district events days, bonfire night,
    bush craft, backwoods cooking, dark skies events etc.

Dog Hill Scout Camp a self-financing Site

Raising £38,513.09 spent on developing the site since 2005.

5 Year Plan (Draft) (items in green completed)

3 Month Plan

  1. to constitute the Dog Hill Committee as discussed with last year with the leaders of the expedition hike.
  2. Re introduce the Permit to Camp form, which has to be sanctioned by the District commissioner and set up the visitors book
  3. Repair the mower & strimmer.
  4. Remove all scrap from site. (5 tip trips)
  5. Fit roof to Porta Cabin so tools & equipment can stay dry. (Wood etc acquired & taken up to site) Half completed, finish October.
  6. Acquire quote for putting in water pipe from stream. ( the £14.000,00 quoted a few years back to get water from the road, too expensive Would need re quoting and would need external support as would stream and purifying. As like the past 17 years, I will continue to take barrels of water to the site.
  7. Maintain mowing & strimming programme. Weed killing
  8. Host the expedition hike.
  9. Re-Launch as a Bunkhouse/Activity centre not a camp site. (people can camp but aim camping at scouts-explorers-network and day activities at Beavers & Cubs)
  10. DBS all current Volunteers. (half done)
  11. New treasurer to change electric tariff.
  12. Fence paint the picnic tables
  13. Continue to develop the Archery Range & 5 a side football field.
  14. Drop the small fire circle to 2’. And fire cement it. Surplus rocks to go in dry stone wall in car park, ashes to be spread amongst trees, Metal to be put in scrap bag. Remove the seating rocks from around fire.
  15. Take up carpet tiles in Bunkhouse & replace with new.
  16. Restack the wood pile.
  17. Repair cargo net. (Vandalised)
  18. Replace Kitchen Light.
  19. Zip Line ( half completed) Landing platforms to be built out of donated decking. Ground to be levelled off and Donated crash mats to be laid.
  20. Lay concrete on the road. 10 yards done. Pick up donated Cement Mixer from clitherow. Transport to site 70 miles.
  21. Replace Bunkhouse Lights with donated LED.

6 Month Plan

  1. Put on a Series of Activities Aimed at Re-Popularising the Site that are low cost and low financial risk but provide maximum enjoyment for the young members. There are many badge ideas that can be done in our outdoor space at dog hill. Our young members love the space we have so once the badgework is out of the way they can play while the leaders relax! Continue the whippet planting by cubs & scouts.

1a. DIY Badge – Birdboxes – we can use the reclaimed wood we get donated to create the rspb template birdbox.

1b. Bushcraft. many options available

1c. Dam building. down in the bottom of the valley

1d. Hammocking – very popular at the moment and the wooded area is ideal

1e Continue the whippet planting by cubs & scouts.

1f. Paint Bunkhouse door.

1g. Erect the 2nd Trespass sign.

1h. Put up dummy CCTV cameras.

  1. Water, Its imperative to have clean water on site and we should Aim to have this functional for the start of the 2020 camping season.
  2. Sanitation. Septic needs fixing or replacing
  3. Re-marketing Reputation. The historical bad PR from District has to stop many of the new leaders only opinion of dog hill is what they have heard from old leaders based on their worst experiences over the last 100 years. Get the newer leaders on site in a positive situation. Encourage Oldham District groups to commit to at least 1 camp a year to provide the funds to develop the site.
  4. Surround compound with Reed fencing and plant Ivy.
  5. Contact District approved past Campers and hirers to secure bookings for 2020. this will give us a safe budget to work with
  6. Review Pricing – Scouting is exceptionally cheap compared with the other activities our young people have access to. Introduce discounts for hard up groups.
  7. Focus maintenance on the core of the site, only undertaking new projects when the labour is in place.
  8. Reach out to external organisations to get work done, EG Community Payback, Princes Trust, Groundwork ETC

Year 1 (2020)

  1. Put on badges above – 2 groups have already agreed to try – we will use these as tests and once we have done it once and got some pics it should be easier to market it to district/county and beyond.
  2. Market the site as a bunkhouse activity centre using historical bookers.
  3. Keep on top of existing Maintenance ensuring we focus on the core.
  4. Get a grant to replace internals of toilet block.
  5. Construct a semi permanent large sheltered area to weatherproof the bookings
  6. Build links with the owners of brushes clough reservoir with a view to have canoeing. We had permission from NWWA.
  7. Lay 2 concrete tracks on road to carpark.

Year 2-5 (2021-25)

  1. Build on bookings year on year by maintaining links with successful bookings Aiming to generate repeat bookings for the same activity every 2 years as the kids in the beavers and cubs sections will all be new.
  2. Re-visit pricing annually ensuring our income covers our expenditure with a view to re-invest every penny into the site
  3. Switch to renewable energy – make a big deal of it with the young members and Local press and if we switch power to solar we would be entirely self sufficient for water and energy with only servicing costs to consider.
  4. Create more Camping areas
  5. In 2024 the Dog Hill Committee should review the progress made since 2019 with a view to making a recommendation to the district exec on its own future.development

Beyond 2025

  1. Look to increase the Land holding making strategic land purchases to improve the value of the site, this could incorporate existing structures to improve our building portfolio.
  2. Build a Barn – A Large “Barn/HayLoft” type construction should get planning permission and  we could put all the mowers, tractors and Activity equipment inside alongside a climbing wall – high ropes loft,
  3. Get a lottery grant to replace the old bunkhouse with a bigger more modern structure.





Ted’s Story

The story follows a young person’s journey through the movement, also showing how his family gets involved, including how his father becomes an adult volunteer. We hope it will raise awareness of Scouts as a way to gain skills for life and encourage more adults to volunteer too.


Training Team Newsletter Issue 3 – July to September 2019

Details of all upcoming training courses are shown on the last page, including Young Leader Training and Fast Track 9.  But we are also putting on sessions on things such as “How to complete a DBS for someone” and “How to make the most of OSM”

Following responses from when I sent out Issues 1 and 2 I did inform the relevant Districts to remove those of you who stated you were no longer involved in Scouting so I am hoping you don’t get it this time 😊.  However, there may now be more of you no longer involved.  If this applies to you please let me know and I can arrange to get your details removed from the system.

One of the frequent responses I got from the last two newsletters, was that people getting these emails weren’t leaders, they were parent helpers.  You will be receiving this email as you are down as an Occasional Helper with the group/section and will have gone through the DBS process, therefore your details are on the system and this email goes to every adult registered within Greater Manchester North.  Please don’t panic and think we are going to force you into attending training, however if you feel you would like to take take on a different role, such as Sectional Assistant, please let your Section Leaders know and they can point you in the right direction.

Further to this, if you hear anyone saying they haven’t received the email, can you please advise them to check their email address on Compass.  I know we have over 130 leaders registered on the system without email addresses!

Stacey White

Course Administrator



Training Newsletter Issue 2

The Regional Inclusion Team want to know what training on Inclusion you would find helpful. They have put together a short survey (it really is a 20 second job!) asking what training you want and what area you are in. Click on the link below and make sure your voice is heard! The survey will close at the end of May and they will then arrange training in the most high priority areas.

Inclusion Survey:

Newsletter Download


High Flying Explorer Scouts

Oldham Xtreme Explorers, based at St Thomas’ Moorside took to the skies 6000feet above the forest of Bowland. Our young people worked on the Air Activities Stage 5 badge with their flying instructors and then each were catapulted into the air for their first flying lesson.

Fourteen very nervous explorer scouts waited for their turn but once they had been up, taken control of the glider and retuned vis a smooth landing they were all eager to do it again.

What a great adventure for these young people and our thanks go out to all the instructors who gave up their time for Oldham’s young people.

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