Future-proofing at Barrwood

At work on the Barrwood improvements
At work on the Barrwood improvements

A £100,000 project saw trees and rocks blasted away to reinstate a road and at the same time 400 metres of water pipes were laid by hand at Barwood.

The aim of the massive scheme was to improve access and open up areas of the 100 acre Scout campsite.

It is the latest upgrade to the area which has helped in the development of hundreds of thousands of young people.

The newest work includes a new footpath, opening up of fire places for campsites, composting toilet floors relaid and the building of a deer-proof fence and gates built.

Sandy Jack, chairman of the Forth Region Executive Scout Council and former chairman of the Barrwood Trust, is the man behind the road project.

During his time as the trust’s chairman Sandy oversaw the building of the barn and the conversion of the swimming pool into a caving system.

He said: “Barrwood was and is a brilliant scheme. Sir Ian Bolton was a very generous man. He was kind and believed in Scouting.

“The expert’s didn’t seem to think the road upgrade was going to be too difficult. They said we could use the bedrock as the road.

“It is four metres wide with a culvert and drain. We have a covered area for dropping off equipment and a turning circle.”

It means the top half of the wood has been opened up, allowing overworked sites near to the main entrance to be rested.

Hamish Scott, chairman of the Barrwood, Trust said: “We are here to preserve Scouting and the wood.

“All trustees have a scouting background. As trustees our philosophy is to keep the wood for future generations.”

Four years ago there were 1500 users of the site from outside the Falkirk district. Two years later that has doubled to 3000.

Hamish said: “Leaving a field fallow for two or three years allows for new growth and extends the life of the site.

“Barrwood started by being just for Falkirk groups, then it was extended to Stirling and now we take in Scouts from everywhere.

“That’s why we need to be careful with the original sites but also put in place new ones. We are here to make sure Barrwood is here for the Scouts of the future.”