Starting on December 1, Cornwall Council will enter into a consultation about the future of the Cornwall Outdoors service, which runs outdoor education centres in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Cornwall Outdoors is part of Cornwall Council. It provides opportunities for outdoor education and learning to schools and youth groups from sites at Delaware, Carnyorth, Porthpean, and a summer camp at Pelistry on the Isles of Scilly.
The centres are primarily used by schools between April 1 and September 30, with additional business generated mainly at the Porthpean Centre from youth groups and local families during the summer holiday period, and outside of peak times.
However, like other local authorities, Cornwall Council is facing huge financial challenges as a result of the ongoing pandemic and increased demand for adult social care services.
Cornwall Outdoors provides outdoor learning to schools and youth groups
Cornwall Council portfolio holder for Children and Families, councillor Barbara Ellenbroek, said: “The council’s financial circumstances call upon us to make some really difficult decisions.
“I understand how concerning this announcement will be for service users, but the simple truth is the cost of running all four Cornwall Outdoors centres is now greater than anyone could have predicted.
“There is no statutory obligation for the council to provide outdoor learning, and so the consultation will engage with schools, residents, stakeholders and other organisations to find alternative delivery models and new providers.
“I am confident those providers can be found, and that where possible outdoor learning in Cornwall can be maintained for future generations.”
Following the consultation all responses will be considered, and a report will be presented to the Council’s Cabinet in February 2022 to help inform an alternative solution that where possible will maintain and maximise the offer of outdoor learning for children and young people across Cornwall.
You can take part in the consultation from December 1 by filling in a short questionnaire at letstalk.cornwall.gov.uk. The final date for submissions is midnight, January 9.
Article published on November 26, 2021