Princess Anne and Nigel Mansell visit Avon Tyrrell, near Bransgore, for launch of refurb project
PRINCESS Anne visited a New Forest activity centre alongside a Formula 1 legend to mark the launch of a £6.4m refurb project
The Princess Royal accompanied Nigel Mansell, president of UK Youth, to Avon Tyrrell at Bransgore, in her capacity as patron of the charity, which runs the site
They were joined by the chair of trustees David Thomlinson and the charity’s CEO Ndidi Okezie to watch youngsters taking part in a number of activities including the tree top trail, climbing wall and various problem-solving tasks.
UK Youth is hoping to raise £6.4 million to invest in an Experiential Learning Sports Centre at Avon Tyrrell, as well as restoring of the original manor house built in 1891, which was put into a trust by the Manners family in 1946 for use by the “youth of the nation”, as UK Youth became the custodians of the site.
Since then, UK Youth has offered outdoor learning opportunities for young people providing a facility where they can stay and explore in the woodland setting. However, the manor house now requires significant repair and modernisation.
The charity wants to restore the manor house and build indoor badminton and football courts, a new climbing wall, an indoor archery range and a new café and kitchen, as well as an events space and conference centre.
The Avon Tyrrell Capital Appeal funds will help make the site more inclusive and allow more young people to visit and enjoy outdoor learning opportunities.
Ms Okezie said: “We are absolutely delighted to have welcomed our patron Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal, to Avon Tyrrell – her continued support for our work in delivering life-changing experiences for young people across the United Kingdom is unwavering and vital to us.
“Opportunities for young people to have access to nature and experience outdoor learning are absolutely vital for their personal, social and educational development. Outdoor learning helps young people build confidence, get out of their comfort zone and develop key leadership and life skills – as well as improving their mental health and reducing behavioural issues.
“We hope our Avon Tyrrell Capital Appeal, together with the Princess Royal’s continued support for our work, will ensure thousands more young people are able to benefit from fantastic outdoor learning experiences.”
The visit followed the installation of a sculpture of Princess Anne by British artist Frances Segelman (Lady Petchey), who is known for her sculptures of the royal family. Commissioned in celebration of Princess Anne’s 70th birthday in 2020, the sculpture was subsequently gifted to UK Youth.
During the visit, Princess Anne planted a tree in honour of the late Queen Elizabeth II. When the then-Princess Elizabeth opened Manor House in 1949, she similarly planted a tree to mark the occasion. To find out more visit www.ukyouth.org