Charity

History

Walton Firs has a long history dating back more than 70 years, which includes long links to the Scouts.

  • 1930s

    Walton Firs began as a private golf club – the wooden bungalow that served as the club house remains today as the service team quarters – and was bought by the Scout Association in 1939. It was named after the Commissioner who dealt with the transaction, Colonel Walton.

  • 1940s

    The site was officially opened for the Scouts in 1943 by Lady Baden-Powell who planted an oak tree to commemorate the event. The tree was sadly destroyed in the 1987 hurricane.

  • 1950s

    In 1950 Peter Lankaster was appointed permanent Bailiff (as the Warden was then known), the original bridge over the ravine was built along with a workshop and small hut, which became known as 'Smokey Joes'.

  • 1960s

    Development work, including fencing the site, extending the plumbing and providing stand-pipes in the camping areas continued. The Training Hut in the Cub Scout Field was built in 1964.

  • 1970s/80s

    Ladies' toilets are added the Pembroke cabin erected and new Providore built. In 1973 the Walton Firs Cub Scout Day was introduced, and in 1974 the Scout Air Rifle Championships started, hosted at Walton Firs.

  • 1990s

    Thousands of new saplings were planted to replace storm-damaged trees. Archery, climbing, abseiling, canoeing and an adventure course were added to the site and it was rewired and had a new water system fitted. The Brunswick cabin – that came from Brunswick Square in London – was added.

  • 2000s

    A maze, frisbee golf and giant games are added, the toilet blocks refurbished and more ladies' facilities added. The King of Sweden was among the VIP guests that attended Walton Firs in 2007 to celebrate 100 years of Scouting.

  •          2008

    In 2008 the site was bought by the newly-established Walton Firs Foundation from the Scout Association for £800,000 with improvements and expansion continuing from 2009.

Walton Firs Foundation

The Walton Firs Foundation was established in 2006 to purchase and preserve Walton Firs, so it could continue to be used by current and future generations of young people. Spread over 36 acres of grassland, woodland, flat areas and slopes, the site provides a superb environment for camping, skills training, games, nature and environmental studies, alongside other activities vital to young people both individually and together.

Walton Firs was owned and operated by the Scout Association for over 50 years. When the Association announced its plans to sell it, the Foundation was established and successfully raised £800,000 to buy the site. More than 15,000 young people visit Walton Firs annually and its users include Surrey County Council, schools, Duke of Edinburgh Award schemes, youth bodies and organisations for the disabled, as well as many Scouts and Guides. Much has been done to enhance Walton Firs since 2008, with many more plans in the pipeline.

Donations – time/money/goods

To fulfil the foundation's objectives we strive to keep the costs to our users as low as possible. At the same time we want to offer the best facilities we can, and to enable this we rely on the help of many volunteers and supporter organisations. 

We are always on the lookout for people who can help us by giving up their time to continue our improvement programme and support us with general maintenance. If you can lend a hand at Walton Firs, or are interested in finding out more about our volunteer opportunities, please get in touch with us here.
Similarly, if you are able to donate any goods to help with any of our ongoing projects, we would love to hear from you. Building materials such as plaster board, wood and paint are always welcome.

Donations can be sent to us via cheque to our postal address.

Eric Frank Trust

The Eric Frank Trust is hosted by The Walton Firs Foundation as its administrative centre, as part of its commitment to provide support to organisations with complementary objectives to its own. The trust aims to support young people and help them develop based on the educational principles and values that underline the Scout movement – particularly in learning-through-doing in an outdoor environment. 

It offers grants and funding to organisations and projects, which help empower young people to develop the social and leadership skills needed to contribute positively to their communities. Proposals for funding are invited from organisations worldwide.

For more details about the criteria for funding and the other services it offers, visit the trust website here.

 

WHAT'S NEW

Re-dedication of Chapel and Low Ropes Opening
We recently welcomed Reverend Hargrove and the Mayor of Elmbridge to re-dedicate the Chapel and officially open our new Low Ropes course.

Construction of new low ropes course begins...
The team at Walton Firs are very excited to announce the construction has begun on the new low ropes course.

SOCIAL MEDIA

@WaltonFirs
RT @standrewscobham: Excellent day at Walton Firs. Thank you Esher High for your amazing students - a real credit to you @EsherHighSchool @…

@WaltonFirs
Need a treat to spice up the #schoolholidays? We're opening our doors on 12th-13th August. Fun and #Adventure to b… https://t.co/VHM1S8XTCt

ASSOCIATIONS

PROUD TO WELCOME

CONTACT

Walton Firs
Activity Centre, Convent Lane
Cobham, Surrery, KT11 1HB
Click here for a map