Walton Firs 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, or click on the link here to donate online and we'll get the benfit of Gift Aid too!

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.



Archery Instructor Course
We are hosting another Archery Instructor Course on 19th-20th November 2022. Places sell out quite fast, so get in touch quickly if you want a slot!

The Camping Pods are here!
We're thrilled that our new Camping Pods are in and ready to use. Come give em a try!


At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them. https://t.co/9gNzmdfqua

RT @Activate__Youth: Well that's a wrap! Our NCS programme in Surrey is finished for Autumn! Check out what our YPs have been upto this wee…

@team_saraid A massive thank you for your support. We are very glad to be able to be of assistance.

RT @team_saraid: We were pleased that we were able to commence training this weekend, following current COVID -19 government guidelines. A…

Come and try our new and improved frisbee golf course . https://t.co/Cf7xCsSDxt