Hundreds of children have been able to go back to nature and safely camp in
beautiful woodland above Edenfield after a run-down Guide campsite was bought by
a local couple.
Mark and Karen Law bought what was originally Rossendale Girl Guide Campsite off
Gin Croft Lane. It had fallen into disrepair; buildings had been vandalised and were
no longer used.
They developed the area into what is now Dearden Wood Campsite and bought the
11 acres of woodlands that surround the site.
Although they introduced public camping and glamping in 2018/19, after a request
from Rossendale Borough Council, the ethos of the site remains to provide a haven
for young people to cast aside their mobile phones and electronic devices and
develop a love of nature.
Last year, their efforts were rewarded at Rossendale Business Awards when
Dearden Wood won the MicroBusiness trophy. The awards are organised by Valley
at Work, which connects local businesses.
Mark and Karen’s daughter Jessy manages the site. She said: “The awards were
wonderful, especially as I had just had my son Harrison and it was nice to mix and to
be out with adults.
“We got a shock, especially as we had not been in business for very long but the
momentum seems to be building because we are doing things right for the children.”
The family is now working with UCLan on an eco-project to make the site carbon-neutral. One of the plans is to reuse gas from the septic tank and convert it into
energy to supply the campsite and to introduce solar and wind power to become one
of the few campsites in the UK to be carbon neutral.
Arthur the tin can, is novel quirky glamping accommodation, which was created by
Gary Macpherson from Arthropod Trailers, in Bury, during Lockdown in response to
the increasing popularity of people camping.
Jessy said: “Gary was looking for a beautiful location to get photographs of Arthur
and when the pictures had been taken it was going to go back to his site in Bury. We
suggested it stay here and we now share the rental.”
Mark is now a District Scout Warden, Karen was a Queen’s Guide and is a former
leader, and Dearden Wood is the official campsite for Bury and Ramsbottom Scouts
as well as being used by Girl Guides and students completing their Duke of
Edinburgh Award Scheme.
Regular weekly events at the site include yoga, nature babies and Friday pizza
night. Forest School Leader Olly White uses the location for Therapeutic Forest
sessions and talks are taking place about working together with Abigail’s Trails.
Special events will be held on-site at Hallowe’en and Christmas.
Mark added: “We have so much repeat business. A lot of people come from within
the local area but the furthest away has been Venezuela, we have had visitors from
Holland, Germany, France, Italy, Norway and America.
“We had our first hand-fasting ceremony, which was magical for us and for them.”
To nominate a business, service, individual or charity, visit https://r-awards.co.uk/