The BIG Campaign – Build, Inspire, Grow

Making sure that Longridge and its young visitors continue to thrive for decades to come.

Our Longridge – Your Longridge

Longridge Activity Centre is a charity run outdoor adventure centre that provides the opportunity for 80,000 young people to take part in activities and experience the magic of the Thames and its beautiful surrounds. In reality that number is probably actually much higher than 80,000, as our official visitor count only includes those that attend Longridge run activities – and Longridge offers so much more than just that!

We also provide an incredibly affordable home for the rowing clubs of three local schools, the local canoeing club, and fencing clubs. Not forgetting acting as a base for Marlow FM to broadcast from, in a studio they converted from our old toilets! We pride ourselves on being a hub for community activity, but we want to do so much more.

Our Past

Longridge was owned for 50-years by the Scout Association, and run as a scouting facility. At the turn of the century the Scouts reviewed all of their UK centres and decided to concentrate their spend on 4 big centres and sell off the rest. Longridge was to be sold, initially for the development of more big riverside houses. However a dedicated group of users banded together to form the charity that eventually bought the centre and now operate it for everyone to enjoy!

Our Present

From our 12-acre largely riverside meadow site we provide day and residential adventures on land and on the water.
We operate a ‘Robin Hood’ business model, charging companies and adult groups a small surplus to take part in our activities – we then use all of this surplus to underwrite the cost of providing our activities for fellow charities and groups of vulnerable young people. This goes towards making our activities as affordable as possible, with the aim being that no one is excluded from taking part.

On land we have high ropes, climbing, lazer tag, water orbs, and Go Karts. On the water; kayaking, canoeing, bell boating, dragon boating, Stand Up Paddleboards, rowing, and rafting. All of our activities can be adapted to suit all ages (6+) and abilities. Our visitors can stay with us by camping or in our indoor accommodation. We have camping space for 500, with plenty of showers and toilets, and indoor accommodation for 86 – but our indoor accommodation lets us down.

scoutsgathering
Longridge July 2017

Photo Ki Price / Emulsion London Limited
square-site

Our Future – Your Future

Help us make sure that Longridge is ready to provide an environment that allows our young people, their families and their communities to thrive for another 50-years.

We have all learned a lot in 2020. Whilst recent times have been undoubtedly hard, we have all realised how important our families, friends and communities are. Home is important, and whilst Longridge has been home to many people over the years, we want to create a home for everyone. A safe place that our community will enjoy in a myriad of different ways, not just outdoor activities. We hope to open in 2021 with new partners – an outdoor pre-school, and a carpentry workshop. We want to create better spaces for our existing partners, such as Marlow FM, and our rowing and canoe clubs. We would love to see a family restaurant on our beautiful riverside site, as well as some family accommodation so that we can offer affordable family short-breaks. Perhaps a bigger gym, and definitely a soft play area. Working with community partners to create a hub of fun, learning and collaboration.

Sadly, years of regular winter floods have meant that our buildings urgently need replacing or refurbishing. Our first build will be a new accommodation block as our accommodation for our young visitors is completely oversubscribed in the summer months as increasing number of schools and youth groups are recognising the benefits of learning through outdoor adventures and whilst we couldn’t deliver much to schools in 2020, most schools have transferred their booking to 2021 and many that in 2020 planned to go abroad are now using home grown charities such as ours next year and we hope beyond.

We want Longridge to be affordable, inspiring and available to young people, their families and friends of all backgrounds and abilities.

How can you help?

Ideas & Contacts. Do you know someone who might like to join us in creating a community hub? We know we are looking for a restaurant and a soft play, but we want to do as much as we can. What do you think Marlow needs? Who do you know that might like to get involved? Let us know.

Money! We are thinking BIG and need to raise £5m to allow Longridge to be Future Proof by replacing all of our buildings with modern structures that are built to withstand flooding, as well as being beautiful and practical. Our first aim was to raise £50k to secure planning permission, which has been achieved. Once permission has been granted, we can sail forth on fundraising for Phase One of our 5-year plan that will allow us to replace our dilapidated visitor accommodation with an inspirational, raised, modular building.

Time. We have a core salaried team who work hard but even so we wouldn’t be able to run Longridge without our dedicated volunteers. Our volunteers work in every part of our operation – we have volunteers coordinating our development planning, helping with our marketing, organising events and maintaining the site, and our Trustees all give huge amounts of their time to keep the governance of the charity tip top. For our site maintenance, some volunteers join our team regularly to plant and care for our grounds and their work is complimented by groups coming from local companies to paint, clear and repair specific areas. We always have jobs – big and small for all ages, all abilities and to fit all time scales. Longridge would not operate without volunteers.

Using us. Probably the best way to support us is by organising your adventure at Longridge That could be on your own, with your family, a group of friends or work colleagues. And when you have a really great time, making sure you share your experience with everyone you know.

Remember, when you donate, join our team or use us – please share with everybody you know what a great time you had, or that you know 100s of thousands of young people have at Longridge ever year.

If you have questions about Longridge, would like to discuss naming or sponsorship proposals then please email amanda.foister@adventurelearning.org.uk or call her on 020 3356 7133.

square-site
square-family-climb
Leeds Malmaison

Depending on how long you’ve been coming to Longridge, you may have heard several different versions of the myth of the crocadillo. We know it’s been told here for at least 50 years, so we’re sure everyone has their own spin on it, and we’d like to hear and see them! Just some of the lovely versions we’ve been sent in so far are on the Your Crocadillo tab. We’re kicking it off with this lovely version that an amazing local writer & illustrator, Geoff Motley www.geoffmotley.co.uk, has created for us.

The Creature

He’s long and he’s shiny often wet let us say
And he lives in the river at Longridge hooray!

Not many have seen him but some say he’s green
With grey bits as well, he’s not often seen

The general opinion is that he’s unique
How good it would be if the creature could speak

Well he can’t we don’t think but what is he, who knows?
A mix of some sort, eight feet long we suppose

His back is like armour in sections that link
He looks awfully heavy in water he’d sink

Part armadillo, with crocodile legs
A very long nose, with teeth big as pegs

How he got here to Marlow is anyone’s guess
And the nest that he’s built is a bit of a mess

He’s friendly and winks always in a good mood
In the river he splashes for fave fishy food

Our own crocadillo, yes our own, yes he’s ours
For dessert after fish he likes munching on flowers

He does need a name he might come when we call
He snores when asleep, doesn’t smell much at all

Let’s keep him our secret, not many should know
On his own in the world keep him safe not on show

We feed him some treats whatever he needs
Like nuts with some berries and fat crunchy seeds

His teeth are quite sharp and need to be clean
So far with mouth open we count seventeen

There are bound to be more, some long and some short
It’s a crocodile mouth there’ll be loads we all thought

Imagine the toothbrush he’d need for a clean
The toughest strong bristles that you’ve ever seen

A very long handle to get everywhere
Crocadillos, like us, should treat teeth with some care

From his nose to his tail to us he’s a star
He came here to Marlow from somewhere quite far

Did he swim, did he walk, did he come on the bus
Doesn’t matter we’re thrilled that he came and chose us.

 

G MOTLEY 14.11.19

Origins of The Crocadillo

“Many years ago a mad scientist who lived in the cardboard castle was experimenting on animals and he managed to merge a crocodile and an armadillo. Two of them escaped and made a home on our island, where they have bred but they are very shy animals and mainly come out to eat at night when they live off the leftovers left behind by campers.”

Amanda Foister OBE, CEO.

MarlowFMcroc in the wild

Experimental Genetics

“On Marlow Island, there is a ‘shed’ on the end nearest Longridge. However, this ‘shed’ is actually the secret entrance to a WW2 bunker. As the Allied Forces weren’t doing too well, they tasked their brightest minds with coming up with new and interesting solutions to win the war! The scientists looked to nature, as Mother Nature had done pretty well with creating various animals so far. Through a series of genetic experiments, they came up with a variety of animals. These included the Chuck, a cross between a chicken and a duck, that could run fast, swim and also fly fairly fast as well. The Chuck was used as a messenger bird, carrying orders and such. You may still occasionally see one on the banks of the River Thames in the twilight of a Summer’s evening.

Another animal was the Liger, a cross between a lion and a tiger, pack hunters that could grow to huge sizes and were used as a form of mobile infantry, striking at enemy positions without warning, or ambushing enemy patrols. All of the Ligers now live in Africa after they were set free there.

The scientists had covered the air and the land, but they were still struggling with a creature for the water. Finally, they came up with the idea of an underwater type tank, crossing a crocodile with an armadillo. It had the armoured body of the armadillo, with the arms, legs, head and tail of a crocodile.

Unfortunately during the process, of creating the Crocodillo, there was a thunderstorm and it escaped. It now roams the stretch of the Thames between Marlow weir and Cookham.

Over the years, some have grown to a huge size, as big as the Dragon boats at Longridge. However don’t worry as it is vegetarian and doesn’t eat people, only weeds.” 

Stuart Cox

geoff motley croc 2

How you see the Creature

Past & Present

Our Longridge – Your Longridge

Longridge Activity Centre is a charity run outdoor adventure centre that provides the opportunity for 80,000 young people to take part in activities and experience the magic of the Thames and its beautiful surrounds. In reality that number is probably actually much higher than 80,000, as our official visitor count only includes those that attend Longridge run activities – and Longridge offers so much more than just that!

We also provide an incredibly affordable home for the rowing clubs of three local schools, the local canoeing club, and fencing clubs. Not forgetting acting as a base for Marlow FM to broadcast from, in a studio they converted from our old toilets! We pride ourselves on being a hub for community activity, but we want to do so much more.

Our Past

Longridge was owned for 50-years by the Scout Association, and run as a scouting facility. At the turn of the century the Scouts reviewed all of their UK centres and decided to concentrate their spend on 4 big centres and sell off the rest. Longridge was to be sold, initially for the development of more big riverside houses. However a dedicated group of users banded together to form the charity that eventually bought the centre and now operate it for everyone to enjoy!

Our Present

From our 12-acre largely riverside meadow site we provide day and residential adventures on land and on the water.
We operate a ‘Robin Hood’ business model, charging companies and adult groups a small surplus to take part in our activities – we then use all of this surplus to underwrite the cost of providing our activities for fellow charities and groups of vulnerable young people. This goes towards making our activities as affordable as possible, with the aim being that no one is excluded from taking part.

On land we have high ropes, climbing, lazer tag, water orbs, and Go Karts. On the water; kayaking, canoeing, bell boating, dragon boating, Stand Up Paddleboards, rowing, and rafting. All of our activities can be adapted to suit all ages (6+) and abilities. Our visitors can stay with us by camping or in our indoor accommodation. We have camping space for 500, with plenty of showers and toilets, and indoor accommodation for 86 – but our indoor accommodation lets us down.

scoutsgathering
Longridge July 2017

Photo Ki Price / Emulsion London Limited
square-site
Our Future

Our Future – Your Future

Help us make sure that Longridge is ready to provide an environment that allows our young people, their families and their communities to thrive for another 50-years.

We have all learned a lot in 2020. Whilst recent times have been undoubtedly hard, we have all realised how important our families, friends and communities are. Home is important, and whilst Longridge has been home to many people over the years, we want to create a home for everyone. A safe place that our community will enjoy in a myriad of different ways, not just outdoor activities. We hope to open in 2021 with new partners – an outdoor pre-school, and a carpentry workshop. We want to create better spaces for our existing partners, such as Marlow FM, and our rowing and canoe clubs. We would love to see a family restaurant on our beautiful riverside site, as well as some family accommodation so that we can offer affordable family short-breaks. Perhaps a bigger gym, and definitely a soft play area. Working with community partners to create a hub of fun, learning and collaboration.

Sadly, years of regular winter floods have meant that our buildings urgently need replacing or refurbishing. Our first build will be a new accommodation block as our accommodation for our young visitors is completely oversubscribed in the summer months as increasing number of schools and youth groups are recognising the benefits of learning through outdoor adventures and whilst we couldn’t deliver much to schools in 2020, most schools have transferred their booking to 2021 and many that in 2020 planned to go abroad are now using home grown charities such as ours next year and we hope beyond.

We want Longridge to be affordable, inspiring and available to young people, their families and friends of all backgrounds and abilities.

How can you Help?

How can you help?

Ideas & Contacts. Do you know someone who might like to join us in creating a community hub? We know we are looking for a restaurant and a soft play, but we want to do as much as we can. What do you think Marlow needs? Who do you know that might like to get involved? Let us know.

Money! We are thinking BIG and need to raise £5m to allow Longridge to be Future Proof by replacing all of our buildings with modern structures that are built to withstand flooding, as well as being beautiful and practical. Our first aim was to raise £50k to secure planning permission, which has been achieved. Once permission has been granted, we can sail forth on fundraising for Phase One of our 5-year plan that will allow us to replace our dilapidated visitor accommodation with an inspirational, raised, modular building.

Time. We have a core salaried team who work hard but even so we wouldn’t be able to run Longridge without our dedicated volunteers. Our volunteers work in every part of our operation – we have volunteers coordinating our development planning, helping with our marketing, organising events and maintaining the site, and our Trustees all give huge amounts of their time to keep the governance of the charity tip top. For our site maintenance, some volunteers join our team regularly to plant and care for our grounds and their work is complimented by groups coming from local companies to paint, clear and repair specific areas. We always have jobs – big and small for all ages, all abilities and to fit all time scales. Longridge would not operate without volunteers.

Using us. Probably the best way to support us is by organising your adventure at Longridge That could be on your own, with your family, a group of friends or work colleagues. And when you have a really great time, making sure you share your experience with everyone you know.

Remember, when you donate, join our team or use us – please share with everybody you know what a great time you had, or that you know 100s of thousands of young people have at Longridge ever year.

If you have questions about Longridge, would like to discuss naming or sponsorship proposals then please email amanda.foister@adventurelearning.org.uk or call her on 020 3356 7133.

square-site
square-family-climb
Leeds Malmaison
Videos
The Crocadillo

Depending on how long you’ve been coming to Longridge, you may have heard several different versions of the myth of the crocadillo. We know it’s been told here for at least 50 years, so we’re sure everyone has their own spin on it, and we’d like to hear and see them! Just some of the lovely versions we’ve been sent in so far are on the Your Crocadillo tab. We’re kicking it off with this lovely version that an amazing local writer & illustrator, Geoff Motley www.geoffmotley.co.uk, has created for us.

The Creature

He’s long and he’s shiny often wet let us say
And he lives in the river at Longridge hooray!

Not many have seen him but some say he’s green
With grey bits as well, he’s not often seen

The general opinion is that he’s unique
How good it would be if the creature could speak

Well he can’t we don’t think but what is he, who knows?
A mix of some sort, eight feet long we suppose

His back is like armour in sections that link
He looks awfully heavy in water he’d sink

Part armadillo, with crocodile legs
A very long nose, with teeth big as pegs

How he got here to Marlow is anyone’s guess
And the nest that he’s built is a bit of a mess

He’s friendly and winks always in a good mood
In the river he splashes for fave fishy food

Our own crocadillo, yes our own, yes he’s ours
For dessert after fish he likes munching on flowers

He does need a name he might come when we call
He snores when asleep, doesn’t smell much at all

Let’s keep him our secret, not many should know
On his own in the world keep him safe not on show

We feed him some treats whatever he needs
Like nuts with some berries and fat crunchy seeds

His teeth are quite sharp and need to be clean
So far with mouth open we count seventeen

There are bound to be more, some long and some short
It’s a crocodile mouth there’ll be loads we all thought

Imagine the toothbrush he’d need for a clean
The toughest strong bristles that you’ve ever seen

A very long handle to get everywhere
Crocadillos, like us, should treat teeth with some care

From his nose to his tail to us he’s a star
He came here to Marlow from somewhere quite far

Did he swim, did he walk, did he come on the bus
Doesn’t matter we’re thrilled that he came and chose us.

 

G MOTLEY 14.11.19

Your Crocadillos

Origins of The Crocadillo

“Many years ago a mad scientist who lived in the cardboard castle was experimenting on animals and he managed to merge a crocodile and an armadillo. Two of them escaped and made a home on our island, where they have bred but they are very shy animals and mainly come out to eat at night when they live off the leftovers left behind by campers.”

Amanda Foister OBE, CEO.

MarlowFMcroc in the wild

Experimental Genetics

“On Marlow Island, there is a ‘shed’ on the end nearest Longridge. However, this ‘shed’ is actually the secret entrance to a WW2 bunker. As the Allied Forces weren’t doing too well, they tasked their brightest minds with coming up with new and interesting solutions to win the war! The scientists looked to nature, as Mother Nature had done pretty well with creating various animals so far. Through a series of genetic experiments, they came up with a variety of animals. These included the Chuck, a cross between a chicken and a duck, that could run fast, swim and also fly fairly fast as well. The Chuck was used as a messenger bird, carrying orders and such. You may still occasionally see one on the banks of the River Thames in the twilight of a Summer’s evening.

Another animal was the Liger, a cross between a lion and a tiger, pack hunters that could grow to huge sizes and were used as a form of mobile infantry, striking at enemy positions without warning, or ambushing enemy patrols. All of the Ligers now live in Africa after they were set free there.

The scientists had covered the air and the land, but they were still struggling with a creature for the water. Finally, they came up with the idea of an underwater type tank, crossing a crocodile with an armadillo. It had the armoured body of the armadillo, with the arms, legs, head and tail of a crocodile.

Unfortunately during the process, of creating the Crocodillo, there was a thunderstorm and it escaped. It now roams the stretch of the Thames between Marlow weir and Cookham.

Over the years, some have grown to a huge size, as big as the Dragon boats at Longridge. However don’t worry as it is vegetarian and doesn’t eat people, only weeds.” 

Stuart Cox

geoff motley croc 2

How you see the Creature

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