Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Big Balsam Bash

We need you to help us remove the Himalayan Balsam (Not to be confused with Japanese Knotweed)

Eventbrite - The Balsam Bash


Himalayan balsam is a tall growing annual, 2-3m (6-10ft) in height. Between June and October it produces clusters of purplish pink (or rarely white) helmet-shaped flowers. The flowers are followed by seed pods that open explosively when ripe.

The problem

Each plant can produce up to 800 seeds. These are dispersed widely as the ripe seedpods shoot their seeds up to 7m (22ft) away. Some areas of the site are swamped by it.


The RHS recommends using non-chemical means such as pulling out the plant before the seed heads form. The roots are very shallow so very little effort is needed (just we have a lot of it!)

Our Plan is to have a mass balsam bash, where everyone from beavers to SASU's can help by simply pulling up the plants before they flower and seed. Gloves will be provided, but suitable boots or wellies and long pants should be worn.

The event is open to all but we're really looking for Groups or sections to come and spend an hour pulling up the balsm and then you will be able to have a wander around the new site. Note however, we have no buildings yet and only basic portaloo facilities. We do have a marquee up though.

  • To attend the Group or Section Leader must register the number of people they will be bringing.
  • To run things smoothly we need you to choose a slot time and the number of people you will bring.
  • Time slots are hourly from 10:00 – 16:00. Please be ready to start 15minutes before your start time.
  • You will be outdoors, wear appropriate clothing! Boots/Wellies and long trousers are a must!
  • Young People are the responsibility of their section leader
  • Limited refreshments will be provided
  • Limited (portaloo style) toilet will be onsite
  • Gardening style gloves will provided but if you have your own please bring them.
What are my transport/parking options for getting to and from the event?
See this Google Map and directions for access

How can I contact the organiser with any questions?
You can contact us via or Facebook page or email hello@hollinwood.org.uk

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?
No, but please make sure you have contact details for all your party.

Can I update my registration information?
Yes, on your confirmation email there is a link to edit your booking.

Can I camp?
There is currently no provision for groups to camp at Hollinwood overnight.

Friday, March 31, 2017

City of Trees press release

Really excited to have worked with City of Trees last Saturday- check them out, they're a fantastic charity working across Greater Manchester to plant trees and improve woodlands.


Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Big Plant

What a day! Nearly 1,000 trees planted in the best day of the year so far. Great job everyone who came and helped and we were honoured to have the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester to help unveil our new sign and plant the ceremonial alder tree which made (and survived) the journey from Middlewood :) please feel free to share any photos you might have. The Hollinwood Team. PS thanks to City of Trees and The Woodland Trust too for their support. Now, aftersun anyone...??

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Monday, February 20, 2017

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Transforming Hollinwood Into Our Reality

We are really excited to bring you news regarding the progress we have made on securing a lease on the Hollin Wood site.

Since the announcement by the RHS about their plans to create RHS Garden Bridgewater from the lost historic grounds of Worsley New Hall, opening in 2019, members of the Middlewood Management Team and GMW Scout County have been working tirelessly with the landowners, Peel Land & Property, to secure a deal that will see Greater Manchester West Scouts continue to camp in the area local Worsley and Boothstown for the next 60 years and beyond.

Peel Land & Property have formally issued GMW County Scout Council with an intent to offer a lease for the Hollin Wood Site starting in February 2017.  The lease terms are, at this time, being discussed and agreed between solicitors representing GMW and PEEL and will be ready to sign imminently.  This represents significant progress, commitment and a great deal for us to establish a new and modern Scout Campsite at the heart of the County.

With Peel Land & Property formally issuing the intent to offer a lease and gearing up to submit planning applications to Salford City Council, we are now in the position to transition, what has largely been a feasibility and prospective study into a formal project to plan, finance and establish Hollin Wood as the next great scout campsite in a long-line of great scout campsites that GMW has been proud to and very capable of managing over many many years.

Outline layout designs of what Hollin Wood could look like are attached.  These are in no way final and are provided only as an illustration of the potential that Hollin Wood has to offer.  But hopefully, as you can see from the illustration, it’s a bold and ambitious plan that with the drive, skills and enthusiasm that exists within GMW, we are confident we will be able to realise the site’s full potential.  This will not happen overnight and securing financial backing/support/funding to realise our ambitions for such a project will be our biggest challenge.  However, we are driving hard to ensure that, in partnership with Peel, the required infrastructure will have been created to welcome our first canvas campers from the start of the camping season in 2017.

With February 2017 now a reality for Hollin Wood, we now must also focus on how we transition everything that is marvellous about Middlewood over to our new home.  A product of the 1950’s from a plea off the local Scout Association of the time to what was Bridgewater Estates asking for some land to set up a local campsite – Middlewood became synonymous with that traditional wooded campsite feel with which many reading this will remember and cherish as having spent some of the best (and wettest) times of our lives, under canvas on the many secluded campsites feeling like we were miles away from civilisation.  As a product of the 1950’s though much of the infrastructure at Middlewood is as old as the campsite as we know it – Cunliffe Lodge was an old WWII barracks hut for example and the wardens hut – a temporary building that had a life-span of 10-15 years has stood with many patches and ‘make doos’ for some 40 years maybe more.

In his time as Warden at Middlewood, Phil, his team and their predecessors before them have done a miraculous job of keeping the site viable on a shoe-string budget, a tremendous amount of good-will, hard graft and a strong sense of pride which for those who have ever volunteered or camped at Middlewood will know has fostered a long-lasting and resilient feeling of togetherness such that you always feel part of the Middlewood family whenever you are there.

Speaking with Phil Rigby, Middlewood Campsite Warden, he is unambiguous in his passion for Middlewood but he is also adamant in his belief that Hollin Wood can be even better.  “With the landowners of Middlewood, Peel Land & Property, now securing a deal with RHS and Salford City Council, there is no option to stay.  I firmly believe in and I am fully committed to working with Peel to complete the new lease, securing the future of GMW at our new home at Hollin Wood and ensuring that we perpetuate the true raw essence of Middlewood at what will become our new campsite.”

“2016 will now be the final camping season that we will offer at Middlewood, all major events in 2016 such as the Goodwood Weekender and the Beaver Birthday Carnival will continue as planned and we will continue to accept bookings for new events and camping right through to the 31st December.  But, as of the 1st January 2017 we will close to camping and start the transfer of assets that we want to take with us to the Hollin Wood site.”

“I am very keen to stress that 2016 will not be a year of winding down, if anything we as a campsite want to use 2016 as our year to celebrate and recognise everything that is great about Middlewood.  So very soon you will see commemorative events, reunion camps, welly walks around the site, bbq’s, pizza nights, firework displays and of course a huge closing ceremony all appearing in the calendar.  This along with planning what will need to be an swift exit from Middlewood to the new site in early 2017, I’m pretty sure 2016 will be one of our busiest years ever!”

2017 to some may feel a long way off yet but there’s a lot to do.  Such that, in our next communication after the meeting of the County Executive Committee in March we will share with you the names of the individuals who will have been appointed to lead PROJECT HOLLIN WOOD as a sub team of the County Exec.  And In April/May we will be able to share with you more details of how we will transition assets from Middlewood to Hollin Wood along with ways in which everyone can get involved in this really exciting new chapter in GMW’s history.

We appreciate that this news will raise questions that we do not necessarily have answers to at the moment.  However, if you do have a question you can email it to Greg Archer, Deputy County Commissioner Operations at dccoperations@gmwscouts.org.uk and he will do his best to answer them.