Prince’s birthday tour of centre in Forest Row

Prince Philip visits Ashdown Forest/Forest Row
Prince Philip visits Ashdown Forest/Forest Row

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip chose to spend a day of his birthday week in Sussex when he visited Hindleap Warren Outdoor Education Centre in Forest Row on June 13.

The centre, run by London Youth, is celebrating its 50th birthday and the royal visit coincided with the launch of a major new appeal to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are guranteed for children and young people in the future, particularly those with disabilities and young people from economic deprivation.

An investment of £1.5million will ensure that this is offered to another 100,000 young people over the next decade.

The appeal, My Hindleap, was launched to coincide with the visit from Prince Philip who is also London Youth Patron.

The prince’s fifth visit to the centre also marked his 93rd birthday week.

On the day HRH Prince Philip was taken on a tour of Hindleap Warren by Rosie Ferguson, Chief Executive at London Youth, and Tony Smith, Head of Centre for Hindleap Warren and saw young people from school groups and youth clubs take part in a number of different activities including archery, low ropes, the climbing wall and the zip wire.

This was followed by lunch with invited guests after which he heard from young people and Hindleap staff about their experiences at the centre and the positive impact it has had on them.

Head of the Centre, Tony Smith said everyone had a brilliant day and Prince Philip engaged with staff and youngsters.

He said: “It was fantastic. Prince Philip was lovely and he was really interested in the young people.

“He was so interested in what we are doing here and he was having a great time.

“He enjoyed seeing them crawl through the tunnels and shoot arrows.

“We had a tour organised and had a group of children for the Prince to talk to, but he was wonderful and he was going off and talking to children not on the tour.

“His dedication is wonderful.

“He was engaging himself in everything with the young people.

“We have certificates that we give out to the children when they complete their course.

“They have two names on the bottom mine and Prince Philip’s.

“It was amazing and unplanned but he handed out the certificates to his group. I thought that was really cool. I can’t tell you how lovely he was.

“He was really interested, engaged and really enjoyed his time with our young people.”