WINCHESTER Scouts gathered for an evening of fun underpinned by a serious message on Monday (July22).

At their Pinsent Camp Site on Teg Down, MP Steve Brine handed out four Silver Chief Scouts awards to Cubs from the 3rd Winchester (The Worthies) Scout Group.

But the youngsters, backed up by their mascot, Chip the Beaver, grabbed the opportunity to drive home their message that Scouts must benefit from the Barton Farm development.

Cub Scout Millie Chilcott,10, and Explorer Scout Alex King, 17, briefed the MP on their recent meeting with civic chiefs at the Forum.

Mr Brine, himself a former Scout, said: “It was so good to re-connect with the Scouting Movement and to hear how it has changed and updated since I was involved.

“The demand for Scouting in Winchester is clearly huge so I wanted to hear about their needs for the Barton Farm development and will do all I can to make their case to the city council and developers CALA Homes.”

District commissioner, Stephen Parker, estimates that 800 children (40 per cent of the 2,000 expected to live at Barton Farm) will want to be scouts.

He said: “Unless full land provision is made at the imminent detailed planning stage these children will not be able to walk and bicycle to new Scout and Guide units within their immediate community.”

Following a tour of the site for Mr Brine, there was a Grand Howl by the Cubs of the 3rd Winchester (The Worthies), and the Silver Chief Scouts were awarded to Jack Thorn, Oliver Bryan, Samuel Murphy and Liam Kierans.

“I know how much work goes into the Chief Scouts Awards so it was a real privilege to award them to four very special young people," Mr Brine said.

Oliver Bryan and his Six (team) also received prizes for winning the District Camp Challenge in June.