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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 June, 2005, 17:01 GMT 18:01 UK
Scouts 52-year link at site ends
Scouts at Buckmore Park
Scouts have come from all over the world to stay at Buckmore Park
Hundreds of scouts have spent their final weekend at a campsite in Kent after using the site for over 50 years.

They are losing the 210-acre site at Buckmore Park following a dispute with the park's owners, the Bridge Wardens Trust, over claims of unpaid rent.

Facilities at the Medway site include a multi-million pound sports complex and woodland for camping.

Former scout leader Doc Ingle, who was at the site when it opened, said: "So much is being lost to young people."

It's sad to think that scouting is finishing here in its present form
Trevor Banks, group scout leader

The future of the Buckmore Park complex is uncertain - it was built with the help of a Lottery grant and money from the Highways Agency to compensate for widening the nearby M2.

Medway group scout leader Trevor Banks said the weekend's camp had been a celebratory event to mark the end of the Scout Association's 52 years at the site.

"It's sad to think that scouting is finishing here in its present form. We hope, perhaps, that we may one day come back in some other form," he said.

About 3,000 young people have used the facilities in the last 10 months alone - scouts have come from all over the world to stay at Buckmore Park.

Scout at Buckmore Park
The scouts were given a chance to learn new skills at the site

The leisure and sports complex, which has more than 50 camp sites, closed to the public without warning in 2003, two years after it opened.

However, scouts and guides continued to use part of the site, which remained open for their use.

Other groups and school parties also benefited.

The site had been managed by the Scout Association Buckmore Park Scout Centre Ltd, which went into administration last year.

The scouting aspect of the park had since been managed and run by volunteer scout leaders from the Medway District.

The scouting movement's association with the site comes to an end on Thursday, when the scout flag flying near the entrance will be lowered.

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