AS a former teacher, I have found it very sad to read the objections to the proposed children’s activity centre at Newby Wiske Hall.

In particular, I was shocked by the negative comments given by the former chief constable, Della Cannings (D&S Times, August 11). What a sad view she seems to have of young people today.

I would have thought, from all her contacts with schools and teachers, that she would know the superb value given to young people by such outdoor activity centres.

Schools, scouts, guides, youth groups and colleges cannot be wrong in their decision to use similar centres.

They give so many opportunities that are hugely beneficial to the development of young people.

Anyone with any knowledge of outdoor learning centres, would tell you that they are run by dedicated, highlymotivated and skilled staff.

Their energy and enthusiasm enhances the experience for the young people in their care.

The courses are carefully structured and combine elements of sport, environmental studies, leadership and team building activities. In many of these centres, teachers and youth leaders are able to accompany the parties of children on the variety of courses on offer. This is another advantage, as the teachers see their pupils coping with the challenges of a different environment.

Most schools in our area take advantage of similar outdoor activity centres and see them as a highly valued part of the curriculum. Such courses give children opportunities, through structured play and personal challenges, to develop their confidence and life experiences.

For many children, it will be their first time being away from home and for some it will be their first visit to the countryside.

Local schools will be glad to see such a centre opening up, as long journeys to other parts of the country add greatly to the cost of such valuable activities. It is important to remember it will not be a “theme park.”

In my own experience, children and young people usually behave extremely well in this sort of learning environment.

They want to behave well, because they are enjoying themselves. More importantly, they will remember their time on an outdoor activity course for the rest of their lives.

Instead of objecting, why not welcome the young into your community? I am sure there will be plenty of jobs on offer. Help children to develop their skills through learning - with the added benefit of fresh country air.

Newby Wiske Hall could become a centre for outdoor excellence and a valuable addition to the community of North Yorkshire.

If you listen carefully, you will hear the joy of laughter as children learn the skills that will last them a lifetime.

Terence Fleming, Guisborough