Home  /  Latest News   /  Bid to Save Ringsfield Hall Outdoor Education Centre Rejected by Liquidators

Bid to Save Ringsfield Hall Outdoor Education Centre Rejected by Liquidators

A bid to save Ringsfield Hall, an environmental education centre near Beccles which has been running for over fifty years, is being rejected by liquidators.

But all is not lost…yet..

The Ringsfield Hall eco centre was originally founded by Beccles-based Reverend Peter Langford, who, with his late wife Sally, bought Ringsfield Hall in 1971 and later donated the entire site to a charitable trust- The Ringsfield Hall Trust . Peter moved from East Ham to the Hall with teaching experience and an understanding that inner city children needed to experience the natural world.

The bid is being led by Kinda Education CIC, a non-profit specialising in nature-based education. Kinda already run multi generational Forest School groups in Holton, Halesworth and Worlingham as well as being a provider for special educational services for Suffolk County Council.

It was reported in February that Ringsfield Hall Trust had run into financial difficulties and the Hall may be sold off to pay debts understood to be around £150,000.

Up until December, the hall and its dedicated team welcomed scores of children each week. The 14 acre site includes inspiring grounds which includes, woodland, two fire circles, dell, meadows, gardens, games field, badminton court and wild areas. The Victorian era hall sleeps up to 50 people in dormitories with a well-equipped kitchen and dining room and is thought to be in good order.

Mell Harrison, CEO of Kinda Education said “Ringsfield Hall is a simply magical place created by Peter and Sally back in 1971 which many thousands of children have visited over the years and had amazing experiences. I worked there for many years and saw first hand the impact the experience had on hundreds of children and adults who visited over that time”

But the bid by Kinda Education over the running of the hall was rejected by a Derbyshire-based liquidator last week.

Mell Harrison said “Our team have not been given access to look around the Hall itself and have not been provided with details of the debts which need paying off. The liquidators, who have never visited Ringsfield Hall, informed us the hall is ‘not fit for purpose’ as an education centre. Having previously worked at Ringsfield Hall, and now running a highly successful outdoor education non-profit, I cannot understand why they are obstructing us in this way when we have put in place what is needed to save this community asset. ”

Mell continued “But all is not lost as the Ringsfield Hall Trust’s Trustees have not decided to go into liquidation and sell …yet… but it’s getting close. We won’t give up trying to save the Hall and continue its valuable work with children ”

Meanwhile, local councillors are working on designating the Hall as an ‘Asset of Community Value’ which, if successful, will put a brake on any efforts to sell the building off. The team from Kinda Education have vowed to fight on.

Revd Peter, who celebrated his 90th birthday by cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats, said “It absolutely breaks my heart to think we might lose this fantastic place which has meant so much to thousands of young people over the years. For a relatively small sum of money this place could be protected for the community.”

The effort continues with a website www.saveringsfieldhall.org launching Friday 31st May to coordinate and keep people updated on the bid.
Anyone interested in finding out more should contact mell@kindaeducation.org