Times have changed and so must thinking on Holt Hall

Holt Hall environmental and outdoor learning centre has been much-loved by families for generations

Holt Hall environmental and outdoor learning centre has been much-loved by families for generations - Credit: Archant

Today the EDP is sending a clear message to Norfolk County Council – think again over closing Holt Hall.

The outdoor educational centre – which has given countless hours of joy and lifelong memories to generations – is seemingly in the council’s cross-hairs.

A meeting on Monday will decide its fate and, with the case made for its closure, it feels as if the tide cannot be stopped.

But it can. And our case is simple – the world has changed.

Come next year, many of us will start seeing our lives in three periods – pre-Covid, during Covid, and post-Covid.

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That will likely mean different perspectives.

Decisions we made in the pre-Covid world will seem outdated and based on factors that have now changed.

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And so it is with Holt Hall.

It seems clear that recommendations have been made with pre-Covid facts and thinking.

It surely now makes sense to step back and look again through the lens of a post-Covid world.

In that world, the importance of outdoor learning cannot be underestimated.

It feels ever more important for our young people to discover the outside world, having been trapped inside for so long.

There is, of course, some sentimentality in our argument.

Holt Hall is somewhere slightly magical, and for the young people that go there it always holds a special place for them.

But what is wrong with sentimentality of that kind?

The natural world can lift us up, open our eyes, fuel our imagination, and offer something transcendent.

To limit opportunities to do that, with an argument built on shifting sands, would be a shame.

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