West Wiltshire Scouts can start planting trees on their new 14-acre field near West Ashton, after the purchase was completed this week.

The 800-strong group was told to leave its old campsite at Roundwood, in March, and a subsequent attempt to buy the woodland from its owners fell through.

The new field, next to Biss Wood, was bought from farmer Chris Awdry, using about £140,000 raised through donations and grants.

With the last crops harvested, the site will be developed as a Diamond Jubilee woodland, containing the Jubilee Wood Scout Camp and Youth Activity Centre.

District chairman John Cox said: “We have to thank a large number of trusts, charities and local authority bodies, and especially all those who donated money after reading about our need in the Wiltshire Times.

“Not only did this make the purchase possible, such support was a tremendous encouragement to the 200 volunteer adult leaders and helpers who make Scouting possible for 800 youngsters in West Wilts.

“The next stage of the project will be to provide vehicle access, a car park and toilets and then to plant the 5,700 trees on land that we won’t use for camping.

“The Woodland Trust and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust are helping us to plan the planting and the wood will be one of those entered into a book listing all the woods planted to mark the Queen’s Jubilee, which will be presented to Her Majesty by the Woodland Trust.

“When complete and when not being used by the Scouts, the site will be available to Guides, schools and other youth and community groups.”

Among bodies to donate funds were Trowbridge Area Board, Bradford on Avon, Trowbridge, Warminster and Westbury town councils, West Ashton and Hilperton parish councils and Hills Waste via the Community First Landfill Communities Fund.

To donate to the project, or offer materials or equipment, contact Mr Cox on 01225 864270 or email jandbcox@hotmail.com.