Grantham scouts among 3000 youngsters who took part in winter camp near …

Grantham scouts met up with 3,000 others from across the UK to welcome in a new year of adventure while camping near London.

The annual winter camp this month at Gilwell Park in north east London, the home of scouting and outdoor adventure. provides the opportunity for scouts to take part in over 70 different adventurous and fun activities ranging from abseiling to Zorbing.

The boys and girls, aged between 10 and 18, along with nearly 1,000 adult leaders, enjoyed the experience of sleeping in tents for two nights, cooking on open fires and enjoying a packed programme led by a team of 200 adult volunteers.

Jacob Wand, from 9th Grantham, said: “I love camping in any weather, so this weekend has been great. Winter camp is such fun, and I’ve enjoyed trying new things like climbing the coconut tree.”

Chief Scout Bear Grylls said: “Winter camp provides a whole new adventure experience for young people. The challenge is all about empowering scouts with the skills to survive challenging conditions and how to keep warm and comfortable in their tents. It’s great to see so many young people enjoying such a wide range of activities, from climbing, abseiling, quad biking and high ropes. I’m super proud of their enthusiasm and spirit of adventure.”


Assessing The Legacy Of The London Olympics

Today, the U.S. Olympic Committee is expected to name the city that will bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. Boston, Washington, San Francisco and Los Angeles are competing to win that competition. The U.S. hasn’t hosted the summer games since Atlanta in 1996.

Rio won the bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics and Tokyo got the nod for the 2020 games. London hosted the summer games in 2012, so we thought we’d check in there to see what the legacy is two years later. Did the games live up their promise as a boost for the city?

The BBC’s UK political correspondent Rob Watson joins Here Now’s Lisa Mullins to discuss the topic.

Note: This BBC interview can be heard in the Here Now podcast or with the WBUR app.


Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit


Assessing The Legacy Of The London Olympics

Today, the U.S. Olympic Committee is expected to name the city that will bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. Boston, Washington, San Francisco and Los Angeles are competing to win that competition. The U.S. hasn’t hosted the summer games since Atlanta in 1996.

Rio won the bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics and Tokyo got the nod for the 2020 games. London hosted the summer games in 2012, so we thought we’d check in there to see what the legacy is two years later. Did the games live up their promise as a boost for the city?

The BBC’s UK political correspondent Rob Watson joins Here Now’s Lisa Mullins to discuss the topic.

Note: This BBC interview can be heard in the Here Now podcast or with the WBUR app.


Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit


Puglia’s Gattarella holiday camp has Dirty Dancing feel

16:23 23 January 2015

The Gattarella resort.


If you’re looking for non-stop around-the-clock holiday action for teenagers and grown ups alike, don’t look any further than the Gattarella Resort

Beau in the Gattarella Vans skate park.

Walking through the pine forest back to our cabin at the Gattarella holiday camp on a balmy summer’s evening, and hearing the 50s ballroom music blasting out from the amphitheatre’s speakers mixing in with the high pitched cicadas, I couldn’t help but feel I had been transported onto the set of Dirty Dancing.

There’s more than a hint of innocence about the Puglian set-up to remind me of the 80s Patrick Swayze film, especially as I watched Italian teenagers join in en-masse with synchronised dancing to mega-disco tunes by the edge of the sea.

The resort was set up over five decades ago which perhaps lends to the nostalgic air, although it’s anything but dated.

From the moment you walk in to the holiday camp, set in the Gargano National Park, there’s non-stop round-the-clock entertainment.

Emma Bartholomew windsurfing at the Gattarella resort. Photo Emily Morgan.

Even if dancing isn’t your thing you’ll be hard pressed not to find something that suits, from golf to windsurfing, horseriding and tennis, mountain biking, BMX, swimming classes as well as a kids club.

Brave-hearted Italian speakers could even take comedy classes.

Just minutes after setting foot there my 12-year old twins joined in with the daily Vans skate boarding session, starting off the whirlwind holiday the way we meant to carry on.

My sons, already keen skaters here in London, tapped into the wealth of knowledge of the four Vans instructors on-hand to learn a “power slide”.

With the adults fuelled with the breakfast Cappuccinos the Italians do so well, and my sons from their own natural energy – despite their protests to join in the coffee drinking – we threw ourselves wholeheartedly into the programme, barely stopping only to sleep at night.

I hadn’t windsurfed since I was a teenager, but soon got back into the swing of tacking under the guidance of Luca.

Giovanni meanwhile is the golf-fanatic, who drove us in his four by four over the road to the range, carved out amongst the ancient olive trees.

If you do get a few minutes out of the packed schedule to laze on your personal beach lounger, you can take in the breathtaking eye-candy of the Gargano National Park, with its emerald pine trees flanked by the azure blue sea.

The resort is cleverly hidden into the hillside, and apparently can’t even be seen from the air.

We were booked into the hotel, which is in fact a series of chalets built up the hillside, from where you go for meals at one of the two centrally located restaurants and pizzeria.

They’re all no further than a few minutes walk, although if you time it right you can jump on one of the little buses constantly lapping the resort.

Our chalet accommodation was really modern and we made the most of our veranda, eating lunch there we had bought from the supermarket, which is stocked up with food every bit as tasty as you’d expect from this land of food connoisseurs.

We were so tired by the end of the day we didn’t ever make it to evening entertainment.

But I like to imagine that as we were deep in slumber Luca, Giovanni and Lisa were sneaking into the staff after party, watermelons in hand.


The perfect job for Britain’s disenfranchised young men: boar hunting

When I went to stay with my German cousin and he showed me the room where I’d be sleeping, the first thing I noticed were the hairy hides on the floor and the spears mounted on the wall. ‘Boar skins,’ he told me. ‘The forest is full of them.’ ‘And the spears?’ I asked him. ‘For hunting.’ I was intrigued. ‘Tell me more,’ I said. He didn’t need much prompting. Apparently, there’s not a great deal of skill involved – only nerve. A cornered boar will charge you. If you turn and run, you’ve had it. But if you stand your ground, they’ll impale themselves upon your spear.

This story sprang to mind when I read Alexander Chancellor’s fascinating Spectator column about the growing perils of British wild boar. Hunted to extinction in the Middle Ages, during the last 20 years or so a small but hardy population has re-emerged, mainly in the Forest of Dean, and along the wooded border between Kent and Sussex. Initially believed to be escapees from private estates, these hefty beasts have gone forth and multiplied – from a few hundred in the late 1990s to several thousand today. It may sound quaint or comic, but clearly it’s no laughing matter. Tragically, a motorist was killed recently when he hit one on the M4.

Sensibly, Alexander Chancellor suggests shooting them. Naturally, I have no idea whether hunting them with spears instead would be a viable alternative (it might very well be extremely dangerous, for all I know) but I must admit the romantic – and the Prussian – in me rather relishes the idea. Where I live, in Ruislip, on the scruffy edge of North West London, listless young men stuff their pallid faces with kebabs and burgers, then drive up and down the high street in their souped-up cars, in a futile search for some excitement. Of course I have no wish whatsoever to see them savaged by wild boar, but it does strike me that hunting might be a good way for them to combine these two pursuits. Ruislip Woods is the largest forest in Greater London. Muntjac deer (illegal immigrants) roam wild in here. You can still see traces of the medieval ditch that once surrounded this ancient woodland, dug to keep in deer and boar.

In Germany, Wildschweinwurst (wild boar sausage) is regarded as a great delicacy, and rightly so. Healthy and tasty, it’s lean yet full of flavour. So why don’t we see more of it over here? The main reason, not surprisingly, is that the Germans have far more Wildschwein than we do – more than two million of the pesky blighters (they shoot half a million every year). For fretful Britons, Deutschland’s Battle of the Boar constitutes a sobering cautionary tale – hundreds of road accidents, dozens of fatalities, plus countless scares and inconveniences (admittedly the stuff of classic slapstick): policemen pursued onto balconies; joggers forced to shin up trees. The Germans have far more forest than us – eleven million hectares compared to our three million. A third of Germany is forested, compared to just an eighth of Britain. Our woods have doubled in size during the last century, but they’d need to double again, and then again, to support medieval levels of wild boar.

Yet maybe, come to think of it, that’s not such a bad idea. Visit a Forestry Commission site like Bedgebury Pinetum in Kent or Haldon Forest in Devon, and you’ll leave in little doubt that user-friendly forests are the future. Sites like these used to be cordoned off – today they’re open to the public. People come here to go hiking and mountain biking – it’s like a massive outdoor gym. Entry is completely free – you only pay for parking. It’s the ultimate loss leader – what you save on admission, you spend in the bike shop and the café. Maybe in years to come, we’ll be sharing these forests with wild boar, and wolves and lynxes. Until then, better buy a nice sharp spear.

Tags: Alexander Chancellor, Ruislip, wild boar


Jamie picks up a Gold Award from the Earl of Wessex

A young man from Merthyr Tydfil celebrated his 21st birthday by collecting a gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Jamie Brown, from Heolgerrig, was one of many young achievers from across the UK to have a date in the prestigious setting of St. James’s Palace on January 13.

Jamie has attended Georgetown Boys and Girls Club – where he achieved his bronze, silver and gold award.

And he travelled to London to receive his gold certificate from the DofE’s Gold Award holder HRH The Earl of Wessex.


The Gold Award Presentation (GAP) is a celebration and recognition of Jamie’s achievements.

The GAP is a unique event and a fitting culmination to mark the hard work, determination and perseverance required.

Jamie worked tirelessly through the five sections of his DofE programme over to achieve his Gold Award.

His diverse activities included mountain biking and coaching young children how to fish.

He has obtained fishing coaching badge level 2 and for residential sailed on a tallship from Southampton to France.

His skill activity was helping primary school children to pass their National Standards in cycling and his expedition was in Scotland trekking and camping in Glencoe for four days.

Jamie Brown received his Gold certificate from the DofEs Gold Award holder HRH The Earl of Wessex
Jamie with his award


Jamie said; “Having participated in all three levels of the Duke of Edinburgh Award, I have become much more confident in dealing with adults and children.

“I have learned many lifeskills along the way and obtained many qualifications.

“The addition of this award certainly helped with my entry to university and will serve me well as an addition to my CV.

“I would wish to express a strong thanks to my mentor during the whole programme. Ray O’Neil has been an inspiration, giving strong support, leadership and became a good friend while ensuring all my experiences were positive and prepared me to become a better person in life.

“He has supported countless young people over the years through his committed work both in the youth centre and in his own time. He develops young people in becoming good role models for their peers.”

Jamie’s Gold Award helped to identify the university course to pursue. He is currently at Trinity St Davids completing a BA Honours in Primary Education with QTS to become a primary school teacher.


Factory Media brings Jonathan Bates on board

London-based content creation house Factory Media has brought in Jonathan Bates as its new creative director of partnerships, to lead the expansion of the company’s distribution network.

This includes launching a dedicated YouTube channel, creating a syndicated publisher network and formalizing the shop’s partnerships with creators and talent.

“We are building an action sports-focused video content business with an emphasis on reaching 16- to 36-year-old millennials on multiple platforms,” Bates said in a release. “This is a richly valued and fragmented demographic, so our aim is to offer an authentic way of engaging with this group at scale.”

Factory, which also has offices in Munich and Cologne, Germany, specializes in content creation in the extreme sports and culture genres, working with such brands as Adidas, Canon and Red Bull. It collaborates with celebs in the biking, boarding and outdoor space to create co-branded content for various digital properties, including the windsurfing site Boards and the motocross magazine Moto.

Bates joins the team from video distribution house Rightster, where he worked as director of entertainment, leading the company’s distribution, monetization and strategy for the MCN’s right-holders. He’s also headed up multi-platform video department at ITV, responsible for the U.K. commercial broadcaster’s short-form video operations.


Girl on Campus

With New Year’s Resolutions there seem to be two groups of people: the reformers who don their lyrca and are seen biking up hills at 10am on January 1st , and the “why bother”-ers who can be found snuggled up on the couch, content that they are not facing a steep climb with a hangover. Nevertheless, don’t let your version of a New Year’s Resolution turn you into a trackie and grandma knit jumper wearer – even a couch potato can have style. This year it’s all about making goals for yourself, challenges to embark on that are achievable- well that’s according to Style magazine and their back to back issues of food, detox and exercise tips.

All this “body is a temple” encouragement is fine and dandy but I’ve decided to take my own approach; this 2015 I want to see the rejection of the January Blues uniform. While browsing the feeds of LCM (London Collection: Men) fashion week I was in awe of the sophisticated dressing of the street style elite and have decided to take heed of them. I am determined to resist putting on comfy black leggings and the oversized knit, this January it’s all about the tailored jackets, fitted turtle neck and sharp accessories.

I associate the word “detox” with vegetable juices, so I’ve decided to think of cleansing in a new way. A far more enjoyable wardrobe cleanse- getting rid of those items I never wear, shouldn’t wear and no matter how hard I breathe in just can’t wear. When was the last time you were able to close your closet door? You’re not alone. The task of cleaning out your closet solo is near impossible. When I look into my wardrobe, I see memories of times I wore certain outfits and I’m also aware of the money I spent on them, so each time I consider extracting a piece, a chorus of “what ifs” sings in my head: What if miniskirts come back? What if I take a trip aboard? What if Eddie Redmayne turns up and asks me out on a date? No one likes limiting their options and finding an advisor you trust who has the patience to take on the task with you can be near impossible. We don’t all have a closet-cleanse-giddy husband like Kim K. Vogue have developed a fabulous flowchart that addresses all the excuses you can make for yourself helping you edit your wardrobe into keep, store for a season and donate. Ask yourself do you need it? Does it fit? What is its sentimental value? Do you look like future you or past you in this?

After the Golden Globes last Sunday night I’m sure everyone has been putting in their order for the latest Givenchy haute couture (cough), but I must request please refrain from following Kiera Knightley’s lead. It might be Chanel but the butterfly and tiered frills look fell flat on the red carpet and I definitely don’t think it will translate to Hull Road street style. Look for inspiration from Emily Blunt in her beautiful neo-Grecian dress, a style to emulate at the upcoming Burn’s night ball, but stay away from the long white gloves (Amal Clooney) remember you’re not the queen.


Healthy changes more successful with partners

You may have more success in accomplishing a healthy living goal if your partner is

making a similar change. This was the conclusion of a new study that examined the influence of

partner behavior on people’s attempts to live more healthily.

older couple stretching
You are more likely to succeed at getting physically active and making other healthy changes if your partner does the same.

Reporting their findings in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers from University

College London (UCL) in the UK, found men and women were more likely to make a positive health

behavior change if their partner was also making a change.

Co-author Jane Wardle, Professor of Clinical Psychology at UCL, says:

“Unhealthy lifestyles are a leading cause of death from chronic disease worldwide. The key

lifestyle risks are smoking, excess weight, physical inactivity, poor diet and alcohol


For their study, Prof. Wardle and colleagues looked at how likely people were to quit

smoking, become physically active or lose weight relative to what their partners did.

Their data came from a study of 3,722 co-habiting couples in their 50s and older. They were

all participating in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA).

People were more likely to quit smoking, exercise, lose weight as couples

Among the participants, 175 (17% of smokers) gave up smoking, 1,037 (44% of inactive

participants) became physically active, and 335 who were overweight (15% of overweight

participants) shed more than 5% of their body weight.

The researchers found that men and women were more likely to give up smoking, become

physically active or lose weight if their partner also made the same change.

For instance, 50% of women smokers were able to give up smoking if their partner quit at the

same time. This compared with only 8% whose partners continued to smoke.

There were similar rates of success for men – 48% quitted successfully when their partner

gave up compared with only 8% whose partners continued to smoke.

Even for those who tried to give up when their partner was already a non-smoker, the success

rates were not as good as when their partner was also doing it.

In the two other areas the patterns were very similar – 66% of physically inactive women and

67% of physically inactive men successfully increased physical activity when their partner was

doing the same, compared with only 24% of women and 26% of men whose partners were not.

In tackling weight loss, 36% of women (26% of men) trying to lose weight succeeded when their

partner was doing the same, compared with only 15% of women (10% of men) whose partners were


Team up to ensure success in swapping bad habits for good and reduce risk of disease

Prof. Wardle, who is also Director of the Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Research Centre

at UCL, says:

“Swapping bad habits for good ones can reduce the risk of disease, including cancer.”

Lead author Dr. Sarah Jackson, a research associate working on the ELSA study at UCL,


“Now is the time to make New Year’s resolutions to quit smoking, take exercise, or lose

weight. And doing it with your partner increases your chances of success.”

The study was funded by Cancer Research UK, the British Heart Foundation and the National

Institute on Aging.

Even if you don’t have a partner who is making similar changes, then you could perhaps team

up with a friend or colleague who also wants to lose weight, get fit or give up smoking. You

could join a gym together, a quit smoking group together or a weight loss program together. You

could meet at lunchtime or after work for a swim or a jog or a brisk walk.

There are many ways of becoming more physically active and improve health beyond the

traditional view of exercise. For example, in December 2014, Medical News Today learned

of a group of researchers that showed yoga is comparable to

walking and biking in reducing risks of cardiovascular disease.

Written by Catharine Paddock PhD


How criminals can ‘suck information’ out of smartphones using public Wi-Fi

  • Security expert used device forcing customers to unknowingly switch Wi-Fi
  • Succeeded in overriding and effectively tricking phones and computers
  • Would allow thief to hack email accounts, track movements and steal cash
  • Crooks rely on fact many are relaxed about the networks they connect to

Thomas Burrows for MailOnline



An investigation has revealed how cyber criminals can easily use public Wi-Fi networks to access private information on your smartphone.

Crooks rely on the fact many people are relaxed about the security of the networks they connect to. 

While the majority of these networks are run by legitimate companies, they are sometimes created by a criminal who may be sitting nearby with little more than a laptop. 

Scroll down for video 

An investigation by 5 News reveals how easy it is for hackers to get information using public Wi-Fi networks


Aside from using a smartphone’s Wi-Fi connection, hackers can also access a phone through the wireless ‘Bluetooth’ function. 

When Bluetooth is switched on, it allows it to ‘talk’ to other enabled devices nearby. 

This means that a hacker sitting near you can use his Bluetooth-enabled laptop to connect to your device without your knowledge. This process is sometimes called ‘bluejacking’ or, more properly, ‘bluesnarfing’ 

Now, a Channel 5 experiment has shown just how simple it is for hackers to suck information out of smartphones. 

In the investigation, security expert Jason Hart used a device which forced customers in a café to switch their phones from the establishment’s legitimate Wi-Fi to his own fake Wi-Fi without them knowing.

Mr Hart’s device succeeding in overriding and effectively tricking phones and computers. 

This would enable a thief to hack email accounts, obtain log-in passwords, track people’s movements and steal thousands of pounds in just a few hours. 

The networks set up by criminals are often given innocent-sounding names, such as ‘Free Public Wi-Fi’, that con smartphone users in to logging in.   

A security expert used a device which forced customers in a cafe to switch their phones to his fake Wi-Fi


Survey conducted by Channel 5.

How often, if ever, do you log-in to free public Wi-Fi on your smartphone?

Very often 5

Fairly often 17

Rarely 38

Never 37

Not sure 2

In terms of security and the risk of people accessing your smartphone and data held on it, how safe do you think free public wifi is?

Very safe 2

Fairly safe 27

Not very safe 35

Not safe at all 14

Not sure 22

Which, if any, of the following do you use free public wifi for? Please tick all that apply?

Browsing the internet 42

Checking email 33

Social media 32

Online shopping 6

Online banking 4

Other 4

None of these 37

Don’t know 3

Mr Hart told 5 News: ‘The ability for a bad guy to essentially suck information out of any wireless-enabled device is extremely easy, especially in a public area.

‘I think people need to be aware of the risks of using public Wi-Fi and potentially the exposure they’re putting themselves to.’ 

‘It’s very frightening,’ one customer told Channel 5 after they had been tricked.

‘I just assumed that hackers – for want of a better word – would have to sit there for half a day, or a day, or a few days in order to get all your information but this was literally minutes.’ 

Maxim Weinstein, a security adviser at Sophos, told MailOnline: ‘The problem of people being able to intercept data on unprotected networks is an ongoing challenge we face. 

‘Wi-Fi data between someone’s computer, smartphone and wireless access point can be visible to anyone else using that same wireless access point. 

‘There are a number of things that can be done to prevent this. One is to set up your own Virtual Private Network when accessing the internet from a public network, ensuring that apps are secure and using encryption while online.’

He added: ‘It is generally more secure to use 3G or 4G networks. While there have been some examples of hacks against these networks, they are much more challenging to hack. 

‘It’s actually quite straight forward to get information using public Wi-Fi networks, particularly for unencrypted data. 

Mike Bradshaw, a partner with Sophos, added: ‘In our war biking exercise in London we found a staggering number of wireless networks with nearly a third failing to meet basic security measures. 

‘With less than £40 of equipment and a laptop it is easy to advertise a hot spot and then intercept the traffic of people whom connect – perhaps even downgrading their “secure web connections” so you can spy on really sensitive data. 

‘There are multiple reasons someone might do this, from the malicious cyber criminal hoping to secure financial details or personal information for further scams, or an enterprise offering wireless hoping to use your information for “enhanced offerings”. 

‘It is rather difficult to identify a network which is legitimate versus one provided by a scammer and so a better strategy is simply to assume all networks have prying eyes or may be trying to manipulate your network traffic to their end.’

A survey, also conducted by Channel 5, found that one in five Britons access free public Wi-Fi ‘fairly or very often’.

The majority use the Wi-Fi to surf the internet, browse emails and go on social media. 


By far the best way to beat the hackers is to set up your own Virtual Private Network (VPN) on your computer at home. Then, when you are using a public Wi-Fi hotspot, you can use your smartphone to connect to your home computer, and use its secure connection to the internet to access web pages safely.

However, this is technically challenging and most of us would need help from an IT expert to do this.

Another way to stay secure is to make sure that any supposedly secure webpages you look at feature a little padlock in the address bar, as well as the preface ‘https’ rather than ‘http’. This means that the page is secure, and not visible to others.

Third, make sure that you regularly install the suggested updates for your smartphone’s browser software.

Comments (24)

Share what you think

The comments below have not been moderated.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

Who is this week’s top commenter?
Find out now