THE number of children joining beaver scout colonies in Burton has skyrocketed since the start of the year, taking the figure to the highest it has been for years.
More than 60 little ones have joined groups around the district in the six months since January, taking the total above the 300 mark.
The addition of two completely new groups in Eton Park and Rolleston has boosted the numbers for the area, and there are plans to set up more as time goes on.
District commissioner Graham Rothery told the Mail: "It's been very popular. We have received a lot of enquiries in the last six months in particular, which has resulted in groups being able to take beavers in. And, of course, success breeds success.
"We rely on our adult volunteers to make this possible, and we will take more young people into all our sections as we find enough adults to join as beaver, cub and scout leaders, or as helpers and local managers. Volunteering is great fun."
Two more groups have been planned for the area over the coming months, including a second colony in Stretton, which is due to open in the autumn.
There are currently spaces in Stapenhill for any children hoping to join a beaver colony.
One of the new groups to be opened, the 9th Burton beaver colony, has been tailored to suit Muslim children, though leaders are keen to stress it is not a religious group and will not close ranks to anybody who is not of that faith. The group is hosting an Eid party at the beginning of August.
Beavers is for boys and girls aged six or seven, and leads them into cub groups.
Mr Rothery said he hoped that as time went on, there would be space for the groups to expand further and there would be cub, and eventually scout, groups for them to move into.
Numbers – and volunteers – were not as strong in these areas, he added. The group also suffers with premises issues, as the cost of renting space is very high.
Further information about Burton District Scouts, including contact information for beaver colonies, is available by visiting www.burtonscouts.org.uk