About Us

About Us

HENGISTBURY HEAD OUTDOORS (HHO) has, as of 3rd November 2023 been registered by the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 as a Community Benefit Society:

CBS Registration number: 9176.

As of November 3rd 2023 was also granted charitable status for tax purposes by HM Revenue and Customs.

HMRC Charities reference number: ZD28944.

Hengistbury Head Outdoors Ltd.


We are a diverse group of local watersports groups and enthusiasts who live locally and use the centre and Christchurch Harbour for recreation and education all year round.

It is our intention to take over the Hengistbury Head Outdoor Education Centre, (HHOEC) and run it as a facility for local people, gifted to the community by BCP Council, which we will call Hengistbury Head Outdoors.

We have already formed a Charitable Community Benefits Society, which will be run for and by the local community.

We are in ongoing positive discussions with BCP Council and our local councillors, and will be posting updates on a regular basis.


Our Mission

As a community group created for the community, our mission is to sympathetically rejuvenate the site at the former HHOEC, creating a sustainable, innovative yet tranquil space for ALL to participate in all forms of outdoor activity, provided by our volunteers and in partnership with professional bodies and organisations.


The History

Christchurch Harbour is a beautiful natural harbour and is home to Hengistbury Head Outdoors, created to build on and enhance the legacy already created.

In 1964, the Marine Training Centre (MTC) was opened at Hengistbury Head. In the 1980s the name was changed to Hengistbury Head Outdoor Education Centre (HHOEC).

In its last full year of operation, around 75 schools used HHOEC which handled over 10,000 school sessions and more than 5,000 public sessions (adults and young people).

In 2021 (post COVID) BCP took back direct ownership of the Centre and following a survey, the main building was deemed unsafe for public use and now has not been fully open since March 2020. (Some user groups still have access to the slipways etc).


The Founding Team                                  

Sam Arnold                           

CAMHS Support Worker & Coordinator. Paddleboard Leader & Instructor. - BH Activity Junkies

Max Buttinger                       

Chartered Physicist. Looking to overcome a fear of water!  

Adam Hobbs                         

Management Consultant. Sailor, Kayaker, & Cyclist.

Bill Howlett                            

Business Manager (Retd). Sailor, RYA Instructor. - Hengistbury Head Adult Sailors. 

John Merritt                          

Community Business Development Worker. Sailor & Swimmer.

Mark Merritt                          

Managing Director (Retd). Sailor, Kayaker & Cyclist. – Friends of Stanpit Marsh.

Simon Pitman                       

Marketing Director (Retd). Boating & Paddleboarder.

Becs Vince                            

Consultant on Inclusion in Education. Wellbeing & the Great Outdoors, Boating & Water Sports.             

Neil Woods                            

Recruitment Manager. BC SUP Leader & Instructor. - BH Activity Junkies.


The objects of Hengistbury Head Outdoors Community Benefit Society 

shall be for the public benefit:

To provide or assist in the provision of facilities for recreation and other leisure time occupation for the general public in the interests of social welfare and the with the object of improving the conditions of life;

To promote community participation in healthy recreation, in particular, by the provision of facilities for the learning, teaching  and practicing activities which promote physical and mental wellbeing;

To advance education in water-sports and other health and well-being activities, in particular but not exclusively, by the provision of training and information for health or fitness professionals, coaches, instructors and the general public. Activities include but are not limited to sailing, canoeing, paddle-boarding, safety boat handling, water safety, dragon boating, Yoga and Pilates;

The advancement and protection of the environment providing education and conservation programmes;

The creation of training and employment opportunities by the provision of workspace, buildings and land for use on favourable terms for providers of activities that promote community physical and mental wellbeing;

To cooperate with other charities, voluntary bodies and statutory authorities operating in the furtherance of the objects or similar charitable purposes and to exchange information and advice with them;

To pursue such other charitable purposes consistent with the above as the Directors, in their absolute discretion, shall determine.



CBS Registration no: 9176  BMRC Charities no: ZD28944  ©Copyright HHO 2024. All rights reserved.

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