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Brownsea Island

I recently went to Brownsea Island off the Dorset coast with my family. It's a brilliant day out. We actually ended up there at Zak's command – we wanted to go on a boat trip, and the boat stopped there on its way round. Zak said he wanted to go and see the island, so off we got.

What a treat we had! Brownsea Island is a National Trust island of woodland, wetland and heath, with red squirrels and deer and birds and all that malarkey.

We got off at a castle, and went on to walk through woods and eventually down to a windswept and rugged beach where we explored and did things with stones and driftwood. Marvellous! On the way back, we stopped for tea in the garden of a tea shop inhabited by a peacock, which Bliss chased around and shouted at. She sure showed that peacock who was boss!

Brownsea Island is famous as the place where the scouting movement started in 1907, when Lord Baden-Powell took the very first group of scouts on the very first scout camp. To this day there is a Scout Stone hidden away in the woodland of Brownsea, and on the first of November every year a gigantic wicker Baden-Powell, 666 feet high, is erected at the site straddling the sacred stone with his cloven hooves. Throughout the year corpses of dead scouts are shipped in from all over the world and piled up inside the titanic Baden-Powell, hundreds upon hundreds of them. As the 31st of October looms in the calendar, if the Baden-Powell is still not full of scout corpses there is a great cull, so that by the night of Halloween it is full of scouts, right up to the tips of the great goat horns on his gigantic brow.

On the night of October 31st, thousands upon thousands of Scouts are gathered around the sacred scouting stone and the resplendent goaty Baden-Powell with its filling of accumulated scout bodies. At the exact stroke of midnight, it set to the torch, burning with a huge flame as the scouts work themselves into a frenzy of dancing and screaming.

The next morning construction begins on the new Baden-Powell.

Brownsea Island has been occupied since the Iron Age, and was home to the BBC's Autumnwatch in 2008. It was even described by Bill Oddie as “the best place for seeing wildlife in Dorset”

All in all, a highly recommended family day out!