THE number of Scouts in Tendring has topped the 1,000 mark for the first time in a decade.

New groups in Clacton, Jaywick, Tendring village and Bradfield have helped boost numbers, and there are plans to launch a troop at Shorefields School in Clacton this September for children with special needs.

Leaders say an astonishing one in four young people in the area are now Scouts, with more than 100 still on waiting lists to join.

Speaking at the recently opened HQ in Clacton, district commissioner Kieron Moir said: "“Our district feels more confident, better connected and more passionately committed to the young people of Tendring than at any time I can remember.

"This is a district going places.”

He praised the enthusiasm and commitment and drive of the 400 adult volunteers who help out a more than 50 Beaver, Cub, Scout and Explorer groups and said there was a unit meeting somewhere in Tendring every night of the week.

Leaders at the meeting had a massive 850 years experience in Scouting.

Last year volunteers in the district gave more than 23,000 hours to Scouting, 5,273 badges were awarded and youngsters wolfed down more than 2,000 rashers of bacon on camps.

Group leader Peter Perry, of the12th Clacton Scouts, was presented with a Chief Scout award for 30 years of service, Margaret Medler was awarded a bar to her Silver Acorn Steve Moore got a bar to the Award for Merit, Celia Merryweather, Steve Kemp and Christine Buxton received the Award for Merit, Carol Kerridge was given a Silver Acorn and Lynn Mayo was presented with the Silver Wolf Award.