Let’s go fly a kite....on Dunstable Downs

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More than 80 Beavers, Cubs and Scouts from around Bedfordshire flew into Dunstable to take part in their annual kite contest and a place in a national kite festival.

These magnificent men (and women) with their flying machines also competed to have the best, the longest-flying or most broken kite during a fun-filled morning on Dunstable Downs. And they arrived from places as far afield as Cardington, Bedford, Flitwick and Ivinghoe as well as Luton and Houghton Regis.

The kites came in all sorts of shapes and sizes. There were plastic bags by the dozen, fancy paper kites with strange designs on them, some made out of kits and even a model of an American Lightning Jet Fighter in authentic dark grey livery.

Each group had 15 minutes to get airborne and show off their flying skills to a judging panel of kite-flying enthusiasts.

The event goes towards the Scouts’ Air Activities Badge which also includes knowing about airfield safety, naming aircraft parts, recognising weather conditions and making a model aeroplane.

Ivinghoe and Pitstone Scout Group were awarded a special prize for the best out- of-county group. And they also flew the Lightning Fighter owned by Cub Scout Noah Wilcock, aged nine.

Lea Scout Group won the trophy for the longest-flying kite and ten-year-old Callum Wood received the trophy for the best kite in the contest.

Organiser and Scout leader Geoff Wright said: “This was a glorious opportunity for the Scouts to compete and show their kite-flying skills in an open air tournament ahead of a national event at the end of July. It is all thanks to Rose Roberts, a National Trust ranger at the Gateway Centre, who wanted to encourage youngsters to take part in this great sport.”

Rose said: “We love having the Scouts at our centre on Dunstable Downs and I’m sure they had a wonderful time. The winners will now have a chance to take part in the national Dunstable Downs Kite Festival on July 26 and 27.”