Booking terms and conditions

Terms and conditions of booking with Essex Outdoors


“A Booking” means the booking for the Services by the Customer, and confirmation from Essex Outdoors to the Customer of the Services booked;”Agreement” means this Agreement between Essex Outdoors and the Customer for the Services;

“Activities” means that part of the Services consisting of any of the following activity sessions delivered by Essex Outdoors (list not exhaustive): adventure course, climbing, sailing, mountain bikes, etc;

“Authorised Officer” means the person appointed by Essex Outdoors to act on its behalf under this Agreement as notified to the Customer;

“Course/Courses” means specific pre-arranged Activities or combinations of Activities to be provided to individual Users;

” Consent Form” means express written parental consent for children and young people under the age of 18 that do not have pastoral support by another adult, to be provided the Services;

“Data Controller” means a person who (either alone or jointly or in common with other persons) determines the purposes for which and the manner in which any personal data are, or are to be processed;

“Essex Outdoors” “EO” /”We”/”Us” “Our”; means Essex County Council’s outdoor education service operating as a trading division of ESSEX COUNTY COUNCIL (“ECC”) of County Hall, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1QU;

“Essex Outdoor Centres” means the four Essex County Council outdoor centres where the Services are to be provided;

“The Providing Centre” means any one of the four Essex Outdoors Centres;

“Fee(s)” means the payment by the Customer to Essex Outdoors for the provision of the Services, or cancellation charges as provided in clause 3;

“Group Information” means information with respect to persons to be provided the Services, including any special needs, and outcomes required pursuant to the Services;

“Instructors” means staff employed by Essex Outdoors;

“The Customer”/ “You”/”Your”, means the person or organisation making a Booking”

“Users” means users of the Services as set out in a booking form, which shall if applicable, include the Customer and User means any one of them;

“Users Leader(s) means the Customer or any other person notified to Essex Outdoors during the booking process;

“Other Users” means other users of the Services;

“Services” means the Activities; Courses; conferencing; accommodation; facilities; and catering to be provided by Essex Outdoors pursuant to this Agreement in accordance with a Booking.

1 Fees and Booking Process

1.1 All published Fees are exempt from VAT unless otherwise stated.

1.2 Written Quotations for a booking are valid for 14 days from the date of issue and do not constitute a commitment by Essex Outdoors to provide the quoted Service.

1.3 A Booking can only be confirmed by the Customer submitting a fully completed booking form AND a minimum non-refundable deposit of 10% of the overall booking Fee.
By submitting the fully completed booking form WITH an Essex County Council Full Expenditure Code or a valid purchase order. Journal payments via ECC Expenditure code cannot be processed unless the expenditure code is accompanied by the requisite Budget Holders signature.
For certain pre-arranged Courses only, by submitting a booking via the Essex Outdoors online booking portal, accompanied by full payment of the Fee at the point of booking.

1.4 The final balance of the Fee must be settled no later than 8 weeks prior to the Services commencement date.

1.5 If a booking form is submitted within the eight-week period prior to the Services commencement date, the whole booking Fee must be submitted with the booking form.

2 Amendments by the Customer

2.1 Any proposed alterations to a Booking should be made in writing and agreed by the Authorised Officer at the Providing Centre.

2.2 Any changes to a Booking may be subject to an administration charge for any Fees incurred.

2.3 Accommodation and facilities shall only be used by those Users who are named in the booking form unless two weeks written notice of any changes is given as outlined below.

2.4 Substitution of the original Customer and/or Users for another can be made providing two weeks’ notice is given by the substituted Customer to the Authorised Officer at the Providing Centre and the Services is appropriate for the substituting Customer and/or Users.

2.5 All substitutions must be made with the consent of the Authorised Officer at the Providing Centre with both the substituted and the substituting Customer being jointly and severally liable for the total Fee and any administration cost incurred.

2.6 A Customer may apply, in writing, to amend the Services start date if the new dates are within the same financial year and the new date has been agreed and documented with the Authorised Officer at the Providing Centre.

3 Cancellation by the Customer

3.1 All cancellations must be made in writing and acknowledged by the Authorised Officer at the Providing Centre.

3.2 All cancellations and part-cancellations are subject to the appropriate cancellation Fees detailed below.

3.3 The financial cost of cancellation of a course is as follows:

3.3.1 All deposits are non-refundable.

3.3.2 50% of the total booking fee or any costs incurred, whichever is greater, where cancellation takes place between 8 and 12 weeks before the commencement date of the Services.

3.3.3 100% of the total booking fee where cancellation takes place less than 8 weeks before the commencement of the Services.

3.3.4 For a Booking onto pre-arranged Courses, where full payment is required at the time of booking, the whole Fee is non-refundable unless the Course is cancelled by Essex Outdoors as set out below.

3.4 The date of effective cancellation is calculated on the day of receipt of written notice.

4 Cancellation by Essex Outdoors

4.1 Whilst every effort is made to ensure that Services run according to the published programme, Essex Outdoors reserves the right to amend or cancel any of the Services where it believes on reasonable grounds that cancellation is necessary due to dangerous or unsuitable conditions or if the numbers of Users or Other Users booked for the Services to be provided have failed to reach a workable minimum.

4.2 Essex Outdoors also reserves the right to amend or cancel a Booking if accommodation or other arrangements fail to conform to any applicable safety or statutory requirements.

4.3 Any cancellations and changes will be notified to the Customer not less than two weeks prior to the commencement of the Services if booked numbers of Users and Other Users fail to reach a workable minimum or as soon as is reasonably practicable if environmental conditions or other factors affect the Services programme.

4.4 In the event of a cancellation by Essex Outdoors, the Customer will be offered a suitable alternative Services if available, or a refund of the full Fee paid.

5 Health and Safety

5.1 Visits to Essex Outdoors engage Users in adventurous Activities. All adventurous Activities by nature carry an element of risk. All Users participating in
Activities provided by ECC at Essex Outdoors Centres do so in acceptance of that risk.

5.2 The Customer should ensure the number of accompanying staff is sufficient to comply with their Educational Visits guidelines/Codes of Practice and ensure that one member of staff or responsible person is available to accompany Users in each activity group whilst at any of at Essex Outdoors Centres.

5.3 Essex Outdoors’ normal recommended ratio for accompanying members of staff is 1 per 10 Users however; groups of Users participating in adventurous and field work Activities should contact the Authorised Officer at the Providing Centre to discuss appropriate staff ratios for the work being undertaken.

5.4 The Users Leader must be available on site at the Providing Centre all times during the Users’ visit.

5.5 Group Information and Consent Forms (if applicable to the Services and not part of the booking form) should be completed in full and returned to the Authorised Officer at the Providing Centre not less than one week before the Services start date.

5.6 Certain Activities will have restrictions on who can participate (e.g. minimum height requirements) that will be discussed at the time of booking.

5.7 Essex Outdoors centres are covered under the Essex County Council Public Liability insurance policy but it is recommended that the Customer and/or Users of the Services take out appropriate insurance to cover the possibility of cancellation, personal accident and loss.

5.8 The Customer shall ensure that Users abide by the health and safety guidelines and considerations as set out locally by the Providing Centre.

6 Customers Responsibility

6.1 The Customer shall ensure that Users of the Services understand and accept the risks involved and that, in the case of Users of the Services under 18, that express parental permission has been obtained for each User.

6.2 Users Leader(s) are responsible for fully advising the Providing Centre in writing of any illness, disability, social or behavioural problems that User currently has that may affect them during the provision of the Services.

6.3 Where a User’s Leader has concerns over a User’s medical conditions and ability to participate in Activities, the User Leader should contact the Authorised Officer at the Providing Centre for advice prior to commencement of the Services.

6.4 Instructors will be responsible for the safety of any Users whilst taking part in Activities provided by Essex Outdoors Centres. The safety of Users whilst not taking part in Activities provided by Essex Outdoors is the responsibility of the Users’ Leader and any other accompanying staff.

6.5 Essex Outdoors reserves the right to request written confirmation from a GP/teacher confirming the suitability of any part of the Services for any of the Users with reference to considerations such as social compatibility, physical access, successful participation and health and safety. Any information will be treated sensitively and confidentially in accordance with ECC privacy and data Protection policies.

6.6 If Essex Outdoors cannot provide any part of the Services for the reasons outlined above any related fees paid will be refunded.

6.7 Essex Outdoors reserves the right to exclude any person before or after commencement of the Services should important personal details have not been fully declared, or a User deemed inappropriate and/or incompatible with the health, safety, well-being or enjoyment others Users.

6.8 Behaviour deemed inappropriate includes, but is not limited to: Damage to the property; Under-age buying and consumption of alcoholic drinks; Suspected or substantiated involvement with illegal drugs; Leaving the site (i.e. the Providing Centre) unless accompanied by a responsible adult; Smoking outside of designated areas and smoking by under 18’s; Entering accommodation used by the opposite gender or another party/ group without permission; Theft or illegal activities;, Threatening or anti-social behaviour; bullying; offensive or insulting language to other guests, staff ,persons resident in the Providing Centre, or members of the public.

6.9 Collection of any person whose behaviour has been deemed inappropriate would be the responsibility and at the expense of the Customer to whom the whole cost for damage and other expenses incurred would also be charged.

6.10 Personal property including baggage remains the responsibility of the Customer and Users at all times. Essex Outdoors cannot be held liable for the loss of or damage to personal property.

7 Essex Outdoors’ Responsibilities

7.1 Essex Outdoors accepts responsibility for the arrangements that are under its direct control and for the acts and/or omissions of its employees. Save as set out below, no liability is accepted for personal illness, injury or death.

7.2 Essex Outdoors accepts liability for personal illness, injury or death which results from the negligent acts or omissions of any of its staff, servants or agents working on its behalf in the provision of the Services to Users whilst acting within the scope of their employment or engagement.

7.2 Essex Outdoors cannot be held responsible for the loss of enjoyment or additional expenses incurred by the Customer and/or Users due to circumstances outside its control.

7.3 Essex Outdoors can only be held liable for special requests where the Authorised Officer has confirmed their availability in writing.

7.4 During the visit to the Providing Centres, the Customer and Users as appropriate authorises suitably qualified first aiders (or other qualified medical staff) of Essex Outdoors staff to approve or administer such medical treatment for Users as is deemed necessary in an emergency, on the advice of a qualified practitioner.

8 Data Protection and Privacy

8.1 Essex Outdoors handles information in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) 2016 and Freedom of Information Act 2000. Essex County Council (ECC) is the Data Controller for the purposes of the GDPR. Please also refer to our full Privacy Policy available at for further details of our responsibilities, what information we collect and/or process and why, as well your rights surrounding this.

8.2 Essex Outdoors will collect Your organisation details and/or personal information in order to process Your booking or enquiry. This information will not be shared with any other third party unless the law requires Us to do so, or if that third party is relevant to fulfilling Your booking or enquiry. Online payment transactions are handled on behalf of Essex Outdoors by SagePay Europe Ltd, a 3rd party Level 1 PCI compliant Payment Services Provider and no payment card details are collected or retained by Us.

8.3 If you have opted to do so during the booking or enquiry process, Essex Outdoors will use the information submitted by you to send You or Your organisation occasional updates on the services We offer, however if at any time You do not wish to continue to receive these updates, please contact Us on

8.4 Your information will be held on Our systems in line with Our data retention policy, however You may request this is removed at any time by contacting

9 Photography & Video

9.1 During the course of a visit, photographs and /or video recordings may be taken and used for training monitoring and evaluation purposes.

9.2 For pre-arranged courses, if individual Users do not wish to be photographed or videoed, the Customer and/or the Users should notify the Authorised Officer prior to their visit.

9.3 For customers making group bookings, especially schools and pre-formed youth groups, the customer will be contacted prior to their visit to discuss and obtain the necessary consent.

10 Complaints Procedure

10.1 If there is any problem with Your booking, we want to be the first to hear about it. It is essential that You contact the Authorised Officer at the Providing Centre as soon as possible so that We can try to rectify the situation on the spot.

10.2 In the unlikely event that the matter remains unresolved, please write to Us immediately following provision of the Services and We will do our utmost to find a satisfactory resolution. Notice in writing of any claim or dispute must be received within 28 days of the date on which the Services ended.