A GROUP of Hampshire Scouts battling to raise the £80,000 needed to save their headquarters have almost reached their target.

Hythe Sea Scouts have collected £78,000 towards the cost of sea defence work which aims to prevent their building at Shore Road from toppling into Southampton Water.

Action is needed to avoid the waterfront complex being swept away by storms, rising sea levels and the wash from passing ships.

Fundraising successes include the £764 they collected by helping customers at the Applemore branch of Tesco to pack their shopping bags.

Chris Godfrey, chairman of the fundraising committee, said: “To be able to raise such a large amount at a single event gave all our Scouts a tremendous sense of fun and achievement.

“We are nearing our target but we’re not quite there yet.

“Our challenge for the first few months of 2019 – and every Scout’s new year’s resolution is to ensure we reach our grand total of £80,000.”

The Scouts are embarking on “one more heave” to raise the rest of the money needed to safeguard their site.

Some of the work has already been carried out but more needs to be done to keep winter storms at bay and protect the site for the next 20 years.

Mr Godfrey added: “Ideas have flooded in and everyone has stayed focused on helping to achieve our final tally.

“Initiatives have included collecting a mile of 5ps, staging an Oktoberfest at our Scout hut and pedalling (statically) to France.

“Parents and helpers have been registering on Easyfundraising as well as coming up with other great ideas. Our committee would also like to thank the many local businesses who have contributed with services, advice and assistance.”

Storms and coastal erosion have taken their toll on the Scout hut, which was built in the 1970s on land provided by New Forest District Council.

The £80,000 target is likely to be reached by the summer but the Scouts say they could decide to carry on after that.

They want to improve facilities at their headquarters as well as protecting other parts of Shore Road from coastal erosion.

A ferocious storm in 2014 resulted in waves eating away part of a nearby saltmarsh which shielded the area.