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National Trust encourages Northumberland kids to enjoy the outdoors

Other posts by  |  Steve Smith on Google+ |  April 13, 2012 | 0 Comments
Head into the Great Outdoors and enjoy some tree climbing!

Head into the Great Outdoors and enjoy some tree climbing!

The National Trust is issuing a call for kids to get off the couch – or computer chair – and get into The Great Outdoors and get active!

Most health experts agree that most kids need lots more physical exercise , and in this age of computers and gaming, children have never been so inactive.

To help kids get a bit more active, the National Trust today launches its 50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾ campaign to encourage children to get outdoors and participate in classic adventures from rolling down hills to flying kits to damning streams!

The 50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾ initiative is in response to a report commissioned by the National Trust which shows that fewer than one in ten children regularly play in wild places compared to half a generation ago.  Today, a third have never climbed a tree, one in ten can’t ride a bike, and three times as many are taken to hospital after falling out of bed, as from falling out of a tree.

And as a bit of encouragement, on April 21 and 22 the National Trust including Wallington Morpeth will open  its doors for free. On those days everyone is welcome to visit, get active and enjoy the countryside places they care for. Properties include Wallington and Cragside in Northumberland and Gibside near Rowlands Gill will be free to the public to explore.

The Trust’s Property Manager Mick Wilkes says that the National Trust hopes that “The activities are aimed at helping families make the most of the outdoors, particularly at places like Gibside where through our programme of events or by simply visiting you can take part in many of the 50 things.”

This UK-wide campaign is for the under-12s – and anyone else for that matter – and the list includes watching the sun rise, climbing hills, finding you way behind a waterfall, making an owl call and tracking wildlife.

Kids can pick up a free 50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾ scrapbook from participating properties – and start ticking off their outdoor adventures to do list. Plus, the fun can continue at home by visiting where children can fill in their completed activities and earn points towards their very own explorer badge.

Tony Berry, Visitor Experience Director of the National Trust, said the Trust is keen for children across the nation to embrace the 50 things and start having their very own outdoor adventures with their family. “With our Free Weekend it’s the perfect opportunity to get outside in the fresh air.”

To find out what you can do and where log onto

The 50 this are:

1. Climb a tree
2. Roll down a really big hill
3. Camp out in the wild
4. Build a den
5. Skim a stone
6. Run around in the rain
7. Fly a kite
8. Catch a fish with a net
9. Eat an apple straight from a tree
10. Play conkers
11. Throw some snow
12. Hunt for treasure on the beach
13. Make a mud pie
14. Dam a stream
15. Go sledging
16. Bury someone in the sand
17. Set up a snail race
18. Balance on a fallen tree
19. Swing on a rope swing
20. Make a mud slide
21. Eat blackberries growing in the wild
22. Take a look inside a tree
23. Visit an island
24. Feel like you’re flying in the wind
25. Make a grass trumpet
26. Hunt for fossils and bones
27. Watch the sun wake up
28. Climb a huge hill
29. Get behind a waterfall
30. Feed a bird from your hand
31. Hunt for bugs
32. Find some frogspawn
33. Catch a butterfly in a net
34. Track wild animals
35. Discover what’s in a pond
36. Call an owl
37. Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool
38. Bring up a butterfly
39. Catch a crab
40. Go on a nature walk at night
41. Plant it, grow it, eat it
42. Go wild swimming
43. Go rafting
44. Light a fire without matches
45. Find your way with a map and compass
46. Try bouldering
47. Cook on a campfire
48. Try abseiling
49. Find a geocache
50. Canoe down a river

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