A 45-foot-high Nootka Cypress evergreen has been chosen as the best tree to climb in the whole of the National Trust.
The National Trust is following last year’s success, when 40,000 kids signed up to the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’ initiative. It has drawn up a new list of outdoor adventures, including fifteen new experiences recommended by children.
Armed with the new list of activities, the National Trust then set about finding the ultimate places where each of the 50 things activities could be enjoyed at their places in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. According to the conservation charity, two of the 50 activities are best experienced right here in the North East including climbing a tree at Wallington and camping out in the wild at Gibside.
The tree came at the top of the list, as its trunk height and branches make it ideal for mini adventurers.
The conservation charity then asked more than 1,700 kids to vote for their top 10 activities from the list of 50, and set about finding the ultimate National Trust places in the North East where they could be enjoyed.
Over half of the children questioned (63 per cent) chose tree climbing, den building and bike riding as the top three activities, with half (51 per cent) agreeing that tree climbing was one of their favourite activities as it is the most challenging.
The top ten activities and best places in the North East to do them include:
1. Go on a really long bike ride – Cragside, Rothbury
2. Build a den – Allen Banks and Staward Gorge, Bardon Mill
3. Climb a tree – Wallington, Cambo
4. Cook on a campfire – Cherryburn, Stocksfield
5. Hunt for fossils and bones – Northumberland Coast
6. Discover what’s in a pond – Washington Old Hall, Washington
7. Track wild animals – Gibside, Rowlands Gill
8. Hold a scary beast – Souter Lighthouse, Whitburn
9. Go bird watching – Farne Islands, Seahouses
10. Go on a walk barefoot – Lindisfarne Castle, Holy Island.
Jessica Swales, National Trust Kids Council member and tree climbing ambassador (aged 8), commented: “I have completed every activity from the 50 things to do before you’re 11¾ list and tree climbing is my favourite thing to do outdoors, so I’m really glad other children really like it too. I love playing outside and climbing this big tree at Wallington with my friends was great fun. I can’t wait to get outside and start ticking off the new 50 things list!”
Julie Tucker, Events and Promotions Manager at Wallington said:
“We are passionate about getting children outdoors and we want to encourage kids everywhere to play outside and connect with nature, so we’re thrilled at how many under 12s have been engaging with the 50 things initiative. This inspired the Trust to source the nation’s best place to climb a tree and we’re delighted that Wallington’s Nootka tree has been chosen. To find out what you can do and where, either as part of an event or under your own steam, you can download a planner from www.nationaltrust.org.uk/northeast”
To help kids tick off their list, over the summer the National Trust has over 7,000 50-things-inspired activities taking place around the UK, with hundreds of events happening over this bank holiday weekend. In the North East you can go on a dawn chorus Ramble with a Ranger at Gibside, enjoy kite making at Souter Lighthouse or head over to Wallington for their Spring Outdoors Fayre, as Julie explains:
“Our Spring Outdoors Fayre this bank holiday weekend is a great chance to get started with the new list of 50 things do to before you’re 11 3/4 activities, and to have a go at climbing our Nootka tree of course. We’ve got lots going on for adults as well as children.”