National Trust Launches Campaign To Get Children Outdoors

The National Trust has launched a nationwide campaign to encourage sofa-bound children to take to the outdoors and enjoy classic adventures from skimming stones to building dens.

The ‘50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾‘ initiative is in response to a report commissioned by the National Trust which highlighted research that fewer than one in ten children regularly play in wild places compared to almost half a generation ago, a third have never climbed a tree and one in ten can’t ride a bike.*

The charity’s ’50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾’ campaign provides a checklist for under-12s (and those who are young at heart) including everything from running around in the rain and bug hunting, to setting up a snail race, damming a stream, flying a kite and making a (delicious) mud pie.

To help bring to life these simple pleasures, the Trust has formed a group of Elite Rangers who will share their expert tips on enjoying outdoor adventures and their enthusiasm for encouraging children to play alfresco.

The five rangers, all Trust staff, come from across the UK and range in age from 29 to 49. They include a 6ft 3″ tree climbing expert, who has scaled 50 metre-high trees, (a.k.a. Tree Man), Captain Skim who can skim a stone over 26 times and Midas the treasure hunter. The other rangers are Den-Boy, an outdoor hideaway-building champion, and a mini-beast expert, a.k.a. The Bug Catcher.

The fantastic five will be offering top tips on their chosen skill to the nation’s children over the National Trust Free Weekend (21st and 22nd April) when the National Trust will open up over 200 of its houses and gardens for free over the weekend, as well as all the countryside spaces it cares for, which are always free access

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 nationaltrust.org.uk/50things 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, commented: “Our Elite Rangers are a fantastic bunch, with bags of enthusiasm for the outdoors and what it can offer kids. We’re hoping that the nation’s children will embrace the 50 things and start having their very own outdoor adventures with their family, with our Free Weekend the perfect opportunity to get outside in the fresh air.”

Via EPR Network
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Jonathan Dollard, P.E. Joins Free Flow Power Corporation

Free Flow Power Corporation, a developer of clean renewable energy, welcomes the addition of Mr.Jonathan Dollard, P.E.to the company as aVice President of Engineering.

Mr. Dollard has more than 20 years of experience in hydropower industry. Mr. Dollard was responsible for the operation and maintenance of over 65 hydroelectric and other renewable energy generating projects across the United States during his preceding 14-year employment with Enel Green Power North America, Inc. (formerly CHI Energy, Inc.) Mr. Dollard also worked with Rivers Engineering and has completed various civil, structural and water resources analyses and designs. He has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of New Hampshire.

Dan Irvin, CEO of Free Flow Power, commented, “We’re thrilled to have Jon leading our engineering team. We expect his experience in design, operation, and maintenance of utility-scale renewable energy facilities to enhance the value of our development pipeline.”

Mr. Dollard remarked, “ I look forward to working with FFP team who is clearly one of the leading hydropower development companies within the United States. It’s wonderful to join a team that has a common goal of economically developing renewable energy sites and I hope to share my past experiences with them to ensure success. ”

About Free Flow Power

Free Flow Power Corporation is a clean renewable energy company focusing on hydropower, hydrokinetic and hydro pumped storage projects as reliable, cost-effective sources of electricity and grid stability. Free Flow Power is developing a pipeline of over 150 projects representing potential capacity of more than 3,500 Megawatts in the US on behalf of investors, utilities, and electricity consumers.

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The National Trust Acts Now To Save Children’s Relationship With The Outdoors

A new National Trust report has found that evidence of a long-term and dramatic decline in children’s relationship with the outdoors is ‘overwhelming’ and urgent action is needed to bridge this growing gap before it’s too late.

In his Natural Childhood report* naturalist, author and TV producer Stephen Moss charts years of academic research and a steady stream of surveys on the subject, highlighting how a generation of children is finally losing touch with the natural world.

The report outlines a clear need to tackle the rise of ‘Nature Deficit Disorder‘, a term coined by the US based writer Richard Louv, to describe a growing dislocation between children and nature**.

Report author Stephen Moss, said: “We all know the benefits being outdoors can bring, and as parents we want our children to spend more time outdoors than they do.

“But despite this overwhelming evidence and the different initiatives and schemes run by organisations across the UK, our kids are spending less and less time in the outdoors.

“The time to act is now, whilst we still have a generation of parents and grandparents who grew up outdoors and can pass on their experience and whilst there remains a determination to do something positive in this area.”

A two-month inquiry, facilitated by the National Trust, will take evidence from leading experts and the public to look at how we can reconnect this and future generations of children with the natural world.

The National Trust is working alongside Arla, the NHS Sustainable Development Unit and film-makers Green Lions, to organise a summit this summer to bring together a range of experts to develop a roadmap for reconnecting children and nature.

Fiona Reynolds, Director-General of the National Trust, said: “Getting outdoors and closer to nature has all sorts of benefits for our children. It keeps them fit, they can learn about the world around them and, most of all, it’s fun.

“That’s why it’s so worrying that so many children today don’t have the opportunity to experience the outdoors and nature. Building a den, picking flowers, climbing trees – the outdoors is a treasure trove, rich in imagination. It brings huge benefits that we believe every child should have the opportunity to experience and there are huge costs when they don’t.”

During the last decade conservation groups, academics, social and health professionals and the media have charted the rise of so-called ‘cotton-wool kids’ and countless examples of what is going wrong.

Authority figures and layers of bureaucracy have combined in a climate of ‘don’t do that’ to create an environment where fewer children play in the outdoors. This has led to a situation where kids having fun in the outdoors are painted as showing signs of anti-social behaviour.

The research shows that capturing children before they enter the teenage years is crucial with the research clearly showing if kids get hooked before they reach twelve years old, they will develop a lifelong passion for the environment and outdoors activities***.

Via EPR Network
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