Tag Archives: Family days out

The National Trust Reveals Kids’ Plea For More Family Time

The National Trust has revealed one in five 8-11 year olds want to spend more time with their parents and more than a third of parents said they want to spend more time with their kids.

While watching television and DVDs tops the YouGov poll* as the most common way for parents and children to spend time together in the UK** 26 per cent of children aged 8-11 years old and nearly half (49 per cent) of all parents surveyed said they would like to spend more time together just going for a walk.

To help families get out on an autumn walk, users of the website Mumsnet have provided some top tips on making sure that parents have got everything ready for a fun day out such as climbing a huge hill, flying a kite or hunting for some treasure on a beach.

Over the half-term period there will be hundreds of family walking adventures at National Trust properties as part of the Great British Walk, which has been organised in partnership with PruHealth.

These walks are the perfect way for kids to tick off their ’50 things to do before they’re 11 ¾’, including collecting and play conkers and picking and eating apples straight from the tree.

Simon Pryor, Natural Environment Director at the National Trust, said: “Despite the fact that TV seems to be dominating family life its really encouraging that children and parents want to spend more time together and that walking is seen as a great way of doing just that.

“Walking is a brilliant way for families to spend time together, get fit and discover the joy of the British countryside.

“And with so many great activities taking place at National Trust properties around the country this half-term there’s no better time to get out and go on a walking adventure.”

Mumsnet co-founder and CEO Justine Roberts added: “It’s all too easy to end up spending all family time in front of screens, watching TV or playing video games. Spending time with the children outdoors can be just as cheap as well as fun and educational and offers a bit of balance in a world dominated by X-Factor and Fifa 12.”

Dr William Bird, GP, said: “Children can benefit hugely from walking in the outdoors. High blood pressure, cholesterol and depression can be detected in children as young as 10, due to inactivity. Spending time with family, in the outdoors, can invigorate even the most TV or X-box-obsessed children.”

Free family friendly trails can be downloaded fromwww.nationaltrust.org.uk/greatbritishwalk and families can share their favourite walks online for the chance to win a stay in a National Trust holiday cottage.

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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.”

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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***.

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The National Trust reports son of RamCam born live on LambCam

A ewe that was tupped in a video made as part of the National Trust’s MyFarm* project has, nearly five months later, given birth on camera too.

The Portland ewe, unimaginatively named ‘3462’ after her tag number, shot to prominence after starring in MyFarm’s ‘RamCam’ video.

RamCam saw Peacland Paolo, a Portland ram, fitted with a horn-mounted webcam as he went out for the tupping season at Wimpole Home Farm, the home of MyFarm, last November.

In his first tup, Paolo took a special shine to experienced ewe number 3462, one of 30 ewes in his field for the tup. The video has been viewed more than 18,000 times on YouTube.

As the end of the 145-day gestation period drew nearer, the MyFarm team moved the ewe into a lambing pen fitted with another webcam.

On Sunday evening, viewers on the MyFarm website saw the as-yet unnamed ‘Son of RamCam’ born into the world.

MyFarm Project Manager, Andrew Cock-Starkey, said: “First RamCam and now LambCam have been great fun and we hope people have enjoyed watching them.

“Though it’s all done slightly tongue in cheek – and we’ve had lots of pun fun with titles like RamCam and EweTube – there is a serious message too.

“Carbon footprints, food miles and food provenance are becoming more and more important both to consumers and the industry.

“Most people have eaten lamb, still more will have heard of the lambing season at farms but I’d wager not many knew what the tupping season was.

“Through the MyFarm project we want to involve people in farming and where their food comes from.

“MyFarm members vote on key decisions that affect the future of the farm.

“If Paolo, ewe 3462 and their son help us teach people that British lamb born in the Spring is available to eat in Autumn, and not in the next few weeks as most people think, then they’ve done their job.”

The lamb’s birth was amongst the first at the home of MyFarm, Home Farm on the Wimpole Estate in Cambridgeshire. It signals the start of the farm’s lambing season that starts on Saturday 17 March and runs through to Sunday 5 April. Home Farm is open to the public and is expecting around 40,000 visitors during the five week period.

Andrew Cock-Starkey added: “Lambing is a very busy but hugely enjoyable time on the farm and the farm staff work really hard to share the goings on with the public.

“It’s quite a magical thing to see a lamb that’s a few hours or even minutes old and lucky visitors may even see a birth for themselves.

“For those that don’t we suggest they keep an eye our MyFarm webcams. We’ve had pigs farrowing recently and even a rare Bagot goat having twin kids all live on camera.”

For more information on MyFarm visit www.my-farm.org.uk.

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