Tag Archives: National Trust

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.

Via EPR Network
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National Trust co-founder honoured at Westminster Abbey

Octavia Hill, leading social reformer and co-founder of the National Trust, has been honoured at a service to dedicate a memorial to her at Westminster Abbey in London.

One hundred years after Octavia Hill’s death, a memorial stone, commissioned by theNational Trust and designed and crafted by Rory Young, has been dedicated at the service that celebrates her remarkable life.

Thousands of flowers, foliage and fruit from National Trust gardens across the South West were incorporated in eight spectacular displays for the service. Conceived by Mike Calnan, head of gardens at the Trust, the dramatic arrangements were made and assembled by London based floral artist Rebecca Louise Law, daughter of one of the Trust’s head gardeners, together with Abbey florist, Jane Rowton-Lee.

National Trust Chairman, Simon Jenkins, and Director-General, Dame Fiona Reynolds, broadcaster Julia Bradbury and writer Robert Macfarlane were among the members, supporters, staff and volunteers from the National Trust and other organisations who paid tribute to Octavia Hill with readings and prayers at the service conducted by The Very Reverend Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster.

The memorial stone, measuring 600mm x 600mm, is made of Purbeck marble, and has been laid in the nave of Westminster Abbey.

Octavia Hill founded the National Trust in 1895 with Sir Robert Hunter and Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley.

They were concerned about the impact of uncontrolled development and industrialisation and set up the Trust ‘for the protection of the public interests in the open spaces of the country.’

Octavia Hill also played a pivotal role in the housing reform movement and had a lifelong passion for learning and welfare.

Dame Fiona Reynolds said: “Octavia Hill had a profound impact on this country both as a social reformer and as a co-founder of the National Trust. She and her fellow reformers believed passionately that access to beauty, heritage and nature was a basic human need. Her biggest legacy has perhaps been the National Trust, which last year reached 4 million members – surely exceeding even her ambitions. All year we have been commemorating the work of this remarkable woman, and I am delighted by the opportunity to honour her legacy in this way.”

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National Trust Finds Getting Kids Into Nature Starts At Home

The National Trust has revealed that parents need more support to make the outdoors a part of everyday family life to avoid rearing a generation completely cut off from the natural world.

The Natural Childhood Inquiry – which sought submissions from experts and the public on the barriers and the solutions for children’s connection with nature – found that children’s love of nature is best started in the home.

The Inquiry follows on from a national childhood report for the National Trust by award winning nature author and wildlife TV producer Stephen Moss, published in March, which documented children’s declining connection with the outdoors and nature.

Inquiry respondents said parents need more access to family-friendly, green and natural spaces, as well as more opportunities for children to enjoy nature.

Fiona Reynolds, Director-General of the National Trust, said: “It is clear from the huge public response that our Natural Childhood report struck a chord with the nation.

“Parents want their children to have a better connection with nature, but they don’t feel completely confident in how to make that happen in a safe and stimulating way.

“Our inquiry showed that there is widespread agreement that this is an important issue and that now is the time to act. The worlds of conservation, government, education and child welfare need to work together with families and communities to find solutions.”

The Inquiry however recognised that there were some big barriers to a closer relationship with nature. These include excessive health and safety rules, the rise of indoor entertainment competing for children’s time and attention, traffic dangers, over-stuffed school days, and the poor quality and accessibility of green and natural spaces in many communities.

Research with children and parents commissioned by the National Trust to accompany the publication of the inquiry findings strongly validates these conclusions.

A YouGov survey* of 419 UK parents of under 13s revealed that a range of parental fears and concerns could be preventing children from getting the most of the great outdoors.

Stranger danger (37%), lack of safe nearby outdoor places to play (25%) and too much traffic (21%) were the top ranked barriers amongst parents of children aged 12 or under.

Just short of half (45 per cent) of parents of pre-teens identified ‘more local safe places to play’ as the thing which would most encourage them to let their children get outdoors and explore more where they lived. The other two top solutions supported by parents were ‘more supervised play spaces’ (32%) and ‘more activities organised by schools or youth groups’ (31%).

As part of its response to the lack of connection between kids and nature the National Trust launched its 50 Things to do before you’re 11 ¾ campaign in May. More than 250 Trust places took part and in the first two months more than 200,000 activity scrapbooks given away and nearly 20,000 users registered on the 50 Things website.

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National Trust-commissioned Writer Delves into Meaning of the White Cliffs of Dover

The National Trust has commissioned writer and philosopher Julian Baggini to spend a week at the White Cliffs of Dover, much of which is cared for by the Trust, exploring through verse what this much loved stretch of the Kent coast says about the UK.

Based at the world famous and iconic South Foreland Lighthouse, he will be delving into why the White Cliffs have become so wrapped up with our national identity and the role they play in creating our sense of belonging.

Julian Baggini, who co-founded The Philosophers’ Magazine, said: “For millions of Britons living across the world the White Cliffs is a clear symbol of Britain, in much the same way that the Statue of liberty has defined America. Even if we’ve never been to or seen the White Cliffs of Dover there is a collective sense that they matter.

“I want to get a real sense of what the White Cliffs of Dover mean for British people, including those for whom the cliffs were the first sight of the country, which would become their adopted home.

“But it’s not just about symbolism. Many important episodes in our national story have taken place on this stretch of coast, so I also want to look at how its local history has shaped our national history. And I also want to talk to people about home some contemporary debates, such as fishing and immigration, are being played out here.

“My suspicion is that if we look, there is an insightful portrait of the nation to be found engraved in the chalky cliffs of East Kent.”

Julian was born in Folkestone, his mother is from Dover and his father is an Italian whose first sight of his adoptive land in the early 1960’s was the White Cliffs of Dover.

The National Trust is currently trying to raise £1.2 million to acquire a stretch of the most famous segment of the White Cliffs above the Port of Dover.

Launched in late June*, the White Cliffs of Dover appeal has seen more than ten thousand people supporting the campaign to acquire this missing link: the National Trust already owns five miles of the White Cliffs.

During his residency Julian will be blogging and capturing on camera his thoughts and observations and will be talking to the people that live and work in vicinity of the White Cliffs, taking time out to travel to France for a fresh perspective and debate their meaning with local experts, trying to appreciate why the coast has defined our sense of collective and personal identity.

A book of Julian’s observations and musings from his time at the White Cliffs of Dover will be published in late September this year.

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National Trust names Dame Helen Ghosh as next director general

The National Trust has announced Dame Helen Ghosh DCB will be the next director-general of the charity.

Helen joins the Trust from her current role as permanent secretary to the Home Office. Previously, Helen held a variety of civil service roles including as permanent secretary to Defra between 2005 and 2010.

Dame Helen Ghosh joined the civil service from Oxford University, where she read Modern History. She has worked in a number of government departments, starting off in the Department of the Environment, and returning to environmental issues when she became Permanent Secretary at Defra in 2005. In between, she followed her interest in providing public services to local people with jobs in the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs and the Government Office for London, and has also worked at the centre of government, with two spells in the Cabinet Office. Helen is a long-term member of the Trust and of her local Wildlife Trust in Oxfordshire.

She will take over from Fiona Reynolds who has been at the helm for nearly 12 years. During that time, Fiona has grown the charity’s membership to four million and built a volunteer base of more than 67,000 people.

Helen said: “I have been an admirer of the Trust and its work all my life, and I am thrilled that I have been given the chance to be part of its future. I am delighted to be able to build on Fiona Reynolds’ great work in setting the Trust’s direction for the 21st century.”

Simon Jenkins, chairman of the National Trust, said: “The Board of Trustees is delighted that Helen will be the Trust’s next director-general. The Trustees’ strategy is to widen the Trust’s appeal and grow its membership. Helen is a distinguished and energetic public servant. We are convinced she is ideal to lead the organisation through what is proving a challenging time. We all look forward to working with her.”

Fiona Reynolds, who moves on to become Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 2013, said: “I am delighted by Helen’s appointment. The National Trust is a fantastic organisation to work for and I wish her, and the Trust, all the very best for the future.”

The National Trust was founded in 1895 to protect threatened coastline, countryside and buildings for the benefit and enjoyment of everyone.

Today the Trust employs more than 5,500 people and cares for special places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, including 250,000 hectares of countryside, 710 miles of coastline and 300 historic houses and gardens.

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National Trust White Cliffs appeal in bid to break £1 million

The National Trust has announced a Shakespearean actress, soul singing sensation, a world beating sailor and a passionate seafood champion have thrown their weight behind the charity’s biggest ever coastal appeal to acquire a stretch of the White Cliffs of Dover.

Dame Judi Dench, Joss Stone, Ben Ainslie and Rick Stein have joined thousands of people that have already supported the Trusts bid to raise £1.2 million to buy 1.35km of this much loved Kent coast.

Soul singer Joss Stone, who was born in Dover, said: “I love Dover and the White Cliffs. They mean so much to me and I hope that the National Trust raises enough money to buy the land for future generations to enjoy.”

The appeal was launched in late June to acquire this ‘missing link’ between the lands the Trust already cares for and enable it to be managed for the benefit of people and wildlife.

Fiona Reynolds, Director-General of the National Trust, said: “In just one month, thousands of people have backed our appeal and we’ve raised almost half of the money needed.

“This tremendous support shows the love we as a nation have for our special places – thank you to everyone who has contributed. We now need to keep going to make sure we reach the target and secure this piece of coastline for ever.”

Other high-profile figures that have given their support to the Trust’s campaign include actor Richard E. Grant, actor and TV presenter Tony Robinson, Comedian, presenter and Kent resident Paul O’Grady, Kent born and world famous fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, iconic singer from the 1940s Dame Vera Lynn, round the world yachtswomen Dame Ellen MacArthur and BBC Coast presenters Neil Oliver and Miranda Krestovnikoff.

Standing proud at over 110 metres (taller than Big Ben or the same height as twenty-five London buses stacked on top of each other), the White Cliffs of Dover have witnessed many dramatic moments in England’s history.

These include the arrival of the Romans and the welcome return of British armed forces after the evacuation of Dunkirk during the second-world war.

The cliffs are also home to a rich array of rich wildlife including the Adonis blue butterfly, rare coastal plants such as oxtongue broomrape and sea carrot, and birds including skylark, the only colony of Kittiwakes in Kent and peregrine falcons.

Hundreds of thousands of people come to visit the dramatic chalk cliffs every year with their wonderful views across the English Channel.

Across England, Wales and Northern Ireland the National Trust looks after more than 720 miles of coastline. The Trust acquired its first stretch of the White Cliffs of Dover in 1968 as part of its Neptune Coastline Campaign.

There are three easy ways that money can be donated to the appeal:
– Online at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/whitecliffsappeal where supporters can choose to have their name engraved on their virtual White Cliffs of Dover.
– Text a donation to support the appeal. For example, if someone wanted to donate £5 they’d need to text ‘DOVR02 £5’ to ‘70070’. The amount that you wish to donate must be included in the text.
– Over the phone by calling 0844 800 1895.

The Twitter hashtag #whitecliffs will be used on twitter to keep people updated about the progress of the appeal.

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The National Trust recognises unsung ‘Green Heroes’

The National Trust has announced the six winners of the first ever Octavia Hill Awards at a special ceremony in London.

A prolific drystone waller, an intrepid volunteer youth worker and famous TV walker were among the green heroes celebrated by the National Trust.

The awards are named after Trust founder and social reformer Octavia Hill who died in 1912. They are being run in partnership with Countryfile Magazine.

Nominated by the public and then put to an online poll that saw nearly seven thousand votes, each winner is keeping the spirit of Octavia alive – standing up for precious natural spaces and places.

The winners of the Octavia Hill Awards were: Patrick Frew from Country Antrim, Northern Ireland is the ‘Growing Hero’ – Patrick has turned a one-acre site into a diverse growing space. Young children enjoy visits to the site to reconnect with nature while elderly residents are treated to home deliveries of compost and easy salad plants ready to make their own DIY ‘Doorstep Allotments’.

Roger Parkinson from Wakefield, West Yorkshire is a ‘Natural Hero’ – Roger is an inspirational tree conservation leader, a public speaker and field teacher. As a practitioner, he’s helped restore a five-acre arboretum with more than 150 tree species and he’s helped individuals and groups with their own woodland creation projects.

Matt Smith from Bootle, Liverpool is the ‘Inspirational Hero’ – Volunteer youth worker Matt is tackling anti-social behaviour by getting young people into the outdoors. As a volunteer he organises nature hikes, camping and self-sufficiency trips that educate, inspire and sometimes change lives.

Julia Bradbury was voted ‘The People’s Campaigner’ – Julia picked up the award for someone in the public spotlight who’s championed an issue or cause. Her passion for walking began at an early age and she was formerly President of the Ramblers Association. Her public profile as a popular TV presenter gives her the chance to champion and promote the landscape she loves.

The Friends of King Henry’s Walk Garden in North London are the ‘Green Space Guardians’ – A scrap of wasteland in North London is now a tranquil community garden thanks to this group. King Henry’s Walk Garden is enjoyed by the many families who don’t have outside space and people can rent space to grow their own produce.

Eric Shorrocks of Arnside Knott, Cumbria wins the ‘Love Places’ Award – A self-taught professional drystone waller, Eric has passed on his skills, training up at least 20 others in the craft and, as a National Trust volunteer, he’s been dedicating his free time to everything from litter picking and path clearing to saving precious limestone grassland from scrub invasion.

The Awards attracted more than 160 entries and a final shortlist was selected by a panel of judges with a wide knowledge of green and social issues. Sitting on the panel alongside Fiona Reynolds, Director-General of the National Trust, were Fergus Collins, Editor of Countryfile Magazine, academic and broadcaster Professor Alice Roberts and journalist and writer Candida Lycett Green.

The public then voted, in their thousands, for the shortlisted entries.

Each of the winners will receive a specially commissioned bowl made by Tony Alderman who works at the National Trust’s Chartwell in Kent. The bowls have been made using English elm, oak and yew collected from woods near to Crockham in Kent where Octavia Hill lived.

They also win the opportunity to be mentored by a Trust expert and will be profiled in Countryfile Magazine.

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National Trust MyFarm Experiment To Go Free

The National Trust has announced that one year on from the launch of its innovative and award-winning MyFarm project, the charity is dropping the £30 sign-up fee in a bid to widen its success and inspire even more people to engage with farming and food.

The experiment – based at the Trust’s 1,450 acre Wimpole Home Farm in Cambridgeshire – was launched last May to encourage people to learn about day-to-day farm life and get a better understanding of where their food comes from.

The virtual farmers are able to view day-to-day farm activities via blogs from the farm team, videos and live webcams. Significantly they can also influence what happens on the farm by voting on key decisions usually made by the farmer.

As the project moves into year two, the team behind the project are seeking to increase the number of people who take part in MyFarm, and cover
a wider range of food topics.

Farm Manager Richard Morris said: “We’ve learnt a lot from our 5,000-strong audience over the last 12 months, especially how interested people are in following and finding out about the day-to-day running of the farm.

“The experiment has helped us deepen people’s understanding of the challenges faced by farmers in the wider market place including the European and World markets, and enabled those involved to comment on a wide range of farming issues.

“It’s been the animal stories that have really captured the public’s hearts – both births and deaths. MyFarmers have also loved getting to know the farm team, the rare breed animals kept at Wimpole and the monthly votes which explore one particular aspect of farming in more depth, with the majority vote then carried out on the farm.”

The National Trust is the country’s biggest farmer and through MyFarm hopes to help people understand the issues facing farming today, the numerous and daily decisions farmers have to make, as well as the joy and the heartache which is part and parcel of farm life.

As part of the changes the Trust will also now host the experiment on its own website rather than the current microsite. It will also make broader use of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to interact with users and to encourage further discussion on food and farming issues.

Founding Farmers – those who joined in the first year – will be invited to continue as ambassadors on these platforms to encourage more people to join in; sharing the journeys they have been on over the last 12 months.

MyFarm Project Manager Andrew Cock-Starkey added: “Our members come from all over the world as well as from the UK and after a successful first year we believe we’ve established a clear demand for this kind of learning. Now we want to reach even more people and build a broader understanding of farming.

“Waiving the membership fee will, we hope, help us reach a much wider audience, as will ensuring we have appealing content for users of different ages across various platforms.”

Deputy President of the National Farmers’ Union Meurig Raymond said: “This project is an effective and fun way of engaging people in farming and the hard work and skill that goes into producing food for their table. With more and more people using social media to communicate, share views and influence decisions MyFarm also tackles some of the more serious issues and involves its supporters in the day-to-day running of a real-life farm.”

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The National Trust Launches Legal Challenge Against Landmark Wind Farm Decision

The National Trust, English Heritage and East Northamptonshire Council have made a joint legal challenge against planning permission for a wind farm that would be built within one mile of a Grade I listed building and registered park and garden.

The proposal would see four 126.5m wind turbines built within the setting of the Lyveden New Bield site, a place described by the Planning Inspector who granted approval for the plans as “probably the finest example of an Elizabethan garden [with a] cultural value of national if not international significance”.

After planning permission was initially refused by the local Council, the development was given consent on appeal in March 2012. The three organisations started legal proceedings on 23 April under section 288 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. It is extremely rare for English Heritage and the National Trust to pursue legal action and it is the first time that East Northamptonshire Council has ever taken a case to this level.

Fiona Reynolds, Director-General of the National Trust explained the decision to take the matter to the Administrative Court: “We fully support renewable energy and have made our own commitment to halve our dependence on fossil fuels by 2020. We have also backed a number of wind proposals where scale and setting have been considered appropriate.

“However, the decision to allow a development of this size so close to one of the country’s most treasured historic places is both damaging to Lyveden New Bield and could have serious implications for other heritage sites across the UK.”

As a Grade I listed building, registered park and garden and scheduled ancient monument, Lyveden New Bield’s unfinished Elizabethan lodge and gardens have the highest heritage designation possible. The wind turbines would be prominent, modern structures in a landscape that still evokes the character of Lyveden New Bield’s historic Rockingham Forest surroundings. The turbines would be visible from almost everywhere on the property.

Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage, said: “Our challenge to his decision is not simply about the balance of professional judgement between heritage and renewable energy. The Inspector did not adequately take into account the contribution that Lyveden New Bield’s historic and rural surroundings make to its immense significance.”

Leader of East Northamptonshire Council, Steven North added: “It is regrettable that it has come to this, but we fully support this legal challenge and will be working closely with the National Trust and English Heritage to protect this heritage site.”

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National Trust Launches New Heritage Gardening Courses

The National Trust has announced two new heritage gardening courses, representing the charity’s most significant development in horticultural training for 20 years.

Co-funded by the National Gardens Scheme, the new courses will offer budding gardeners the opportunity to study for qualifications in heritage gardening and replace the Trust’s Careership training scheme launched in 1991*.

For those new to heritage gardening, the one year Foundation Certificate will develop the essential practical skills needed to look after and nurture heritage gardens, and is aligned with the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Level 2 in Horticulture.

The two year Diploma in Heritage Gardening is unique to the National Trust and offers what is arguably the most comprehensive grounding in heritage gardening available for those with some prior experience and relevant qualifications. It builds on the Foundation level training, providing trainees with an in-depth and working knowledge of heritage gardens.

Mike Calnan, Head of Gardens at the National Trust said: “Our new gardening courses are a great step forward and have been designed to develop the modern skills needed to sustainably manage major heritage gardens into the future. We believe they are a significant development for the sector and fill the training gap between existing botanic horticulture and amenity gardening diplomas.

“We can now offer two entry points and great opportunities for people wishing to develop a long and rewarding career in heritage gardening and a spring board for those aspiring to become our Head Gardeners of the future.”

Developed in conjunction with Reaseheath College in Cheshire**, the gardening coursesare largely practical, with trainees based at major National Trust gardens. To supplement this practical learning, trainees also spend 10 weeks a year at Reaseheath developing their horticultural knowledge.

In addition to traditional and modern techniques used in major gardens, trainees on the Diploma course will cover plant conservation, GPS surveys and plant databases; garden history, period planting styles, restoration, and interpretation and visitor engagement techniques.

Trainees on both courses will be able to work alongside the National Trust’s most experienced Head Gardeners in some of the most famous gardens in the country such as Sissinghurst, Hidcote and Stourhead. They will also learn about garden conservation from the National Trust’s gardening experts and will have opportunities to develop additional skills and knowledge with placements at other Trust gardens.

The new courses start in September 2012 and there are 10 places available on each. Applicants can find out more information at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/gardencareers and apply from 27 April 2012.

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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’s Ram-Cam Set To Become Ewe-Tube Sensation

A unique 90 second video from the National Trust showing a ram’s eye view as he ‘meets’ his new flock of ewes is set to become a ‘ewe-tube’ hit, say online farmers.

The ram, named Peacland Paolo, is the latest arrival at the National Trust’s My Farmexperiment * at Wimpole Home Farm in Cambridgeshire which is aiming to reconnect people with where their food comes from.

Paolo, a Portland ram **, was fitted with a camera measuring 60mm by 42mm, weighing just 167 grams last week.

The film shows him exploring his new home, giving MyFarm farmers an exclusive ram’s eye view of tupping (mating).

He is expected to tup around 30 ewes over the next 4-6 weeks. The ewes will give birth to their lambs next spring ***.

Wimpole Farm Manager Richard Morris said: “It will be fascinating to see just what a day in the life of a ram is like.

“Although we have a good idea that most of his time will be spent grazing, sleeping and mating, it will be interesting to see it all from his point of view.

“We kept Paolo in a pen when he first arrived at the farm as part of his quarantine and so that he could adjust to his new home. But, we’ve now introduced him to the ewes and he’s outside enjoying the grass.

“It may seem a bit strange that we want to follow and even film Paolo as he goes about his business, but farming is all about breeding, growing and harvest – so it’s only right that we should come up with ram-cam. This is nature as it happens and we hope it will be seen as something that reminds people what it takes to get food on their plate. The pressure is now on Paolo to perform!”

Paolo is 18 months old and this is his first season of tupping. He is expected to mate with 2-3 ewes a day with this figure increasing to 6-8 ewes a day when he’s older.

The Wimpole farm team is keeping a close eye on Paolo to make sure the camera in no way hinders his daily life, or becomes stressful for him in any way.

If at any time the camera is suspected of bothering him, the ram will be caught and the camera removed.

There are nine other rams at Wimpole who have between them 260 ewes to mate with over the next two months.

Subscribers to MyFarm will be able to watch the results of Paolo’s efforts next spring in Wimpole’s very own ‘lambing live’ when 260-300 lambs are expected to be born.

For more information and to sign-up to join the MyFarm experiment, visit www.my-farm.org.uk.

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National Trust Encourages Government To Protect Coasts And Seascapes

National Trust has joined campaign groups in an effort to encourage the Government to recognise Britain’s coasts and seascapes as more than just a view.

More than sixty years after laws were passed to protect Britain’s landscapes the UK Government and devolved administrations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland need to extend the same protection to the UK’s seascapes, campaign groups are urging.

Phil Dyke, coast and marine adviser at the National Trust, said: “As an Island nation it does seem strange that it’s taken us more than six decades to start thinking about how we protect our seascapes, these wonderful yet fragile places that mean so much to people.”

The UK Marine Policy Statement heralds the beginning of the development of a marine planning system across the UK however while seascapes are mentioned campaign groups fear that they are not given the prominence they deserve and so they have come together to launch a new manifesto for coasts and seascapes*.

The manifesto for coasts and seascapes is supported by the National Trust, Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW), Campaign for National Parks, the National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Europarc Atlantic Isles.

Neil Sinden, policy and campaigns director of the CPRE said, “Our marine area is becoming increasingly busy, with more shipping, military training, fisheries, energy production, port development and aggregate extraction. This is placing pressure on what’s left of the beauty and tranquillity of our coasts which are such an important part of our quality of life and national identity. That’s why we need a robust marine planning system that extends the protection that we have for our landscapes to our seascapes”

Three of the key areas that the manifesto focuses on in terms of early action by all levels of Government are to:

– Recognise coasts and seascapes as a key resource in the marine environment.
– Identify the character and distinctiveness of the coastline and seascapes.
– Identify areas that are of national importance and a means by which they can be conserved by the planning process.

In addition to the fundamental contribution to the economy and culture of Britain’s coastal communities, research by the National Trust found that two thirds of Britons said that visiting the coast is important to their quality of life**.

Current planning protection and designations only apply to land stopping at the low-tide mark, leaving seascapes vulnerable to pressures from human activities. Seascapes are, in just the same way as energy production, port activities and aggregates extraction, a key resource of the marine environment. The challenge is to ensure seascapes are safeguarded, linking their protection with that offered to adjacent areas of coast for the benefit of future generations. The new system of marine planning across the UK provides this opportunity.

Phil Dyke, added: “As a nation we clearly love the coast. We have to seize this chance to ensure a robust and sensible planning approach to one of the most precious and delicate resources we have. We should become a world leader in protecting our coastal and marine natural and cultural heritage for future generations.”

Via EPR Network
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