Get outside and discover nature this February half term with the National Trust

NAT TRUST LOGOHalf term is upon us, and there are lots of activities to get kids back in touch with nature at the National Trust. It’s the perfect opportunity for the whole family to create special memories at places springing to life after the winter months.

Take a walk on the wild side and track a woodland creature, build a bird box or go on a nature walk at night. If that’s not enough, there are spring trails and den building to keep the kids entertained in the great outdoors.

Along the way you will be able to tick off a few of the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’ by discovering geocaches in glorious gardens and testing out your bush-craft skills in wild woodlands.

Here are the top activities for a fun day out this half term:

Nature detectives

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, North Yorkshire

February half term fun: bird detectives, 14 – 22 February, 10am – 4pm

There’s lots to explore at this breath-taking place, from the massive ruins of the medieval abbey to the elegant beauty of the Georgian water garden and the grand old trees of the deer park. Know your goldfinches from your chaffinches? Tackle a trail to become a bird detective as you search for the clues to discover some of the birds that call Fountains home, then call into Swanley Grange to make a fluttery, feathery bird mobile from paper and card. See what you can spot from the bird hide and like a true wildlife spotter be sure to note down your sightings. Tuesday to Thursday in half term week you can help feathered friends by making a bird box home for your garden (17-19 February, 10am, 11am, 1pm & 2pm).

Price: Free event (normal admission fee applies).

Booking required for Bird Box making, price £5 per child.

For more information, please call 01765 608888

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/fountains-abbey/

Brownsea Island, Dorset

Get adventurous with nature, 14, 15, 21 & 22 February, 10am – 4pm

Brownsea Island is dramatically located in Poole Harbour, with spectacular views across to the Purbeck Hills and is famous for its red squirrels, wildlife and scouting. Visit during February half term and make the most of the natural play area with new pine cone shy, obstacles and more. Created by expert rangers and a team of volunteers, children will be able to explore and have fun in this exciting island environment.

Price: Free event (normal admission fee applies)

For more information, please call 01202 707744

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/brownsea-island/

Quarry Bank, Cheshire

Wild animals, 16 – 20 February, 12pm – 4pm

Deep in a Cheshire valley by the River Bollin, Samuel Greg built Quarry Bank – one of Britain’s greatest industrial heritage sites. Join in the fun and make a ‘wild animal teller’ you can take outside to identify animals from their footprints and poo! To enjoy more ‘50 things’ activities borrow a tracker pack and explore the gardens to see what you can find.
Price: Free event (normal admission fee applies)

For more information, please call 01625 527468

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/quarry-bank/

Sheringham Park, Norfolk

Wild animal tracking, 17 – 18 February, 10.30am – 12.30pm

Foxes, badgers and deer live in the Sheringham Park but are seldom seen. Learn how to follow the trails these animals make and spot the tell-tale signs they leave behind. Tracking wild animals is one of the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 and ¾’ and this half term you can make a plaster cast print of the footprints animals leave behind. Then take a walk around the grounds to look for animal tracks, feeding signs and their poo. At the end of the day you can take a look at the camera trap to see if there’s been any animal activity from the night before.

Price: Adult £2.25, Child £4.25 (normal admission fee applies, booking essential)

For more information, please call 0844 249 1895

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sheringham-park/

Gibside, Tyne & Wear

Red kite ramble with a ranger, 19 & 22 February, 2.30pm – 3.30pm

Discover fine Derwent Valley views, winding paths and refreshing open spaces while exploring elegant buildings and ruins at Gibside this half term. Join a local Red Kite expert to discover the secrets of Gateshead’s favourite bird of prey, how they were reintroduced to the Derwent Valley, and how the National Trust helps them thrive today.

Price: Free event (normal admission fee applies)

For more information, please call 01207 541820

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/gibside/

 

Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire

Evening owl experience, 18 February, 5pm – 6pm

Visit this beautiful expanse of parkland and get hands on or up close and personal to some beautiful birds of prey. Please note the birds you will be handling are not wild birds, but captive birds brought to Clumber Park by Hawks of Steele. Why not make a day of it and explore Clumber – it’s a great place to explore on foot and by bike and there are plenty of fantastic places to play and have adventures.

Price: £12.50 (normal admission fee applies, booking essential)

For more information, please call 01909 544917

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/clumber-park/

 

Sissinghurst Castle, Kent

National nest box week, 18 – 19 February, 1pm – 2.30pm

Visit this Elizabethan, pink bricked manor house in the Weald of Kent and find out how to build your own nest boxes and bird feeders for your garden. Afterwards explore the bird hide and grab a young explorer pack from reception for your very own adventure.

Price: £6 (booking essential)

For more information, please call 01580 710700

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sissinghurst-castle/

 

Springhill, County Londonderry

Bird box day, 15 February, 12pm – 5pm

Visit this half term and help the team rejuvenate Springhill’s bird boxes. Learn how to build your own nest and make some bird feeders to take home. Watch while staff and volunteers demonstrate how to make a bird box from scratch. Boxes will be available to buy at the event.

Price: Adult £3.50, Child £1.50, Family £8.50

For more information, please call 028 8674 8210

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/springhill/

 

Bateman’s, East Sussex

Family winter garden trail, 14 – 22 February, 11am – 3pm

Follow the winter spotter trail and learn more about what’s happening over winter in the Bateman’s garden. Some animals love winter, others hibernate, some plants flower in the winter, some rest. Behind the scenes, lots of animals and insects are busy preparing for the spring. Discover who is out and about and who is yet to make an appearance. Pick up a trail sheet at visitor reception and find out more about nature.

Price: Free event, (normal admission fee applies)

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/batemans/

 

Dinefwr Park and Castle, Carmarthenshire

Dinefwr deer feed, 13 & 20 February, from 12pm

Dinefwr Park and Castle is an iconic place in the history of Wales and it even has its very own medieval deer park. This half term get up close and see the Rangers feeding the beautiful herd of fallow deer that roam the parkland.

Price: Free event (normal admission fee applies)

For more information, please call 01558 824512/823902

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dinefwr/

 

Trails and adventures

 

Mottisfont, Hampshire
Picture trail and snowdrop sightings, 14 – 22 February, 10am – 5pm
Visit Mottisfont this February for a special half-term experience for all the family. There’s crafty fun for kids on the ‘Get the Picture’ trail, inspired by Mottisfont’s new photography exhibition. Take a picture frame around the gardens to ‘capture’ some ideas, and then recreate them using the craft materials available in the learning and community space. One of the prettiest things to search for in the garden at this time of year is the hundreds of tiny snowdrops that litter the river banks of this ancient former priory.
Price: £1 (normal admission fee applies)
For more information, please call 01794 340757
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mottisfont

Calke Abbey, Derbyshire

Kids with cameras walk, 19 February, 1.30pm – 2.30pm

This half term explore the tranquil park that plays host to some of the oldest trees in Europe and let the kids discover some local wildlife. Take part in the special photography walk for children where they will learn some handy tips and discover the best places in the park to take pictures. Children, please bring a camera and an adult along with you.

Price: Free event (normal admission fee applies)

For more information, please call 01332 863822

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/calke-abbey/

Tyntesfield, Bristol

Future Camp: woodland survival, 16 & 18 February, 10am – 12.30pm & 1pm – 3.30pm

Head to Tyntesfield for some half term fun at this Victorian Gothic Revival house just outside of Bristol. It’s the distant future, boys and girls, adults and grownups have retreated out of the city and back to the woods. Enjoy a day out in Tyntesfield’s beautiful woodlands for this survival adventure. You’ll learn how to perfect your den building skills, follow clues left by other woodland survivors and create your very own survival suit.

Price: Adult £1.50, Child £5 (booking essential)

For more information, please call 01275 461 964

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/tyntesfield/

 

Cotehele, Cornwall

Bushcraft for kids, 17 – 19 February, 10am – 12pm & 1.30pm – 3.30pm

The Tudor house of Cotehele is perched high above the River Tamar in the Cornish countryside. This half term come and build a shelter, learn how to safely light a fire and practice some handy survival skills. This activity has been specially designed by the Serious Outdoor Skills company to be fun, informative and hands-on where you will learn some survival, bushcraft and wilderness skills. There will be lots of outdoor activities to keep you engaged, active and entertained.

Price: £6 (booking essential)

For more information, please call 01579 351346

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cotehele/

 

Petworth House and Park, West Sussex
All at Sea craft workshops,
16 – 20 February, 11am – 2.30pm
Come along to Petworth House this half-term to join a craft workshop and create your very own 3D ‘seascape’ choppy masterpiece to display at home. Be inspired by one of Britain’s most treasured artists, Joseph Mallord William Turner, who stayed at Petworth in 1827 and was famous for his paintings of ships and the sea. You can see some of his original seascapes when you visit, and an exhibition of his painting runs from January to March.
Price: £3 (normal admission fee applies)

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/petworth-house/

 

Allen Banks and Staward Gorge, Northumberland

Stargazing, 18 February, 7pm – 9pm

Take a walk on the wild side at Allen Banks and Staward Gorge this half term, one of the largest areas of ancient woodland in Northumberland. Enjoy an evening of astronomy and look up to the skies in search for stars at a new Dark Sky Discovery Site with the help from the professionals. Members from the Northumberland Astronomical Society (NASTRO) will deliver a talk on various aspects of astronomy and provide demonstrations with different types of telescopes. A stargazing session will commence weather permitting and will include a laser guided tour of the night sky plus a number of supervised viewing telescopes. Location: At Ridley Hall, next to Allen Banks.

Price: £7 (booking essential)

For more information, please call 0844 249 1895

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/allen-banks-and-staward-gorge/

 

Dyrham Park, Gloucestershire

Launch of the new family discovery trail, 14 – 15 February, 10am – 5pm

Come and try the new family trail through the park and discover far-reaching views of the Severn Valley. Use the trail sheet to find your way, with fun activities along the route and a new natural play zone in the wood pasture. Finish the day up at Old Lodge which has been expanded for more family fun and chances to play.

Price: Free event (normal admission fee applies)

For more information, please call 0117 9371333

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dyrham-park/

 

Belton House, Lincolnshire

Friday 50 things challenge, 20 February, 12pm – 3pm

With delightful gardens, a luxuriantly planted orangery and lakeside walks, Belton is a pleasure to explore all year round. Visit this half term and challenge yourself to complete one of the ‘50 things’ activities. Meet the Play Team who will be inspiring families to take part in different activities each day of the school holidays and then get a sticker for your scrapbook.

Price: Free event (normal admission fee applies)

For more information, please call 01476 566116

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/belton-house

 

Knightshayes Court, Devon

February half-term fun, 14 – 22 February, 10am – 5pm

Run off some of that excess energy by visiting Knightshayes this half-term. Grab a trail from reception and discover a country estate on a grand, gothic scale. Go on a hunt for one of the geocaches hidden around the gardens, explore the house and meet the resident chickens in the kitchen garden – there’s plenty to keep the kids busy this February.

Price: 50p (normal admission fee applies)

For more information, please call 01884 254665

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/knightshayes/

 

Ickworth, Suffolk

Half term hobbies and adventures, 14 – 22 February, 11am – 4pm

Enjoy a variety of children’s craft activities in the cosy comfort of the West Wing gallery of this Georgian mansion in the heart of the Suffolk countryside. Enjoy a week of half term activities where you can make and take home some fun spring time items. And of course you can always head outside and enjoy the play and den building area and become a nature detective with a nature pack.

Price: Free event (normal admission fee applies)

For more information, please call 01284 735270

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ickworth

 

Bodiam Castle, East Sussex

Shrovetide fun: half term trail, 14 – 22 February, 11am – 4pm

Set in the heart of an historic landscape, with spiral staircases and battlements, sits Bodiam Castle. Come and celebrate Shrovetide this half term where the castle is coming back to life after the long winter period. They’d love you to come and help, whether it’s helping the cooks to prepare a feast or having a game of mob football with the servants. Take part in the castle trail where you will find lots of things to see and do.

Price: £2 (normal admission fee applies)

For more information, please call 01580 831324

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bodiam-castle

 

Ashridge Estate, Hertfordshire

Ashridge spring trail, 16 – 20 February, 10am – 4pm

Come and walk the springtime trail through the beautiful ancient woodlands at Ashridge in the Chiltern Hills. Visit this half term and create your own hand-crafted and decorated lantern which will enable you to go on a nature walk at night – one of the National Trust’s ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4.’ Visit on Friday 20th February for a candle lit walk through the woods. (£1 per person). Bring your home made lantern along to help light your way.

Price: £1

For more information, please call 01442 851227

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ashridge-estate/

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A summer full of ‘50 things’ adventures with National Trust

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A summer full of ‘50 things’ adventures

This summer holiday fill your days with challenges and adventures. The National Trust is encouraging 200,000 children to show nature they care by getting them up off the sofa, jumping into the great outdoors and having lots of fun discovering the natural world.

National Trust research reveals that over half of today’s children (54 per cent) spend less than an hour outside each day compared to their parents who spent an average of 2 hours 34 minutes outside each day as children.

The Trust cares for hundreds of places perfect for families to enjoy this summer; from barefoot walks on the coast, to climbing trees and looking out for wildlife, every visit can forge children’s connection to nature and helps the conservation charity continue to protect places for future generations to explore and enjoy.

With an extra hour of sunlight on your side and hundreds of adventurous ideas for all the family to enjoy, including rolling down hills, bike rides and even snail racing, here’s the Trust’s top 25 activities and events to get you started on the ‘50 things’ list:

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/families/50-things/
http://www.50things.org.uk

Child climbing a tree in the garden at Quarry Bank Mill, Wilmslow, Cheshire.

Child climbing a tree in the garden at Quarry Bank Mill, Wilmslow, Cheshire.

1. Climb a tree
Croome, Worcestershire
Tree Climbing, 22 August, 20 September, 27 October 10.30am – 4.30pm
Spend an hour with two highly-skilled instructors who will teach you how to use ropes, knots, carabineers and a harness to climb to the top of a tree and zip wire back down. While you’re up there take a look at the view from the top over the landscaped park. Afterwards let the children run wild, have fun and make their own adventures. There are lots of spaces to run around and miles of interesting walks and follies to discover with the whole family.
Activity led by the Great Big Tree Climbing Company.
Booking essential
Price: £15.50
Suitable for 6+ years
For more information, please call 01905 371006 or email adam@bigtreeclimbing.co.uk
Watch our YouTube video here: http://bit.ly/1dKenCB

2. Roll down a really big hill
Sissinghurst Castle, Kent
50 things Fridays: Adventure walk, 22 August, 1pm – 3pm
Tick off some items on your ’50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’ list at Sissinghurst Castle this summer. Test your mettle with this fast paced adventure walk; there’ll be trails, barefoot walks and rolling down hills. To really pick up speed rolling down the hill, lie on the grass, make your body into the shape of a sausage and roll down the hill sideways. After your adventure why not stop off for an ice cream outside the shop and finish the day with a treat.
Booking essential
Price: £6
Normal admission fee applies
For more information, please call 01580 710700
Watch our YouTube video here

Child building a den in the grounds at Wray Castle, Cumbria.

Child building a den in the grounds at Wray Castle, Cumbria.

3. Build a den
The Vyne, Hampshire
Build a den 15 August & 29 August, all 12pm – 1pm
Visit The Vyne this summer and see if you can build one of the biggest dens you’ve ever seen. The Vyne’s outdoors team are holding special woodland workshops where kids can pick up top tips on how to make a brilliant hideaway. Spend some time collecting together branches, twigs and leaves to make a cosy den to play in. After you’ve built your lair explore the woodlands and see if you can spot any woodpeckers, jays and rare waterfowl.
Price: Suggested donation £2
Normal admission fee applies
For more information, please call 01256 883858
Watch our YouTube video here

4. Skim a stone
Fell Foot Park, Cumbria
All England Stone Skimming Championships, 16 August, 11am – 4pm
Situated at the very southern tip of Lake Windermere, Fell Foot Park is a great, family friendly location to play, explore and relax in. The stone skimming championships is an extravaganza of entertainment for the whole family in conjunction with South Cumbria Rivers Trust. Have a skim yourself to tick off one of your ‘50 things’ activities and see how many bounces you can make.
Competition entry fees and parking charges apply.
For more information, please call 015395 31273
Watch our YouTube video here

5. Run around in the rain
Ickworth, Suffolk
Out and about Wednesdays, 27 August, 11am – 3pm
Ickworth are hoping for rain … but even without it, there are plans to make a really big splash this summer. They’ll be games on the lawn and there’s lots of fun to be had on the obstacle course. See who can get round in the fastest time? Explore the play area, willow maze and wildlife area before having a lovely picnic overlooking the impressive Rotunda. Normal admission fee applies
For more information, please call 01284 735270

Family in the grounds at Castle Ward, Northern Ireland.6. Fly a kite
Brancaster Estate, Norfolk
Wild Wednesdays 20 & 27 August. All 10am – 12.30pm & 2pm – 4.30pm
Join the team on the Brancaster Estate for a day of ‘50 things’ themed family fun on the Norfolk Coast. There’s lots to do from kite flying to stone skimming, tracking a wild animal or making some coastal wild art. You can visit for as little or as long as you like and you can dip into activities throughout the day. So grab your scrapbook and start ticking off your ‘50 things’ and have some summer adventures.
Booking essential
For more information, please call 01263 740241

7. Make a mud pie
Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve, Cambridgeshire
Mud Glorious Mud 13, 22 August, 10.30am – 12.30pm & 2pm – 4pm
The perfect recipe for a mud pie is mud and more mud. This is your chance to get really dirty at Wicken Fen, an important wetland landscape with an abundance of wildlife and all important mud. Explore the finer qualities of mud, for throwing, painting, building and cooking (mud pies for the worms) and tick off number 13 on your ‘50 things’ list.
Booking essential
Price: £4.75
For more information, please call 01353 720274
Watch our YouTube video here

Child making a daisy chain on a visit to Trerice, Cornwall

Child making a daisy chain on a visit to Trerice, Cornwall

8. Make a daisy chain
Basildon Park, Berkshire
50 things – Create some wild art 14, 21 & 28 August, 10am – 5pm
Get creative with twigs, leaves and flowers you can find in grounds at Basildon Park. You can find lots of daisies around the garden and parkland. Pick a few and make a beautiful chain for the summer time. While you’re there follow the new wild wood walk up to the house. There’s lots to explore, including stepping stones a woodland tunnel and a bridge.
Price: £3
Normal admission fee applies
For more information, please call 0118 984 3040

9. Set up a snail race
Heigham Holmes, Norfolk
Heigham Holmes Open Day, 10 August, 11am – 4pm
Visit this wonderful nature reserve and remote island in the Norfolk Broads for a great day out. Only open once a year via a swing bridge at Martham Ferry you can come and learn about its special history, its importance for wildlife and the landscape of the Broads. This family event includes live pictures from the barn owl camera, face painting, pond dipping and the highly dramatic snail racing at 2.30pm.
Light refreshments available. There are no toilets or tearoom – bring a snack if you want to.
Access via floating swing bridge at Martham ferry.
For more information, please call 07885 581070
Watch our YouTube video here

Child with a snail on the beach at Portstewart Strand, Co Londonderry, Northern Ireland

10. Create some wild art
Allan Bank and Grasmere, Cumbria
Wild Art Wednesdays 13, 20 & 27 August, All 11am – 4pm
Set your creativity free and find lots of materials that vary in colour and texture from around the grounds once owned by William Wordsworth. Create some wild art using the natural materials found in the woodland. With ranger tips and activity sheets available you’re sure to create a masterpiece.
Normal admission fee applies
For more information, please call 015394 35143

11. Play pooh sticks
Morden Hall Park, London
Morden Hall Park is a green oasis in the city. It used to be a deer park and is one of the last remaining country estates in South London, lining the River Wandle. Surrounded by meadows, trees and the gentle sounds of birdsong and running water, the park offers a rare sense of discovery and is the perfect place to play pooh sticks. The park has several bridges where you can challenge your family to a race, so choose your stick wisely and take on the challenge.
For more information, please call 020 8545 6850

Children at Stowe Landscape Gardens, Buckinghamshire.

Children at Stowe Landscape Gardens, Buckinghamshire.

12. Jump over waves
Borrowdale, Cumbria
Derwent Water Regatta 2014, 9 & 10 August, 11am – 4pm
There’s nothing quite like messing about on the water so why not come and enjoy a raft of activities in the spirit of King Pocky’s Derwent Water Regatta. Spectators can watch the antics on the lake from Crow Park whilst enjoying a traditional summer fair with rides, side stalls, refreshments and competitions. There will also be the chance to tick off some of your ‘50 things’ with jumping over waves, making mud pies, stone skimming or even canoeing down a river.
For more information, please call 01768 774649

13. Visit a farm
Wimpole Estate, Cambridgeshire
Visiting a farm is one of the best places to get up close and personal with some new furry friends. Wimpole is a unique working estate, with an impressive mansion at its heart. At Home Farm, you can explore the traditional farmyard with the noisy modern piggery, cattle sheds and some rare bread animals. Have a go at becoming a young farmer when you visit and try your hand at grooming the donkeys, drive a mini tractor or see how you get on at milking! There’s plenty to keep you occupied down on the farm.
Normal admission fee applies
For more information, please call 01223 206000
Watch our YouTube video here

Visitors in the Apostle Garden at Lytes Cary Manor, Somerset.

Visitors in the Apostle Garden at Lytes Cary Manor, Somerset.

14. Go on a walk barefoot
Lyme Park, House and Garden, Cheshire
Bare foot walk, 29 August, 1pm – 3pm
Do you have ticklish feet? Feel the grass between your toes as you walk around Lyme Park and follow the trail before ticking off another activity from your ‘50 things’ list. Set out on your own adventure and build a den in crow wood, fly a kite near the cage or track the wild animals around the park.
Normal admission fee applies
For more information, please call 01663 762023
Watch our YouTube video here

15. Make a grass trumpet
Stackpole, Pembrokeshire
Summer Holiday ‘50 things’ challenge 13, 20 & 27 August, 11am – 3pm
Every Wednesday in August, Stackpole will be setting up camp at Middle Bay, near Stackpole Quay where friendly education officers will be available to help you complete as many of the ‘50 things’ challenges as possible. You’ll have the chance to go rock pooling, den building or make a daisy chain. Blow into a blade of grass and start up the band by making a grass trumpet. The following week you can try hunting for fossils and bones, catching a crab and our favourite – cooking on a camp fire.
Price: £2
For more information, please call 01646 661425
Watch our YouTube video here

A child holding a fossil, on a beach in Yorkshire

A child holding a fossil, on a beach in Yorkshire

16. Hunt for fossils and bones
Fossil hunting in the South West
The Jurassic Coast is famous for its fossils and Charmouth beach, part of the Golden Cap estate; it is a great starting place. There are not many dinosaur bones around these days but you never know what other treasure you might find if you dig around. Remember, fossils can be found anywhere. They could be buried deep in the ground beneath where you’re standing at this very moment and some lucky people even find them in their own back gardens.
Watch our YouTube video here

17. Go star gazing
Headley Heath, near Boxhill, Surrey
Box Hill is the perfect place to discover a family walk and explore the beautiful Surrey Hills. Forming part of the North Downs, Box Hill has breath-taking views across the surrounding countryside and is a popular spot with local astronomy groups, who consider Headley Heath to be one of the best places in Surrey for stargazing.
For more information, please call 01306 885502

Child taking a close look at a worm

Child taking a close look at a worm

18. Hold a scary beast
Chirk Castle, Wrexham
Bug Bonanza 13, 20 & 27 August, 11am – 3pm
Chirk Castle is the ideal place to visit, whether you’re looking for an action packed adventure or a relaxing day out. Enjoy the remoteness, beauty and tranquillity of the estate whilst hunting for bugs. If you find a creepy crawly it might be scary but be brave and see if you can get up close to learn more.
Normal admission fee applies
For more information, please call 01691 777701
Watch our YouTube video here

19. Hunt for bugs
Whitepark Bay, County Antrim
Go Wild with the Wardens 8 & 22 August, 10am – 12pm
Join the rangers for a morning of fun and adventure on a beautiful stretch of golden sand on the North Antrim coast. Have a go at completing some of your ‘50 things’ with building a den, hunting for bugs and much more. What’s the creepiest crawly you can find on this stretch of golden sand?
Meet at the car park in Whitepark Bay.
For more information, please visit: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/white-park-bay/
Watch our YouTube video here

20. Catch a falling leaf
Cliveden, Buckinghamshire
Wild Wednesday – Astonishing Sticks, 3 September, 11am – 3pm
Visit Cliveden and find out about the amazing activities that can be done with sticks. This witch and wizard themed event will also have craft activities available for kids to get stuck into. Don’t forget to visit the Storybook Play Den and let your imagination run wild as you play amongst wooden carvings of favourite storybook characters whilst the 500 metres of winding paths in the Cliveden Maze make it a challenge for all ages to find the centre. While you’re there tick off number 33 of your ‘50 things’ and try to catch a falling leaf. It’s harder than you think especially in the summer months.
All children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
Price: £2
Normal admission fee applies
For more information, please call 01628605069

21. Track wild animals
Crom, County Fermanagh
Bat Detectives, 28 August, 8pm – 10pm
One of Ireland’s most important nature conservation areas, Crom’s ancient woodland and picturesque islands are home to many rare species. All of the bat species found in Northern Ireland can be found here. Visit for an evening of tracking bats and learning more first-hand about these fascinating nocturnal creatures.
Booking essential
Price: Adult £8, Child £4, Family £20
For more information, please call 028 6773 8118
Watch our YouTube video here

Child looking at jar of pond water at Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk.

Child looking at jar of pond water at Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk.

22. Discover what’s in a pond
Bodnant Garden, Conwy
Pond dipping 12, 19 & 26 August, 12pm – 3pm
What will you find in the pond? Murky pond water is full of life, especially in a garden full of plants collected from all over the world. Scoop some out into a tub and see what you can find. Come along and dip into the hidden world beneath the surface and discover something new. Explore and discover the gardens, walk barefoot on the lawns and play pooh sticks in the river.
Normal admission fee applies
For more information, please call 01492 650460
Watch our YouTube video here

Camping at Highertown Campsite, Lansallos, Cornwall.

Camping at Highertown Campsite, Lansallos, Cornwall.

23. Cook on a campfire
Ambleside and Windermere, Cumbria
Woodland explorer week, 26 – 29 August, 9.30am – 4.30pm
Visit St Catherine’s wood for an exciting four day woodland experience for 8 -14 year olds. This jam packed break will include an inspiring mix of bushcraft, greenwood carving, fire lighting, natural arts and crafts, woodland games, shelter building, storytelling and adventure. There’s no kitchen in the great outdoors but there’s no reason to miss dinner. You’ll have the chance to try lighting a fire with a bow drill, barefoot walking, cooking food on a fire and discovering plants and new wildlife. It’s the perfect place to tick off some of your ‘50 things’ activities and to deepen your connection with nature in a stunning Lakeland setting. Children will be guaranteed to leave with a smile on their face and a smell of wood smoke in their hair.
Booking essential
Price: £225 (The course fee includes the overnight camp on the Thursday night (optional for the child and parent/guardian.)
Run by experienced tutors from Woodmatters in Partnership with the National Trust.
For more information, please call 015394 88409 or email gareth@woodmatters.org.uk
Watch our YouTube video here

Background to 50 things and the Trust’s Natural Childhood research

In March 2012, the National Trust published the ‘Natural Childhood’ report which highlighted evidence of a long-term and dramatic decline in children’s relationship with the outdoors. The report called for urgent action to bridge this growing gap before it was too late. Off the back of the research the Trust launched ’50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’ which aimed to encourage more families and children out into the outdoors and get their dose of ‘Wild Time’.

This summer’s campaign will put 50 things on the map like never before and encourage more families outside than ever. But the Trust recognises that it cannot hope to reconnect children with nature on our own. We are founder members of The Wild Network, a revolutionary movement of over 1500 organisations and thousands of individuals who believe that children should roam free, play wild and connect with nature. With the Network, we’re working to bring attention of this issue to as wide an audience as possible. For more, go to www.projectwildthing.com.

Three years on ’50 things’ is still getting children and their families exploring the outdoors – whether at a National Trust place or not. We’ve found that children who get at least 25 of the 50 things under their belt are 15% more connected to nature (judged according to the RSPB’s nature connection index) than when they hadn’t done any. Doing ‘50 things’ makes them more likely to spend time in nature and encourages them to care about other species and the environment.

50 things to do before you’re 11¾

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. Go on a really long bike ride
12. Make a trail with sticks
13. Make a mud pie
14. Dam a stream
15. Play in the snow
16. Make a daisy chain
17. Set up a snail race
18. Create some wild art
19. Play pooh sticks
20. Jump over waves
21. Pick blackberries growing in the wild
22. Explore inside a tree
23. Visit a farm
24. Go on a walk barefoot
25. Make a grass trumpet
26. Hunt for fossils and bones
27. Go star gazing
28. Climb a huge hill
29. Explore a cave
30. Hold a scary beast
31. Hunt for bugs
32. Find some frogspawn
33. Catch a falling leaf
34. Track wild animals
35. Discover what’s in a pond
36. Make a home for a wild animal
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 swimming in the sea
43. Build a raft
44. Go bird watching
45. Find your way with a map and compass
46. Try rock climbing
47. Cook on a campfire
48. Learn to ride a horse
49. Find a geocache
50. Canoe down a river