Go wild, National Trust tells children with top 50 things to do outside

The National Trust's choice of best tree to climb
The National Trust's choice of best tree to climb

The National Trust launched a nature-loving bucket list for children today called 50 things to do before you are 11¾.

It is highlighting 50 of its best places for children to enjoy nature in the way they like best, including tree climbing, den building, wild camping, bike riding and rolling down a really big hill.

The charity asked more than 1,700 children to vote for their favourite outdoor activities and explain why they liked them, then scoured its substantial estate to find the best places to enjoy them.

Of those questioned 63% chose tree climbing, den building and bike riding as their top three activities, while an overwhelming 96% of parents said these helped children grow their relationship with nature.

The popularity of technology and concerns over safety were blamed for children staying indoors and 83% of parents questioned said their child spent less time playing outdoors than they had as a child.

Andrew Hunt, head gardener at the National Trust’s Kingston Lacey, named best for birdwatching, said: "We are passionate about getting children outdoors and we want to encourage kids everywhere to play outside and connect with nature, so we’re thrilled at how many under 12s have been engaging with the 50 things initiative.

"We hope our new list and ‘best of’ recommendations across the country will encourage even more kids to get into the wild this year."

According to the Trust the best tree to climb is a 45-foot high Nootka Cypress evergreen at Wallington, Northumberland, for its many-branched trunk, while Wimpole Estate in Cambridgeshire is recommended for a really long bike ride.

Visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/50things for the full list and related National Trust events though the summer.

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