Trust urges outdoor childhoods
Apr 13 2012
The glories of a 1950s-style childhood free from digital distractions are the focus of a new campaign by the National Trust.
The charity's "50 things to do before you're 11 and three-quarters" campaign features stone skimming, mud pie making and climbing trees as recommended activities for children 12 and under who may not normally play outside.
The list comes after a report commissioned by the trust revealed fewer than one in 10 children regularly play in wild places compared with almost half a generation ago, and a third have never climbed a tree.
In the age of Facebook and smartphones, children are more sedentary than ever even when they are outside, with one in 10 unable to ride a bike.
Other highlights of the list of simple outdoor pleasures include running around in the rain, bug hunting, snail racing and flying a kite.
The National Trust has recruited five elite rangers from its ranks to encourage families to get involved, including a tree-climbing expert and stone-skimming supremo.
Justin Scully, assistant director of operations for the National Trust in the East of England, said: "We're hoping that the nation's children will embrace our 50 things campaign. It's a great way to encourage more families to enjoy adventures outdoors and our free weekend is the perfect opportunity to visit.
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