Take it outside!

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Latest update 11.07.2014 12:20

We're aiming to get 200,000 kids playing outside this summer as part of our commitment to connect the ‘cotton wool generation’ with nature.

By September we hope to have helped one in twenty of Britain’s 7-12 year olds (5 per cent) break their reliance on gadgets and computers for entertainment, and experience the simple pleasures of outdoor adventure.

To mark the official start of its annual 50 things to do before you are 11¾ campaign, we're hosting ranger guided and self-led activities and events at our places in Merseyside, Lancashire, Cheshire and the Wirral to encourage children and families to connect with and enjoy the natural environment.

Getting outdoors however doesn’t mean getting in the car: Trust rangers have also identified the top ten activities on the 50 Things bucket list that can be done in a garden or local park. These are climb a tree, build a den, hunt for bugs, skim a stone, roll down a really big hill, make a mud pie, go on a barefoot walk, go bird watching, make a home for a wild animal and fly a kite.

Tom Brockington, 50 Things champion for the North West says: 'Not only does the loss of children’s outdoor play and contact with the natural world impact their growth and development, it also sets the stage for a continuing loss of the natural environment.

'We want to encourage children to care about nature, so it becomes part of their life as they grow up and they protect Britain’s special places for years to come. If nature had a voice it would want us to do the same – we need the natural world as much as it needs us.

'At Trust places cross Merseyside and Lancashire there’s a huge selection of 50 things activities to do: 18 at Formby coastal reserve, 15 at Rufford Old Hall, 21 at Speke Hall, 26 at Lyme Park, 17 at Alderley Edge, 7 at Bickerton Hill, 15 at Dunham Massey, 28 at Hare Hill Garden, 6 at Little Moreton Hall, 7 at Heswall Fields, 35 at Quarry Bank and 11 at Thurstaston Common. Just download our 50 things planner which sets out at a glance which activities you can do where over the school holidays. Go to our website or pick up a copy at your local Trust property'.

The National Trust is offering a special prize to be awarded to any child who is able to complete all the 50 things activities between July 2014 and February 2015. Click here for more details.