50 Things to do before you're 11 3/4 this summer at Hinton Ampner

A child holds a large leaf with a beetle sitting on it at Coleton Fishacre

Take a look at our tailored suggestions for outdoor family fun at Hinton Ampner this summer.

What's '50 things' about?

When children spend time playing outdoors in nature, it helps increase their wellbeing – and that of their families. It also means they’re more likely to care for our world and the natural environment. So we want everyone to have more fun - and help nature too.

Download the '50 things' activity guide below to begin the adventure.

A family pond dipping at Cragside, Northumberland

Download the '50 things' activity guide 

If you want to download a PDF of the whole '50 things to do before you’re 11¾' list, then here it is.

Our summer suggestions 

No. 1 Get to know a tree

Explore the tranquil parkland and discover our historic woodlands filled with Ancient, Notable and Veteran trees. Why not encourage children to select their favourite tree and find out more about it? Your child can visit the selected tree throughout the seasons and search for clues of its story in its roots, bark and branches. This is a very special activity for children and perhaps that's why it’s No. 1 of our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.

Our trees are very old and fragile. Thank you for respecting their vulnerability by not allowing children to climb on them.

No. 8 Spot a fish and No.35 Discover what's in a pond

Look closely at the Pond at Hinton, situated on the East side of the house, and you'll see a complex community of plants and animals happily thriving in their own micro-ecosystem.

Encourage children to observe our precious koi carp, some of which have been in the Pond for over 30 years, and use their senses to track the fish as they swim through the water. There's other fascinating wildlife to be seen, such as floating Water Lilies, buzzing damselflies and slimy summer algae.

Our fish prefer a quiet life. Please ensure children do not disturb them in their natural habitat.

Child and puppy stand mesmerised by the koi carp at Hinton
A child stands in front of the Lily Pond with her pet pomeranian
Child and puppy stand mesmerised by the koi carp at Hinton

No. 48 Keep a nature diary 

More than ever before, we need to ensure the next generation of children are engaged with nature. By encouraging children to keep a nature diary, we can begin this journey from an early age. 

We recommend heading to the meadow, behind the house, where you'll find a place where wildlife is thriving, thanks to a small herd of ancient breed cattle.

The cattle have been roaming this parkland for almost two years and since their introduction we've seen a massive increase in wildflowers, insects, birds and butterflies.

Ask children to write in their nature diary when they spot;

  • Cow dung - watch your feet! Cow dung is highly beneficial to wildlife. The dung provides food and a place for to insects to burrow.
  • Hornet robberfly
  • Fungi
  • Wild marjoram and orchids
  • Common blue butterflies, Meadow browns, Marbled whites
  • Cowslips
  • Barn owls - an endangered species, if you see one of these, let our rangers know.
  • Voles and shrews

When you walk into the meadow, you're entering the fragile habitat of these animals. Please remind child the part they play in ensuring the safety of our meadow by not picking, trampling or hurting any of the wildlife.

Hop, skip and jump around a butterfly-filled meadow
Family in the garden at Clandon Park, Surrey
Hop, skip and jump around a butterfly-filled meadow