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Safety information for ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities

Visitors exploring the parkland in winter at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, Yorkshire
Visitors exploring the parkland in winter at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, Yorkshire | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

If you are looking for an adventure, the list of ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ is a great place to start exploring. To ensure you can complete your activities safely, here are some top tips to help you complete your activities with safety in mind.

General advice for parents and carers

To ensure little explorers become confident in the wild, it’s important that they learn about boundaries and how to keep safe too. You should make your own judgement about what is safe and suitable for the age and ability of your child. It is recommended that all of the ‘50 things’ activities are supervised by an adult.

Happy fingers, toes and noses

Nobody likes soggy socks. Before you set off, make sure you dress for the weather and have all the kit you need to make sure you can keep warm, clean, safe and dry. If the weather is predicted to be wet or windy, it’s best to avoid activities that involve climbing or exploring near trees, rocks or waves.

Children running towards the camera in the rain at Charlecote Park, Warwickshire
Children running in the rain at Charlecote Park, Warwickshire | © National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor

Tree explorers

You don’t have to travel far to discover a tree that you can clamber up, peer inside or hide behind. Although tree exploration is encouraged at National Trust places, some trees – like ancient trees – don’t cope well with climbers. Please check if your child’s chosen tree is diseased, damaged, showing signs of fungal growth or special in any way before they play.

Seaside voyagers

Whether you’re going hunting for fossils, swimming in the sea or exploring caves, it’s always best to check tide times and currents, and steer clear of loose rocks and cliffs. Rocks can get slippery on the beach, even when it’s sunny. So, take care if you’re rock-pooling and keep an eye out for sharp objects, especially if you’re barefoot.

Child splashing in muddy puddles at Charlecote Park, Warwickshire
Child splashing in muddy puddles at Charlecote Park, Warwickshire | © National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor

Thrill seekers

Before your child takes on one of the active challenges, help them to pick a spot that is safe and suitable for their ability level. If you’re planning to take on one of our more challenging activities, like rock climbing, swimming in the sea or canoeing, you could sign up for an organised event to ensure the safest conditions for your child.

Nature tasters

Food tastes best when it’s freshly picked, but it’s best to avoid putting anything in your mouth when you’re outdoors unless you know it’s safe to eat. This is especially true of fungi, which can be poisonous when eaten.

If you’re enjoying the sounds and sights of nature with a picnic, it’s recommended you avoid any areas where livestock has been and always wash hands thoroughly before eating.

A mother helps a young child climb over a fallen log in the parkland, on a bright, wintry day.

‘50 things to do before you're 11¾’

Have fun exploring nature and the great outdoors with our list of ‘50 things to do before you're 11¾’.

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