A START was made in the North East yesterday on the 50 things to do before you’re 11¾ .
The National Trust campaign in the region is challenging children, and those who are young at heart, to get off the sofa and tick off the activities on the list.
To kick-start the summer challenge, 400 National Trust staff, volunteers, schools and local community groups joined in ‘50 things’ events.
The trust’s Sadie Parker said: “It’s a really fun way for us to showcase the outdoor experiences that the National Trust offers.”
At Low Newton by the Sea on the Northumberland coast, 90 turned up to rockpool and decorate a giant sandcastle while, at Allen Banks in Northumberland, teenagers from Prudhoe High School and National Trust staff climbed an ancient beech tree.
Visitors and staff at Wallington took part in a challenge to complete 10 of the 50 activities before 10am including snail racing, den building, cooking on a campfire, and balancing on a fallen tree while at Gibside 50 staff and volunteers camped out on the estate on Sunday evening.
There were also activities at Souter Lighthouse in South Tyneside, where 75 trust staff, volunteers and school children made kites to fly on the adjacent Leas, and at Washington Old Hall, where 80 people from the local community spent the day looking for 50 bugs and creatures in the garden.
The trust has produced a wall chart outlining which of the 50 things can be done at each of their locations in the North East.
They include activities from skimming stones and climbing trees to building a den and tracking wild animals.
Liz Fisher, assistant director of operations for the National Trust in the North East, said: “The National Trust’s 50 things do to before you’re 11¾ campaign provides families with a bucket list of fun activities that they can do at home, at our free and open access coast and countryside sites, or at places like Wallington, Gibside and Cragside which are fantastic for exploration .
“The downloadable wall chart, available from our website, outlines where you can do each of the 50 activities.
“Our challenge is to complete as many of the activities as possible and have fun getting outdoors and closer to nature.”
Anyone wanting to download the chart should log on to www.nationaltrust.org.uk/50thingsnortheast
SO HOW MANY HAVE YOU DONE? THE FULL LIST
1 Climb a tree
2 Roll down a really big hill
3 Camp out in the wild
4 Build a den
5 Skim a stone
6 Run around in the rain
7 Fly a kite
8 Catch a fish with a net
9 Eat an apple straight from a tree
10 Play conkers
11 Throw some snow
12 Hunt for treasure on the beach
13 Make a mud pie
14 Dam a stream
15 Go sledging
16 Bury someone in the sand
17 Set up a snail race
18 Balance on a fallen tree
19 Swing on a rope swing
20 Make a mud slide
21 Eat blackberries growing wild
22 Take a look inside a tree
23 Visit an island
24 Feel like you’re flying in the wind
25 Make a grass trumpet
26 Hunt for fossils and bones
27 Watch the sun wake up
28 Climb a huge hill
29 Get behind a waterfall
30 Feed a bird from your hand
31 Hunt for bugs
32 Find some frogspawn
33 Catch a butterfly in a net
34 Track wild animals
35 Discover what’s in a pond
36 Call an owl
37 Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool
38 Bring up a butterfly
39 Catch a crab
40 Go on a nature walk at night
41 Plant it, grow it, eat it
42 Go wild swimming
43 Go rafting
44 Light a fire without matches
45 Find your way with a map and compass
46 Try bouldering
47 Cook on a campfire
48 Try abseiling
49 Find a geocache
50 Canoe down a river