The National Trust is aiming to get Northern Ireland kids playing outside this summer as part of its commitment to connect the ‘cotton wool generation’ with nature.
By September the conservation charity hopes to have helped thousands of 7 to 12 year olds 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, the National Trust is hosting lots of activities and events over the school holidays to encourage families to experience nature. You can go rock pooling on Strangford Lough, learn about Murlough’s butterflies and moths, join Castle Ward and North Coast summer camps and go wild with the wardens, or go fly your kite at the Downhill Kite Festival.
Rangers from the charity have identified their top ten things to do in Northern Ireland:
– Roll down a big hill in Rowallane Garden
– Fly a kite at Downhill Demesne
– Go on a really long bike ride in Florence Court
– Create some wild art at Mount Stewart
– Hunt for fossils and bones on Portstewart Strand
– Make a grass trumpet at Springhill
– Hunt for bugs at The Argory.
– Discover what’s in a pond at Minnowburn
– Go bird watching at Strangford Lough
– Go on a barefoot walk at Castle Ward
Heather Thompson National Trust Regional Director for Northern Ireland commented: “We really want kids to enjoy being in the outdoors and to care about nature, so it becomes part of their life as they grow up. The memories made as a child stay with you forever, and if outdoor places are part of these memories then hopefully children will grow up wanting to protect these special places for years to come. I’m sure if nature had a voice it would say that it misses today’s children and wants to be part of their childhood adventures.”