Crusade to prise kids off the sofa

FREE entry to Wallington is being offered this weekend in a bid to get children off the sofa.

The National Trust, which runs the estate near Cambo, has launched a 50 Things To Do Before You’re 11-and-three-quarters campaign to encourage youngsters to enjoy outdoor adventures.

The list includes running in the rain, bug hunting, setting up a snail race, damming a stream, flying a kite, making a mud pie and climbing a tree.

And to kick-start the initiative the trust is offering free entry to its properties this Saturday and Sunday.

The campaign comes after the National Trust commissioned a report which found that fewer than one in ten children regularly play in wild places, a third have never climbed a tree, one in ten can’t ride a bike and three times as many are taken to hospital with injuries from falling out of bed as toppling from a tree.

Visitor Experience Director Tony Berry said: “We’re hoping that the nation’s children will embrace the 50 things and start having their very own outdoor adventures with their family, with our free weekend the perfect opportunity to get outside in the fresh air.”

A scrapbook for the initiative is available from participating properties and information about activities can be found online at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/50things

As part of the weekend activities at Wallington, families will be invited to celebrate St George by meeting a knight in shining armour, trying on helmets and chainmail and joining Knight School.

They can also paint their own shield or join a quest through the woods.

Activities run from 11am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.

On Wednesday a Bat Walk will be held in the woods.

Families can take bat detectors and find out about bat ecology.

The walk takes place from 7.30pm to 10pm and costs £4 for adults and £2 for children.

Booking is essential on 01670 773963.