Trust urges outdoor childhoods
The glories of a 1950s-style childhood free from digital distractions are the focus of a new campaign by the National Trust.
The charity's "50 things to do before you're 11 and three-quarters" campaign features stone skimming, mud pie making and climbing trees as recommended activities for children 12 and under who may not normally play outside.
The list comes after a report commissioned by the trust revealed fewer than one in 10 children regularly play in wild places compared with almost half a generation ago, and a third have never climbed a tree.
In the age of Facebook and smartphones, children are more sedentary than ever even when they are outside, with one in 10 unable to ride a bike.
Other highlights of the list of simple outdoor pleasures include running around in the rain, bug hunting, snail racing and flying a kite.
The National Trust has recruited five elite rangers from its ranks to encourage families to get involved, including a tree-climbing expert and stone-skimming supremo.
Justin Scully, assistant director of operations for the National Trust in the East of England, said: "We're hoping that the nation's children will embrace our 50 things campaign. It's a great way to encourage more families to enjoy adventures outdoors and our free weekend is the perfect opportunity to visit.
"With heaps of enthusiasm for the outdoors, our staff and volunteers are a fantastic bunch just waiting to encourage kids to tick off the 50 things. The question is, will your family be up for the challenge?"