National Trust rangers in Brecon Beacons call in helicopter help for essential path conservation work

As the nation celebrates National Parks Week (25-31 July), National Trust rangers have called in helicopter support to carry out essential conservation work on footpaths on Corn Du, the second highest peak in the Brecon Beacons National Park, South Wales.

 

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(c) National Trust Images / Graham Bettiss

Over two days earlier this month a fuel-efficient SD2 Squirrel helicopter flew 160 tonnes of local sandstone to rangers on Corn Du. One tonne of this ‘scalping’ stone will cover around two metres of footpath.

An estimated 300,000 people visit National Trust places in the Brecon Beacons every year. By regularly repairing footpaths, rangers from the conservation charity help minimise soil erosion on the hill and prevent damage to the rare plants that grow on the hillside, such as Purple Saxifrage, the most southerly arctic-alpine plant in Britain.

The National Trust cares for over 3,300 hectares (8,200 acres) and 43 miles of path in the Welsh National Park, including southern Britain’s highest mountain, Pen-y-Fan. Continue reading

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The humble stick revealed as the must-have toy for summer.

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EMBARGOED TO 0001 WEDNESDAY JULY 27 EDITORIAL USE ONLY Children play in the forest with sticks to launch The National Trust’s ’50 Things To Do Before Your 11 ¾’ campaign, National Trust Osterley Park, Middlesex. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday July 26, 2016. Research commissioned for the charity reveals that 84% of parents believe a stick is the perfect catalyst for inspiring their children’s creative urges whilst 91% of parents surveyed feel the great outdoors is the perfect environment for inspiring their kids’ imaginative adventures. Photo credit should read: Doug Peters/PA Wire

Recent research has shown that children are now spending only half as much time playing outdoors as their parents’ generation did. If you’re concerned that your kids aren’t getting enough time out in the fresh air then help is at hand – in the form of the simple stick.

We conducted a survey which showed that 84% of parents believe that playing outdoors makes their children more imaginative and creative, while 96% felt it was important for children to have a connection with nature.

These findings are supported by Child Developmental Psychologist Dr. Sam Wass, who  said ‘Being outdoors, with space to run around, is something that benefits all children… they have to use their imagination and their own creativity much more than they do when they are indoors, watching screen media. [These] are vital life skills that will help children stay attuned to nature and to the environment throughout their adult lives.’

The survey also analysed the benefits of a range of toys, with the simple stick voted the best for fuelling children’s imaginative play and creativity.In addition, 83 per cent of parents know it’s important for their kids to be able to use technology , so that it benefits them in future adulthood, however 90 per cent would still prefer their child to be outdoors developing a relationship with nature instead.

As part of our 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ campaign, we’re encouraging families across the country to get outdoors and start their story with nature. We’ve teamed up with musician Raleigh Ritchie to celebrate all the weird and wonderful adventures you can have with a stick that make it the must-have toy of the summer.

In a change of scene from his Game of Thrones role as Grey Worm, Raleigh has written a rap to support the campaign; bringing to life the never-ending possibilities of creative play when you’ve got a stick to hand.

‘For some people, a stick is just a stick’ said Raleigh, ‘However, I want to encourage young people to see that actually the possibilities are endless. It can be a pen, a sword, a witch’s broom…anything! That’s what childhood should be about – getting outdoors and going on adventures, using your imagination.’

As a conservation charity, we’re dedicated to looking after special outdoors places and making them accessible for everyone to enjoy. Ed Anderson, National Trust ranger at Osterley Park in London said: ‘With the natural environment under pressure, we hope that instilling a love for nature in our children now will help us encourage them to continue to protect the beauty of the great outdoors for  generations to come.’

Sticks aren’t just for the kids, either: ‘We’re all big kids at heart’ adds Raleigh, ‘It’s never too late to have some fun and start your story with nature’.

For more information on  ’50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 ¾’ campaign, head to: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/50things or search #50things. You can also get a taster of some of the 50 things at BBC Countryfile LIVE (4-7 Aug) with den building, tree climbing and bug hunting just a few of the outdoor adventures on offer.

 

 

66 miles of new England Coast Path opens in Kent

The National Trust is today supporting the launch of 66 miles of the England Coast Path in Kent and East Sussex.

The conservation charity cares for six miles of coastline in Kent, including the White Cliffs of Dover and Sandwich and Pegwell Bay National Nature Reserve.

An event marking the opening of the path will take place at the National Trust’s White Cliffs visitor centre.

The England Coast Path is an initiative of Natural England, the government’s natural environment agency. When the full path opens in 2020, the 2,700 mile long England Coast Path will be the longest continuous walking trail in the world.

Visitors walking their dog along the clifftop at The White Cliffs of Dover, Kent, on a sunny day in August.

Visitors walking their dog along the clifftop at The White Cliffs of Dover, Kent, on a sunny day in August.(c) National Trust Images / John Millar

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National Trust launches £250,000 coastal appeal to protect stunning Cornish clifftop

A £250,000 fundraising appeal is today  being launched by the National Trust to raise money to protect and care for Trevose Head near Padstow in Cornwall.

The fund will enable the conservation charity to extend areas of existing wildlife habitat on Trevose, whilst retaining other areas as arable farmland. Both are important in supporting rare wildlife. National Trust rangers will also create new footpaths, opening up the headland for visitors.

Thanks to the generosity of people who have left gifts to the National Trust in their Wills, the Trust is able to commit significant funds towards the purchase of Trevose Head.

Trevose Head -55 by John Miller

Trevose Head (c) National Trust Images / John Miller

 

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