The National Trust is a conservation charity founded in 1895 by three people who saw the importance of our nation’s heritage and open spaces, and wanted to preserve them for everyone to enjoy.  More than 120 years later, these values are still at the very heart of everything the charity does.


At the start of the school summer holidays The National Trust commissioned some interesting research into how daring and adventurous our children are compared to other generations. The study signalled the start of the National Trust’s ‘50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 ¾’ initiative – which is aiming to encourage families to get outdoors more and start enjoying time together.




  • Three quarters (76%) of grandparents say they were far more adventurous and daring in their youth compared to both their children and grandchildren – with half (51%) confessing to never have seen their grandchildren climb a tree
  • 86% of grandparents admit they have felt a joy in the responsibility to teach their grandchildren about the great outdoors, as children today spend half as much time as they did exploring outside
  • Research commissioned as part of The National Trust’s ‘50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 ¾’ initiative, which aims to encourage families to get outdoors and enjoy a relationship with nature.


Grandparents were much more adventurous during their youth in the great outdoors than today’s youngsters – half of whom have never even climbed a tree, a survey shows.

With 61% of grandparents helping out with childcare during school holidays, they are the perfect motivators for getting kids to spend more time enjoying nature.

Parents looking for ways to get their kids to spend more time in the great outdoors

during the summer holidays need look no further than willing grandparents, keen to spend quality time outside in nature with their grandchildren.

Research by leading conservation charity, the National Trust, revealed that grandparents are the key ingredient to helping today’s generation develop a connection with nature. Over three quarters (76%) claim they were far more explorative and daring in their youth compared to both their own children and grandchildren, with a huge majority (92%) also saying that they take great enjoyment from teaching their grandchildren about these adventurous activities, such as building a den or flying a kite.

The research also reveals that 4 in 5 (79%) adults believe children today have less freedom to explore and play outdoors, compared to their own childhood. While 75% of grandparents said climbing trees was one of their favourite childhood memories, half (51%) said their grandchildren had not experienced this activity.

Nearly half (49%) of grandparents take on the role of childminding more than twice a week to support parents with this increasing during the school holidays by almost two-thirds of grandparents (61%). A whopping 9 in 10 (92%) said that when they do spend time with their grandchildren, they are keen to actively encourage them to take part in explorative outdoor play rather coop up indoors.

The research polled 1,000 grandparents and parents for the charity as part of its 50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 ¾’initiative –  which aims to encourage families to get outdoors and enjoy spending time together – looks at the importance of outdoor family play and how this builds a stronger appreciation and connection to nature.

National Trust research also found:

  • Children today spend 57% less time exploring outdoors than their parents and grandparents did – on average just 1 hour 20 mins a day, vs. 2 hours 40 mins (parents) and 3 and a half hours a day (grandparents)
  • 87% of parents and grandparents said they enjoy seeing their offspring running wild and carefree, with 80% taking pleasure from seeing them playing outdoors away from technology devices
  • In addition, 95% of parents and grandparents agree that it is important for children to connect with nature so that they can build a relationship with the great outdoors and help future generations care for and protect it

To celebrate the joyful experiences the natural world has to offer, the Trust has created a wildlife documentary-style film, bringing to life the innate connection we all have with nature with grandparents leading the way.

Supporting the National Trust’s findings, Behavioural Psychologist Donna Dawson (BA, MSc, PhD) adds:

“Grandparents today are spending more and more time with their grandchildren in the roles of childminder and carer, and consequently getting to share real ‘quality time’ with them. And the research shows that one of the things they are sharing is a love of nature and the great outdoors, something that harks back to their own happy childhood memories. Learning to appreciate Nature at a young, impressionable age makes it much more likely that children will grow up to pass on their love of outdoor experiences to future generations. As a grandmother of seven, I have seen the effects on my grandchildren myself: they are never happier then when running free in the fresh air and sunshine, exploring and asking questions about the natural world around them.”

The National Trust, which is funded entirely through the support of the public who visit, join and volunteer, is looking to inspire the next generation of children to plant their roots and kick-start a lifelong love affair with nature through its ‘50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 ¾’ initiative.

National Trust Ranger Kate Jones, adds:

“This summer, we want to inspire children, parents and grandparents 

to get outdoors and develop their relationship with nature together as a family. 

With so many fantastic ‘50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 ¾’ events taking place at Trust locations across the country there’s no better time to go wild and explore the great 

outdoors taking inspiration from our challenges. We know that sharing these outdoor experiences with family and friends from a young age, helps to foster a stronger and more ingrained connection to nature, which we hope will be passed on for generations to come.”

For more information on the National Trust’s ’50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 ¾’ campaign, head over to or search #50things, they  have some amazing ideas and a fantastic App you can download for iPhone and Android as well!

Now for the COMPETITION….


The National Trust have been generous enough to provide me with a Family Pass for you to enjoy with your family at a National Trust location of your choosing and we would LOVE to give it away in time for the October School Holidays so you can get out and about with your whole family this Autumn!!

For your chance to be in the running to WIN this fantastic Prize… just fill in the Rafflecopter form below and cross your fingers… it’s THAT easy!



a Rafflecopter giveaway


49 thoughts on “BORN TO BE WILD – National Trust ’50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4′ & COMPETITION”

  1. We went to Avebury and completed the Easter egg trail which my son thought was amazing, especially when it ended with chocolate bunnies!

  2. My daughter loves the outdoors, whether it is sunny or raining. She loves mud, sand and animals so days that can contain all 3 are a dream come true

  3. My little girl loves Rapunzel, and there is a walk in Chatsworth House Estate that leads to a tower which looks like Rapunzels tower…we do that walk quite frequently now and she loves it!

  4. my little granddaughter loves visiting farms and zoos as she loves all animals. She also enjoys going on picnics, except the beach where she was not fond of sand getting in her shoes!

  5. Our family love national Trust properties but find them a little bit to expensive to visit very often, we would love a pass that would be awesone

  6. My 2 boys adore going to castles, we visited Kenilworth castle this summer and they loved the place, like stepping back in time listening and reading about what happened there

  7. Mine loves getting the trails given at NT properties and watching me not know the answers haha. She completed the last quiz herself teehee x I love taking photos of her enjoying these places!

  8. My little ones love going to the park – or even just to the shops (as long as they get to come home with something!). I love big family days out to theme parks but they can be on the expensive side so we don’t do those too often!

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