Children take on the great outdoors

Brother and Sister, Pip and Ottilie Winfield enjoy meeting the owls as part of the 50 things to do before your 11 3/4 initiative at Beamish Wild.

Brother and Sister, Pip and Ottilie Winfield enjoy meeting the owls as part of the 50 things to do before your 11 3/4 initiative at Beamish Wild.

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THE joys of climbing a tree and building a den are proving a winner with young people from across Wearside.

Beamish Wild is backing the National Trust’s 50 Things to do Before You’re 11¾ campaign, which encourages youngsters to get out of the house and enjoy the great outdoors.

6 year old Danielle Buckham has a go at tree climbing as part of the 50 things to do before your 11 3/4 initiative at Beamish Wild.

6 year old Danielle Buckham has a go at tree climbing as part of the 50 things to do before your 11 3/4 initiative at Beamish Wild.

The initiative was launched after research by the Trust, which found only one in 10 children regularly play outside, compared to almost 50 per cent a decade ago.

It also uncovered how a third have never climbed a tree and one in 10 is unable to ride a bike.

Adventurous children were able to tick off 15 of the activities listed this week after going along to the attraction.

The youngsters enjoyed calling to owls, swinging on ropes, climbing trees and building dens.

Alex Tocu, from the attraction, said: “This whole campaign underlies everything Beamish Wild is about and we just had to get involved.

“We give children a fantastic woodland adventure and every new puzzle or challenge boosts their confidence with every step.”

Emily Thomas, nine, of Great Lumley, said: “It’s great fun building dens. I enjoy playing outside with my friends and we sometimes build our own camps. I had a go at climbing trees but I’m not very good.”

Pal Molly Higgins, eight, added: “I do like playing on my Nintendo DS but I also like playing outside and having adventures and, now that it’s not dark, we can play out after school.”

Beamish Wild, which is in the grounds of Beamish Hall Hotel and Stables pub, is home to zip wires and a birds of prey show. It also holds archery sessions.

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham