Youngsters from a Wearside primary school took to the great outdoors as part of a new international project to get children fitter and healthier.
Sunderland-based outdoor company Berghaus arranged a special morning activity at a frosty Herrington Country Park for 50 pupils from George Washington Primary School, along with their teachers.
The initiative was a pilot event for the #itsgreatoutthere initiative.
Launched by outdoor trade association the European Outdoor Group (EOG) last year, the programme aims to promote participation in outdoor activities.
Through the campaign, EOG members and other outdoor businesses are trying to inspire people to lead healthier lives by heading outdoors, offering an alternative to more sedentary pursuits, and playing a positive role in combating the epidemic of inactivity.
Ailsa Taylor, headteacher at George Washington Primary, said: “The school is a great exponent of learning outdoors and has a forest school on site.
“Enabling the children to get out and about in the great outdoors gave them a fabulous opportunity to learn new skills in an environment where they could actually use them.
“The children came back excited and motivated by what they had learnt.”
Year Five pupil Aaron Lang said: “The park was absolutely amazing and the scenery was great. It was fun solving the questions. I would love to go again.”
Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West, added: “With so many fantastic outdoor places to go and visit here in Sunderland and the wider North East, it is great to see Berghaus engaging with local schools to help children experience the outdoors, learn important life skills and find a love for nature.
“As childhood obesity is becoming an ever-growing problem in our society, it is great that companies like Berghaus are doing more to encourage children to be fit and healthy, and I look forward to seeing more schools get involved with #itsgreatoutthere later this year.”
Following the event, Berghaus and the European Outdoor Group will use photos and footage to give a presentation to the rest of the outdoor industry in Munich, during ISPO, the sector’s main winter trade show.
The intention is that the event enjoyed by the George Washington pupils will provide a template that companies all over Europe can use to create their own #itsgreatoutthere events later this year.