Category Archives: Adventure

Falling back with the clocks

On Sunday we saw the clocks go back. Some people will have stayed up later to take full advantage of the extra hour in bed, those with children (and dogs or cats!) will have had no change in routine at all and felt maybe a little cheated. Most of us will still be trying to figure out how to change the time on the oven, the video and in the car – unless we didn’t put the clocks forward in the spring and therefore out clocks are correct for the first time in 6 months….

The days are getting shorter and we will soon be experiencing the shortest day. On the bright side, that must mean we’re on our way to the longest day again and summer is just around the corner? In the mean time we must fight our urges to hibernate and spend all of the hours of darkness away from the world and instead keep looking forward. It is still quite mild out there, and any amount of fresh air is good for the body and the soul. Sometimes we cannot get away from routine – we have to go to work, take kids to school, go for appointments and meetings, and the changing of the seasons is purely an inconvenience. The kids may find a blessing in an occasional snow day though!

If however you do not have a regular routine to pull you out of your chair or off the sofa, wrap up and be brave. Get into the garden and take in the colours, the changes and animals scurrying around. Or wander down to the park, or a near bench and watch the world for a minute or two. You will be amazed at home good you feel getting outside and being a part of something bigger.

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Playing in the woods.

Today we share a post from The National Trust and their Outdoor Nation Blog posted on August 15, 2014.

It’s not just children who need play, argues Fiona Harrower, Visitor Experience Manager at Hatfield Forest.

Virtually all of my favourite childhood memories involve playing outdoors.  Even now, when I’m meant to be grown-up, I still can’t resist a puddle or balancing along a fallen tree.

Den building at Hatfield. © Fiona Harrower

For the last couple of years we have celebrated the national Play Day at Hatfield Forest with one goal: to encourage play with no play equipment.  With a thousand acres of woodland and grassy plains to explore this should have been a realistic challenge.

Or at least you would have thought so.

But I’ve noticed that many of our visiting parents are desperate for a trail to follow, a map to highlight where to play, actual trees and logs signposted as okay to play on.  Whereas their children, when allowed to just play freely, are quite happy to find their own spots, make their own games and use their imagination.

So our role is to teach the parents how to play in the outdoors, as the kids are experts at it already.  With a large number of veteran trees, we have an added challenge of balancing the promotion of natural play with the conservation of Hatfield Forest.

The 50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4 campaign has helped us to promote our no need for play equipment message, by giving us a tool to spark families’ imagination.  The scrapbooks, and even more so the stickers, are a big hit.  Our top play activities at Hatfield Forest are tree climbing, den building, making grass trumpets, exploring inside a tree and making mud pies.  We hold Wild Wednesdays throughout the summer holidays and have over 150 children participating each week.

Pie making during Mud Week! © Fiona Harrower

But play isn’t limited to Wednesdays only; it’s something we promote every day.

Play is one of the simplest ways to get kids outdoors.  The health benefits are clear.  Ask a child if they want to go on a five mile hike and you may get a moan, but spend hours running through long grass, climbing trees and building dens and they won’t notice they’re ‘exercising’.

Play is a universal way of connecting people to the outdoors.  It’s something children intrinsically know what to do.  We just need to give adults the permission to play too.

My 30 days of Adventure.

By on 08 26, 2014 in ActivitiesAdventure

My 30 days of Adventure.

On 25th July, along with Psychologies magazine, I started my 30 days of adventure. As of Saturday 23rd August my 30 days were complete. I must say, it was not easy. Adventure is such a big word. It is powerful and full of expectation and promise. Well, I made it work as best I could.

My 30 days of adventure included a wide range of activities, and these activities conjured up a plethora of emotions. Some activities were peaceful and led me to times of thoughtfulness and contemplation, these included paint by numbers, magnet craft and a walk in the park in the sunshine. In contrast, the result of me saying yes more meant I socialised more often, spoke more to people that I already knew, and got to know those I did not. I got involved in different running clubs and visited new places. These activities made me feel happy and gave me a sense of achievement and fulfilment.

The activities that were particularly adventurous for me were those that were right out of my comfort zone, those that made me think “really, me, oh dear!”. In this group I include driving someone else’s car, joining a new social group, driving to new places and in particular taking a new route which included an extremely small single lane track.

There are still some adventurous activities from the past 30 days to come to fruition, for example on one day I booked tickets to the Invictus Games. The Invictus Games is an international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women and the Games are about survival in the face of adversity and the strength of the human spirit. I’ll be going to watch the Games in a couple of weeks.

My adventures will go on, and I will continue to be more open to things which are not part of the routine, and will no doubt drag some unsuspecting individuals with me along my way. I must simply remember to keep saying yes more.

Find out how Psychologies got on here.

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My 30 days of Adventure.

By Harriett on 08 26, 2014 in ActivitiesAdventure

My 30 days of Adventure. On 25th July, along with Psychologies magazine, I started my 30 days of adventure. As of Saturday 23rd August my 30 days were complete. I must say, it was not easy. Adventure is such a big word. It is powerful and full of expectation and promise. Well, I made it [...]


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