Wild Play Day inspires hundreds of families to get outside and enjoy nature

Wild play day beach news article

Published Monday 13 April 2015

Hundreds of families enjoyed a free day of ‘wild play’ in the New Forest, as part of a drive to encourage children to play outdoors.

  • Download photos from the Wild Play Day for media use via Dropbox

More than 800 people took part in fun activities such as seashore scavenging, crabbing and pebble tower building at the Wild Play Day at the Beach at Hurst Spit near Milford-on-Sea (9 April).

The free event organised by the New Forest National Park Authority and Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, aimed to help families enjoy nature instead of staying indoors glued to their tablets and televisions.  

Simon Savill, from New Milton, took sons Dylan, 10, William, 9 and Oliver, 5, down to the Wild Play Day. He said: ‘It’s been good fun. They have so many other distractions that getting them outside is always tricky. To have something like this, where they can muck about and learn a few things is great.’ 

Emily Jundi, from Sway had a great day out with daughters Frida, 4, and Mabel, 2, and said: ‘They have so much going on in their lives that it’s always a pleasure to go outside and do some simple activities. It’s inspired us with some ideas for family days out.’

A wild play survey published in January found 34% of parents in and around the New Forest could only visit an outdoor space with their children once a week or less due to a lack of time and safety concerns.

Helen Robinson, education officer at the National Park Authority, said: ‘We’re so pleased that so many families came to our Wild Play Day with the Wildlife Trust. 

‘Sometimes parents have a perception of outdoor play that it may not be safe or as entertaining for their children as playing games on a tablet or watching TV. 

‘But often it’s the simplest activities like seashore scavenging or making beach art, which are the most memorable experiences for families. 

‘We’ve had wonderful feedback on how the Wild Play Day has inspired families to play outdoors more and appreciate their natural surroundings.’

The next Wild Play Day will be amongst the trees at Anderwood on 5 August. For more details visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/wildplayday

Families can also enjoy similar activities at the Wildlife Trust’s Wild Beach Club at Hurst Spit every Thursday from 4pm to 6pm starting from April 23. For details about the Wild Beach Club call Dawn Morgan on 01489 774413 or email wildlifewatch@hiwwt.org.uk

-ends-

About the New Forest National Park Authority

Protect - Enjoy - Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect.
  • Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:

  • Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk to find out more.

Media Contacts:
Sion Donovan, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646639
Email: sion.donovan@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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