A group of advisors – made up entirely of children – is being recruited by the National Trust to provide advice on how to get more of the nation’s children outdoors.
The idea follows the charity’s recent Natural Childhood Report and the 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ campaign, and shows the Trust stepping up its game in encouraging children to explore the outdoors and get closer to nature. Properties in the East Midlands area such as Calke Abbey in Derbyshire, Canons Ashby in Northamptonshire, The Workhouse at Southwell, Nottinghamshire and Belton House in Lincolnshire are all looking for help from local children.
The National Trust is looking to sign up ten children aged between seven and twelve to the council  where they will play an important role in developing the charity’s outdoor campaigns, and making their properties more fun for younger visitors.
The perfect candidate will be brimming with enthusiasm and fun, plus have a natural love for the outdoors and fresh air. Potential applicants are also required to have an adventurous spirit and a wild imagination. A fondness for rolling down hills or jumping in muddy puddles would be considered a bonus.
To offer children a chance to try out the National Trust and get inspiration on what they would like to change if they were appointed to the Kid’s Council, the Trust has opened up its doors to children for free for the whole of August. Over 200 places will be free of charge to children, giving them the opportunity to explore National Trust places across the country. Properties offering free admission for children in the East Midlands include Sudbury Hall and the Museum of Childhood in Derbyshire, Belton House and Tattershall Castle in Lincolnshire, Canons Ashby in Northamptonshire and The Workhouse, Southwell in Nottinghamshire.
The successful council applicants will be announced later in the year and will be offered free year long access to National Trust places for themselves and their family. Canoeing, surfing and camping will be part of the winning prize to ensure kids and their families experience the full National Trust offering. The Kids’ Council will meet throughout 2013 and report their findings into the National Trust’s Visitor Experience Director, so their suggestions can be put into practise to help make the outdoors more fun for the nation’s kids.
The application process will close on 7th September 2012. Applications can be downloaded from the website at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/kidscouncil and sent back via email, post or handed in at National Trust properties
Tony Berry, Visitor Experience Director of the National Trust, comments: “We are really committed to helping kids enjoy the great outdoors and we want to make our places the most fun and family-friendly day out destinations in the UK. I’m really excited that our new Kids’ Council will help us do just that. Our kids go free promotion for the entire month of August will not only give kids and their families the chance to get out and explore, but hopefully inspire them to apply for our Kids’ Council and let us know what we can do better in the future.”