Get in touch with your wild side at Ashridge

There is plenty to do for young kids and big kids alike at a countryside es­tate this summer. Camilla Good­man re­ports

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - LIFE & LEISURE -

SUMMER is the time most likely to bring out the in­ner child that lurks in­side us all and the Na­tional Trust team at Ashridge be­lieve you are never too old to come out to play. At this countryside es­tate in the Chilterns, there are nu­mer­ous op­por­tu­ni­ties for fam­i­lies to get out­doors and closer to na­ture this summer.

Find out about wildlife on the Malef­i­cent trail

Dis­ney chose mag­i­cal Ashridge as the lo­ca­tion for scenes in their new com­puter-en­hanced film Malef­i­cent star­ring An­gelina Jolie, the pre­vi­ously un­told story of Dis­ney’s most iconic vil­lain, from the 1959 clas­sic Sleep­ing Beauty.

The Ashridge wood­land with its other-worldly trees and abun­dance of wildlife pro­vided the real lo­ca­tion for the En­chanted For­est, where Malef­i­cent lives.

This summer fam­i­lies can explore Ashridge with Malef­i­cent’s En­chanted For­est Trail. In­spired by the na­turelov­ing fairy folk from the film, the Malef­i­cent trail re­veals the wildlife that calls Ashridge home, in­clud­ing rare but­ter­flies and song­birds, as well as fungi and mini-beasts.

You can also make your own set of Malef­i­cent horns in the Vis­i­tor Cen­tre be­fore you head out on your trail and en­ter our colour­ing com­pe­ti­tion to be in with a chance of win­ning a prize.

Trails cost £1 per child, with ev­ery penny go­ing to­wards man­ag­ing this spe­cial place.

The Wild about Ashridge Club

Get closer to na­ture at our Wild about Ashridge Club ev­ery Wed­nes­day and Fri­day dur­ing the hol­i­days from 10.30am to 3pm, pro­vid­ing out­door fun ad­ven­tures, what­ever the weather with the Na­tional Trust team. The club will be based near the Bridge­wa­ter Mon­u­ment which is also a per­fect spot for pic­nics and the Wild Wood Den where kids (and adults) can scram­ble over logs, scale tree trunks and let their imag­i­na­tions run wild.

50 things to do be­fore you are 11 and three-quar­ters

To help chil­dren get out­doors and closer to na­ture the Na­tional Trust has come up with a list of 50 things to do be­fore you are 11 and three-quar­ters, things we all did as chil­dren such as climb­ing a tree, build­ing a den and fly­ing a kite.

There are loads of things on the list that you can do at Ashridge so pick up a scrap book when you visit and see how many ac­tiv­i­ties you can tick off.

For more in­for­ma­tion about any of the ac­tiv­i­ties on of­fer call the Ashridge Es­tate Vis­i­tor Cen­tre on 01442 851 227 or email ashridge@ na­tion­al­trust.org.uk.

Mag­nif­i­cent Malef­i­cent used Ashridge as the lo­ca­tion for its en­chanted for­est

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