We are really starting to enjoy visiting National Trust sites with the kids. As soon as Spring appears we can’t wait to get out of the city and find some exciting outdoors gems to explore. The National Trust cares for over 300 historic houses and gardens, over 700 miles of coastline and over 617,500 acres across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In a drive to encourage more children to get outdoors and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature, they have provided this list of some of the best National Trust places to visit this spring!
- Mottisfont Abbey, Hampshire. Listen to a spectacular dawn chorus of birds in springtime at Mottisfont. This atmospheric 13th century property has its very own spring sound experience for visitors too!*
- Tatton Park, Cheshire. This vast wild parkland is home to a deer park and an incredible 19th century mansion. Head to Tatton for misty spring mornings and listening out for the pitter patter of April showers.
- Biddulph Grange Gardens, Midlands. The colourful spring blooms and greenery at Biddulph make this spot the place to hear honeybees at work.
- Hardcastle Crags, West Yorkshire. Come to Hardcastle Crags to listen to the soothing sounds of babbling brooks and the tweets of baby birds. Be sure to tackle some of the site’s nature trails in April.
- Brockhampton Estate, Herefordshire. A beautiful spot to listen to the sounds of baby lambs baaing at this beautiful parkland Herefordshire. On 22 April, Brockhampton will host Family Den Building Day – a chance to have fun learning survival skills.
- Batemans, Sussex. From robins, rooks and blackbirds – take a sensory walk through the wooded landscape of the Sussex Weald.
- Sheringham Park, Norfolk. Rarer chiffchaffs can be heard chirping within the varied woodland habitat of Sheringham Park. Tick some 50Things activities off your bucket list and learn how to track wild animals on 9 April.
- Polesden Lacey,Surrey.Home to the great tit and song thrush,Polesden Lacey is in the rolling Surrey Hills just outside the M25. Head here on selected dates in April to climb in tree canopies with an instructor and zip wire, if you’re feeling brave!*
- Quantock Hills, Somerset. Wonderful walks can be had here with incredible views of valley woodlands and hilltops. Listen out for the beautiful Skylark here.
- Sugar Loaf & Usk Valley, Wales. The peaks and valleys of this dramatic region are a prime place to hear tinkling streams and spot swooping birds of prey. Join NT rangers for a family adventure in St Mary’s Vale on 19 April and tick off some 50 things to do before you’re 11 3⁄4.
All of these place encapsulate some of the most recognisable sounds of Spring! The nation’s top ten spring sounds are….
1. Birds singing (69 per cent)
2. An early morning ‘dawn chorus’ of birds (60 per cent)
3. Tinkling stream (43 per cent)
4. A babbling brook (40 per cent)
5. April showers (37 per cent)
6. Lambs baaing (37 per cent)
7. Bees buzzing (34 per cent)
8. Wind rustling the trees (33 per cent)
9. Lawnmowers cutting grass for the first time this year (33 per cent)
10.Baby chicks chirping (29 per cent)
Which is your favourite? I’d have to go with the majority on birds singing but lawnmowers is one of my favourite too. There’s just something about hearing those lawn mowers out cutting the Spring time grass that makes you want to go out and enjoy the nice weather. I never realised that so many other people felt the same on that one!
Later in the year, vocal sculptor and beatboxer Jason Singh will take up residency as the National Trust’s Sound Artist – running ‘natural’ beatboxing workshops for children at his favourite place Tatton Park. Singh will not only work with rangers to help kids spot birds and other spring wildlife but also show them how to use their own vocals to replicate the sounds they make.
You might also be interested in finding out more about the National Trusts list of 50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4. We collaborated in a blogger project to document the whole list and you can read our post on #28 climb a huge hill here.
Where are your favourite places to visit in Spring time? Let me know here in the comments or share with us on the In The Playroom Facebook page