Local campsite launches outdoor initiative

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A Northern Ireland campsite has launched a new initiative to encourage locals to experience the great outdoors more often, after finding that almost a third of children in urban areas have never visited the countryside.

New research by The Camping and Caravanning Club of 1,000 city-based parents and their children aged six to 12 also found 21 per cent of youngsters have never attempted to climb a tree, while 35 per cent have never slept in a tent.

Others have never been camping (32 per cent), eaten a meal that was cooked on a camp stove (39 per cent), or gone crabbing in rockpools (41 per cent).

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With help from new Club president, wildlife cameraman Hamza Yassin, the MERGEFIELD Lead_Site Delamont Country Park Camping and Caravanning Club site is calling for local people to get outdoors and enjoy the benefits of nature, with a competition to win a brand-new caravan worth over £22,000 to experience it in style.

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As well as the chance to bag the camping prize, as part of the new initiative, the MERGEFIELD Location local site is also encouraging locals to get outdoors with a series of free nature activity packs which can be downloaded from the company’s website.

Hamza, said: “I love going camping, connecting with nature and experiencing wildlife. It’s something I believe all children should have the opportunity to do – because let’s face it – they are the future when it comes to protecting our natural world.

“I’d like to introduce more people in Northern Ireland to the joy of camping and show how it really puts you on nature’s doorstep – giving you the chance to learn about the incredible outdoors and all the benefits it can bring.”

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Sabina Voysey, Director General of The Camping and Caravanning Club, said: “Spending time in the outdoors through camping can be an amazing experience for children, giving them a sense of wonder and freedom.

“It’s a great way to connect with nature, see wildlife up close and learn skills such as map reading, cooking and pitching a tent. It’s beneficial in so many ways.

“Our research shows that unfortunately not all children have easy access to the wonderful outdoors for various reasons, which is something we wanted to change through our work with our new president, Hamza.”

The research also showed that 88 per cent of parents believe it is important for their son or daughter to experience the great outdoors, with 87 per cent wishing they had more outdoor learning opportunities at school.

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But more than half (54 per cent) of those who believe their child doesn’t spend enough time outside often worry they could be missing out on key childhood experiences as a result.

Hamza added: “Learning in the outdoors not only teaches children to protect and respect the natural world, it supports all of their learning needs, especially for those who have learning difficulties, like I have with my dyslexia.

"It gives children the freedom to explore, enhancing their creativity, imagination, and fostering a sense of adventure.

"This is why, in my new role I want to make camping accessible for as many people as possible.”

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For the chance to win a caravan worth over £22,000, or to download Hamza’s free activity packs, people in MERGEFIELD Location local can visit https://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/hamzas-incredible-outdoors/ and complete the form before Sunday 27 October.

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