Whether or not you have your own outdoor space, sometimes you just want to run wild somewhere new...

We're the Skinny Jeans Gardeners. And we decided to hunt out somewhere to unleash our inner adventurer. We found a hidden gem, smack bang in the middle of south London. The National Trust’s Morden Hall Park was the perfect place to tick off a few more of the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’. (Just in case you haven’t heard about 50 things – it’s a whole load of outdoor fun to try and have before you hit the grand age of 11¾). Now we’re a little bit older than that, but that wasn’t going to stop us. So first off, we made our way to the Natural Play Area…

Sandwiched between the Wetlands and the Hay Meadow, the Natural Play area is full of fallen branches, bendy sticks and dry leaves – great materials for building a den. Spotting the longest branch about, we propped it against a nobly tree to make a frame. With help from some other keen den builders, we were soon leaning and weaving all sorts of fresh smelling stuff. In no time, our hideaway was done. FYI, building a den is Number 4 on the 50 things list. Tick! Then it was just a matter of rolling in some tree stumps for seats, and voilà: the ideal pad for eating Elevenses. Yum.

All fuelled up, we figured it was time to go for a really long bike ride... The park doesn’t have your usual type of bicycle – instead they have recumbent bikes where you sit laid back close to the ground. It’s a wheely great way to get a cricket’s eye view as you breeze through the Meadow, or drift past the River Wandle. Keep your eyes peeled, as there’s heaps of wildlife to spot as you cruise along: Dragonflies and Damselflies, Squirrels and Voles, or our favourite, the Ring Necked Parakeets that have made Morden Hall Park their home. What’s more, a long bike ride sees Number 11 of 50 things completed. Tick! What next? Well…

Morden Hall Park is proud to have the only National Trust garden centre, and as part of this, there’s a kids' gardening group that allows you to get stuck in too. Being a pair of gardeners ourselves, we were blooming exited. And rightly so, because it wasn’t long before we were getting all green fingered and sowing a wide range of fruit and veg seeds. This group is perfect for growing your knowledge – we’re always on the look out for the next Skinny Jean Gardener. Nudge, nudge ;) And guess what’s Number 41 on 50 things?! Plant it, grow it, eat it! It might be a while before we get to taste, but I’d say that’s a third tick! for the day.

 

All in all, that was a whole load of outdoor awesomeness before we’re 27¾. Nice.

On the note of niceness, a bit of general knowledge for you: we have Gilliat Edward Hatfield to thank for us being able to explore this amazing space. When he donated Morden Hall Park to the National Trust, it was on the proviso that it should forever be open to the public for free. Hatfield was also responsible for the hall being used as a hospital and the park being used to grow food for locals, during World War I.What a great guy - making sure that there will always be somewhere to run wild!

Oh.. And we're supporting Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day on May 15th. It's all about fighting for food education for every child, which we think is really important. If you do too, show your support here please

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