Last summer, we hosted two free Family Miles in the beautiful, leafy grounds of Sissinghurst Castle, cared for by the National Trust. The sun was shining as our dedicated Ambassadors led families on an interactive Nature Mile through the castle grounds, marvelling at the clever mix of colours, weaving through the tumble of trees, roses and vines and meeting lots of colourful creatures along the way!
It was fantastic to have such a scenic backdrop to these Nature Miles, with the estate providing an idyllic landscape for Milers to immerse themselves in and connect with nature, all whilst doing ‘Their Mile, Their Way.’ This highlighted a natural synergy between our organisations, which was reflected in the excellent turnout we had for both events.
These Nature Miles took place over the school holidays, and families flocked from across Kent to be part of this exciting day out. Each event was capped at 50 Milers to make these Miles as engaging as possible, and by our second event on Friday 20th August, we had all 50 slots completely booked up!
Sissinghurst is among the most famous grounds in England, and undoubtedly offers a slice of escapism, something that has become increasingly in demand since the pandemic.
For so many people, lockdown shifted the value they placed on both physical activity and nature, with both becoming a life raft during those unprecedented times. With no daily commute or hectic school runs, a daily walk in the outdoors seemed to morph into a replacement for people across the world. Life seemed to slow down, and everybody had the opportunity to really stop and smell the roses – both metaphorically and literally! Through this, people came to appreciate the whole host of benefits both nature and physical activity have on our wellbeing.
As we return to normal and navigate our way through a post-pandemic world, our mission is to harness this attitude towards outdoor exercise and increase activity levels in families across the country.
Liz Nelstrop, Walking Lead at the National Trust said, ‘Our physical and mental health has never been more tested or more important. Time out to walk, enjoy nature and to connect with family and friends is essential for our wellbeing and providing opportunities to do this, especially in a supportive way, is at the heart of our work at the National Trust. We are delighted to be collaborating with The Mason Mile to deliver friendly, accessible Nature Miles at Sissinghurst, and look forward to expanding the programme to many more sites in future.’
Nature and physical activity go hand in hand, and by combining the two through our work with the National Trust, we are paving the way for a healthier and happier future for families everywhere! All of which signals a wonderful budding friendship between The Family Mile and the National Trust.