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Half Term Fun at Arboretum

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
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Children encouraged to learn and have fun on activity trails
Adventurous youngsters are being invited to explore a pair of free activity trails at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire throughout this year's autumn half term holiday. The trails, which run from Saturday 26 October to Sunday 3 November, will take visitors on an exciting trek around the 150-acre site's woodlands and gardens, showcasing the Arboretum's autumnal colours and the hundreds of memorials and sculptures nestled among the trees. The Global Friends Trail will whisk young visitors on a tour of memorials connected to different countries across the world, from the Sikh Memorial to the Royal Canadian Airforce, challenging them to identify animals associated with each region. A free trail map, available from the Welcome Desk, includes stickers of each animal to attach to a poster to take home.

National Memorial Arboretum
Children urged to join the Stick Man Trail at the National Memorial Arboretum


The second trail is in tribute to Stick Man*, star of the popular children's book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. Offering an interactive learning experience for three to seven-year olds, the trail has been designed to help children go on their own adventure as the learn the story of Stick Man and his adventure back home to the family tree. The trail is free to explore with a free map, available from the Welcome Desk. Activity packs to enhance the adventure can be purchased for 2.50. In addition to the activity trails, the Arboretum, situated at Alrewas, near Lichfield, is home to two outdoor play areas. The Sensory Play Garden uses sensory exploration and discovery to introduce younger visitors to the concept of Remembrance, in addition to providing traditional play. It features tunnels, a climbing globe, banister slides and a time circle, with the area sitting naturally within the grounds of the Arboretum. The second children's play area in the Children's Wood offers wooden play equipment with picnic benches located nearby.

National Memorial Arboretum
A memorial to the RAF within the 150 acre site


Sarah Oakden, Head of Marketing at the Arboretum, said: "Our activity trails are perfect for intrepid young adventurers to explore, providing a fun family day out among the autumn leaves. Stick Man provides a familiar face, while the Global Friends Trail offers an engaging way of learning about how British Armed Forces have worked closely with other countries across the world." For more information about the Arboretum, visi www.thenma.org.uk/ or call 01283 245100.

*Stick Man 2008 & TM. Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler. Licenced by Magic Light Pictures Ltd.
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Why? Get the kids out and about on a nature activity trail this half term
When: October 26 to November 3
Phone: 01283 245100
Where: National Memorial Arboretum, Croxall Road, Alrewas, Staffordshire DE13 7AR
Cost: Free entry but parking charge applies
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