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Summer Activity Programme at National Memorial 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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Puzzle solving escape challenges await visitors
Thousands of families are expected to flock to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire after unveiling its summer activity programme. The 150-acre garden and woodland site, which is the UK's centre of remembrance, will be hosting a wide range of activities over the coming weeks. New to this year's programme are a couple of intriguing outdoor escape challenges which invite visitors to embark on a thrilling crime-cracking adventure. Participants must work as a team to try foil a bank robbery by solving a series of mind-bending puzzles. During the course of the challenge teams will visit some of the many memorials connected to the emergency services, including the new UK Police Memorial which was dedicated last week. Operation Kingpin, which costs £12 per team, s designed for families and takes around two hours to complete. At tje same time, the Arboretum, at Alrewas, near Lichfield is also introducing Operation Vault which is aimed at experienced puzzle solvers. This game costs £15 per team and takes two to three hours to complete.

National Memorial Arboretum
Try your hand at a new outdoor escape challenge at the Arboretum


Chris Ansell, Head of Participation and Learning at the Arboretum, said: "This summer we have once again created a selection of fun and engaging activities for all ages, We've worked hard to find new ways to shine a spotlight on the tireless efforts made by our everyday heroes during the pandemic and the incredible work they do in our communities all year round. Our exciting outdoor escape challenges were incredibly popular last summer and this year we're pleased to take the concept to another level with a pair of exciting new adventures, Your mental skills will be put to the test as you venture around our 150-acre site, seeking answers to a series of puzzles that will help you work with the police to stop a nefarious gang of bank robbers from executing a successful heist."

National Memorial Arboretum
Younger visitors encouraged to try an Our Everyday Heroes activity pack


Alongside the new challenges, a new free exhibition entitled Our Everyday Heroes can be seen in the Remembrance Centre. It explores the work of the emergency services, volunteer organisations and the Armed Forces in their roles of protecting the public and safeguarding people from harm, particularly throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. It includes sections on the Fire Services, Police, NHS, volunteer organisations, the Armed Forces, emergency vehicles and animal support. A timeline charts major historical events, and there is a display of emergency service uniforms. Activity packs costing £2 per person will help younger visitors discover the memorials connected to the invaluable work of military organisations that have supported the pandemic response. It includes sticker trails, a puzzle sheet to complete in the Our Everyday Heroes exhibition, complete-at-home craft activities, and a special wooden badge.

National Memorial Arboretum
This year sees the return of the piopular Stick Man Trail


Also for younger visitors, the popular free Stick Man activity trail will continue, while this weekend (7 and 8 August) also sees the return of the Summer Proms evenings involving a selection of toe-tapping proms favourites performed by the Band of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and soprano Emily Haig, concluding with a firework finale. For more information, including booking tickets for the Summer Proms, please visit the National Memorial Arboretum website.
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Why? Two new escape challenges added to summer activity programme
When: This summer
Phone: 01283 245100
Where: National Memorial Arboretum, Croxall Road, Alrewas, Staffordshire DE13 7AR
Cost: Cost of activities varies
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