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Nature Connections 22 - Find Your Way with a Map, Stone Towers and Kitchen Scrap Gardening

Walking the same route can get a little boring so using a map to find a new route, however familiar, can be a lot of fun. It is also one of the National Trust’s ’50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities.

Out and About – Find Your Way with a Map

Being able to read a map is a super cool skill that is practical too. You will need a map of the area you want to explore. It’s good to do this activity with your family and it’s always nice to have a drink and a snack along the way.

  1. Start off by working out where you are right now on the map, so that you know you’re following your map from the right place. 

  2. Once you’ve found your starting point, have a look at the different symbols you can find near your spot. What could they be? There will probably be a special key on your map, which gives a clue to what each line and squiggle means. You’ll probably find symbols for roads, footpaths, streams, hills and trees. Knowing all these different markings will help you to work out where you are when you’re on your journey.

  3. If you look at where you are and where you want to end up, you should be able to work out a route between the two.

  4.  You’ll find you’ll notice all sorts of other things that maps can show you too, like how big someting is, how far away it is and special places such as forts and churches. It can certainly make a familiar walk more interesting – perfect for lockdown!

In the Garden – Stone Towers

This activity is both calming and mindful. You could do it on the beach itself, as part of your exercise walk or use any sized and shaped stones you can find in the garden. Building stone towers can even be done indoors. You just need a selection of stones or pebbles and carefully try to place them on top of each other to build a tower. This could be done to see how high you can build one tower or to build your own stone tower installation with many. 

Staying at Home – Kitchen Scrap gardening

Many vegetables can be regrown from themselves or scraps that you may otherwise have thrown away. This means you will be saving money on your garden and also will be creating less kitchen waste. These can be started in recycled pots on your window sill and continue to grow in pots or beds outside. You don’t need huge amounts of space to see some great results.

Try some of these: 

1) Mushroom – Remove cap and plant the stalk in soil with its top surface exposed. Keep cool and not in direct sunlight.

2) Garlic – Plant a clove and keep in a sunny window. Keep soil moist – harvest as bottom 1/3 of leaves start to yellow.

3) Potatoes – Cut into pieces with 1-2 eyes. Dry for a few days. Plant in soil 4 inches deep and at least 12 inches apart.

4) Onions – Cut off the bottom and let it dry out for a few days. Plant in soil, in sunlight and keep moist.

5) Carrots – Remove the top to about an inch. Soak it in a tray of water and leave in a sunny window. Once the leaves are sprouting, plant into soil.

6) Leeks/spring onions – Place root ends (bulbs) in water but not fully submerged. Change water daily and watch regrow.

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