We recently launched our gorgeous new collection inspired by the National Trust’s '50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’ activity programme and the woodlands in their care. Featuring colourful woodland creatures and beautiful flora and fauna, it’s the perfect collection for little explorers!
Having lived and worked on a farm for the last few years and always encouraging his little ones to immerse themselves in the natural environment, we asked JB Gill and his family to give some of the National Trust's activities a go!
We caught up with JB, his wife Chloe and their little explorers, Ace and Chiara, to chat about their love for the great outdoors and life on the farm!
How long have you been a farmer for and what made you want to work on the land?
I’ve been a farmer for close to nine years - at least, that’s when I got my first pig, Ginger! It took me a long while to get to grips with what farming entails, but I love being outside, working with the animals as they’re all different and I even find mucking out the pigs therapeutic!
What about the outdoors do you and Chloe love the most?
I love the peace and quiet that comes when you’re outdoors. I find a real connection with the greatness of God through nature and it just reminds me that whatever is going on in life, the busyness of it all, that ultimately it’s a tiny part of the big wide world we live in! I love to take walks and learn as much as I can about our environment and both Chloé and I appreciate the peace and quiet when we finally get a day off.
From the National Trust's '50 things to do before you're 11 ¾' activities, which one did Ace and Chiara enjoy the most?
We LOVED doing the welly wander through the woodland! The kids (especially Ace) had so much fun finding leaves and sticks and because they were head to toe in their waterproofs they both stayed nice & clean!
Ace loves being outdoors and one of his favourite things is going to forest school, so he enjoyed all the activities, but Chiara has only just turned two so it wasn’t as fun for her when it came to exploring some of the fallen down trees in our woods. I think they were just a little too big and overwhelming for her.
Are Ace and Chiara afraid of creepy crawlies or are they more curious?
Chiara is SUPER curious when it comes to bugs! She loves finding centipedes and spiders and we’re trying to teach her that bugs are great for our environment. Ace on the other hand loves to look at them but he refuses to touch them. It’s really quite funny to watch - God forbid one of them jumps towards him!
What other outdoor activities do they love doing?
Chiara LOVES water play. We don’t have a stream on our farm but as we have clay-based soil, she’s always finding a puddle or two to play with/in. Ace on the other hand loves finding sticks to have duels with!
I’m always on the lookout for the wildlife on our farm! I wouldn’t say we’ve noticed more but we’ve been able to spend more time observing and being amongst it since lockdown. We’ve all been forced to slow down a little and it’s honestly a beautiful thing.
Did you turn to nature and wildlife to help you all cope during lockdown?
We definitely spent more time outside during lockdown, especially when we needed a change of environment! Walking is great for the mind so it helped us all reset a bit and we didn’t have to go too far to come face-to-face with nature which was a bonus.
Living where you do, do you see your children becoming little eco-warriors and how do they express it?
I don’t think Ace and Chiara will have much choice when it comes to being eco-warriors of the future! It’s just built into how we function as a family and even everything we do on our farm. We want things to be as nature intended them and so as long as it’s safe, we let Ace and Chiara explore in their own unique ways. They love making bug hotels and watching the birds, observing how the bees work and rolling around in the long grass. We’ve told them that one day, this will all be theirs to look after and hopefully they'll love taking on that job in the future.
As a family, are there other activities you do to get Ace and Chiara passionate about the natural world?
We love to watch wildlife programmes as many of those animals are not native to our country. Sir David Attenborough is massive in our house and Ace is obsessed. I’m also in the process of writing a children’s book which is just another way or bringing fun and excitement to farming and the outdoors.
The National Trust shares Frugi’s belief that encouraging children to spend time outside in nature has so many benefits! The National Trust cares for 26,000 hectares of woodland in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Every product purchased from this range will directly contribute back to the Trust’s charitable cause, helping them to look after nature, beauty and history for everyone, for ever. It will also help care for the very places that inspired this beautiful Frugi range and that we both want to inspire children to explore!
Shop the full Frugi X National Trust Range over at welovefrugi.com!
WIN A MAGICAL ADVENTURE!
We’re so excited about our collaboration with the National Trust that we thought we’d give you, our fab Frugi customers, a chance to WIN a Magical Adventure at a National Trust holiday cottage and £250 worth of Frugi goodies!
Choose from enchanted castles and cosy cottages across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, whether you’re drawn to the charm of the coast, or fascinated by forests, there’s sure to be something fit for little Kings and Queens ready to explore!
Simply enter your details below for the chance to win!
Terms and conditions apply, you can find the T&Cs for this giveaway here.