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Cake, consultancy, Diary, HackneyWildWalks, Klean Kanteen, Market, Outdoor People, Storm Kettles, Wild Network, Wildtime -

It's coming up to two months since our launch on Snowdon and definitely time for a bit of reflection on the journey! First I just wanted to say a huge sticker to all of you that have stopped by the stall over the last few weeks, who have liked us on here, and on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and who have handed over email addresses and cards asking to keep in touch. Starting up a new enterprise of any description is tough, and all the hours seem so worth it when I get messages and feedback from people sharing the news articles and research I re-post, customers who are loving their new gear and colleagues in other enterprises (charitable and commercial) encouraging me that this is right. This Social Enterprise can work! We can make it easy to get outdoors! After 22 years of working in the public and charitable sectors it's been a fantastic learning experience setting up the market stall. Building up stock, figuring out how to set everything out and yep dealing with high winds and rain! But three weeks in it's making money, and is a fantastic way to connect with people. I've always loved finding lovely kit, stuff that's well engineered, that is beautiful and that serves a good purpose. The suppliers of Storm Kettles, Klean Kanteens and the Cake Ts, hats and bags are all lovely, and I hope to widen the range soon. [gallery type="rectangular" columns="9" link="none" ids="436,432,427,421,430,434,414,415,435"] Lots more photos of happy folks, along with random shots of my dog Charlie, over on Instagram: http://instagram.com/outdoorpeople_photos I've been massively helped by the lovely Vanessa on the stall next to me at Broadway Market - the Imaginative Play Store - and together we make sure there are boxes and toys for kids to play with and stuff to make dens so they can chill out in what is a very hectic market space. IMG_1988 Thanks too to the lovely folk from Stretch London who let me have the 'pop up shop' in the gorgeous yoga studio in Columbia Road for the last three weeks. There will be a juice bar there from this weekend - do check them out! Doing the market stall is in many ways like being a playworker, a facilitator, a speaker. My energy needs to be just as positive, relaxed, in the moment. It's all part of the journey. I love the many points where we are all connecting, and whether people buy things, stop to chat, sign up to get the emails or to have a cup of tea nearby, it's lovely to feel the links that will, in some small part, make it easier for everyone to get outdoors. In other news last week I was very proud to see the #HackneyWildWalks published in Hackney Today. Hackney Wild WalksI (and Charlie) really enjoyed supporting the Council's lovely Public Health team in developing these walks – finding hidden corners, beautiful gardens and fabulous playgrounds – to entice children to take their parents and friends out to explore. The locations were chosen because these are the bits of Hackney with unbelievably high rates of childhood obesity, where even on a hot sunny Saturday few children can be seen out playing, where they often rarely leave their estate. We really hope they will encourage everyone out, whether to do these or to make up their own. I'll have some printed copies of the maps free on the stall at the weekend and you can download them here: http://news.hackney.gov.uk/wild-walks/. Please do share and help make Hackney healthier. PWT poster croppedLast month I was also very proud to be made a trustee-in-waiting of The Wild Network, the folks behind the Project Wild Thing documentary. Our role now is to continue to build the network of individuals and organisations to get children connected with nature. So far there are over 7800 organisations and individuals signed up, each pledging to swap half an hour of screen time for #wildtime. Will you join? On Facebook I've been sharing a lot of articles about why my mission - making it easy to get outdoors - is so important. There is such a huge amount of data showing that

  • We have to do something about climate change. It's real. Plastic, rubbish, waste. We can all do something to reduce these. And we can ensure children are connected enough to want to reduce them too.
  • Children need risk, they need freedom, they need to play...

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blankets, chicken salad, Diary, Outdoor People, picnics, tiffin -

It's international picnic day, so what better day to think about what makes a great picnic... Now I remember as a child (sorry about this mum!) being told we were going on a picnic at the weekend. I was very excited. I mean very excited. I had a very vivid dream about exactly what it would involve. There would be blankets. There would be a straw hamper. There would be cold ginger beer, maybe chicken salad, and of course there would be a nice cake and a flask of tea. And after we'd play frisbee. I had to hide my disappointment (which I probably did very badly!) when it turned into a sandwich eaten ON A BENCH! And the fact is I knew we didn't own a hamper, in fact I'd never actually met anyone that did. There was lots that was great about that day, but it just wasn't quite what I thought a picnic should be. My parents took me on many, many outdoor adventures, for which I'm eternally grateful, but I was a grown up before I finally found the perfect picnic blanket (a Welsh woolen, thick, soft one), the perfect picnic hamper and the perfect tiffin boxes that keep that chicken salad cold and the cake nicely gooey. But still the best thing about picnics - and the ingredient that was there in spades behind that slightly soggy sandwich - is family and friends. [gallery columns="5" ids="393,373,336,337,394"] So this week why not get some folks together and head on outside to enjoy your lunch al fresco? To help here's a link to Jamie Oliver's perfect chicken salad and what is to my mind the best banana bread recipe. I swap the wheat flour for Dove's gluten-free breadmaking flour. Enjoy being Outdoor People! cropped-1614543_647473798622124_918931140_o.jpg  

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adventure, camping, Diary, Launch, mountains, National Trust, Outdoor Industry Association, Outdoor People, Outdor People, Plas Y Brenin, snowdon, Wales, Wild Network -

Outdoor People celebrated our launch and National Children’s Day UK with a wild screening of the documentary film Project Wild Thing on an expedition to Snowdon.  OP Launch 3 - Wild Screening As part of National Children’s Day UK, we took a group of families from Hackney and beyond out into the wild, on an expedition to Snowdon, Wales’s highest mountain. The group, joined by Andrew Denton leader of the Britain on Foot Campaign, enjoyed a ‘Wild Screening’ of the acclaimed documentary Project Wild Thing on a jury rigged screen on the mountain-side at the base of Crib Goch, just a few hundred metres below the summit. Our adventure was part of a whole 'Wild Weekend' of screenings organised by The Wild Network, with other groups scaling Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis and then loads of others simply screening the film trailer on iPads and mobiles in back gardens and wild spaces across the UK. This was all in celebration of National Children's Day UK 2014,  to help promote the new Children's Outdoor Charter and Project Wild Thing as a vehicle for helping communities think about the importance of getting outdoors.   IMG_9761 Our expedition was initially planned by my niece, Phoebe Prisk (15), who is an experienced mountaineer thanks to her dad. She's been going up mountains in all weathers since before she could walk, and as long as she can chat about Supernatural, has the right gear on and a pork pie in her backpack she just loves it.

“The best thing about being outdoors is the freedom. It doesn’t matter if it’s the park or up in the mountains. I just like being outdoors” Phoebe Prisk (15) from Frodsham, Cheshire
We did indeed set off on her chosen route up the Pyg track, but when we got to our screening place it was a bit windy... [wpvideo kYqg6MWh] Nothing deterred we watched the Project Wild Thing trailer, roping in a passing Snowdon Ranger to take the photos proving we'd done it! Andrew Denton, who is also the Chief Executive of the Outdoors Industry Association and a fellow Wild Network member, then helped us out and together we all agreed to shorten the walk with a fun cross country adventure down to the very well marked Miners Track. IMG_9902 As an aside I have to say that the National Trust does an amazing job maintaining the walking paths around Snowdonia.  It seems to be a little known fact that over three quarters of their land holdings are completely free to visit, and they make it ten times easier to get to see those wild places by simply building lovely, often wheelchair and buggy accessible, paths into them. The Snowdon paths aren't suitable for those with poor mobility, but are just fine on a good day for children with a bit of stamina who are with adults who have a basic idea of what they are doing and some common sense. Our kids were certainly not the only ones braving the winds and rain that day, and Phoebe's cousin Annabel Arden (11) made several other young people smile as they met us by handing out chocolates... Phoebe,  Annabel and the rest of us were of course a bit disappointed not to get to the top this time, but there will be another time. And when we do, we hope the Hackney and Liverpool children that were going to join us, the ones who had never been camping before, can come too! Annabel Arden, 11, from Stoke Newington, Hackney, said:
“It’s been such a fun day! Being outdoors just makes you feel so wild and your imagination can just go further. I love going outdoors, even if it’s just playing in the street. The best thing about the walk, despite the weather, was the views. We could see for miles!”
[caption id="attachment_237" align="alignnone" width="665"]Credit: Richard Outram Credit: Richard Outram[/caption] After our mountain top adventures we went to find other random outdoor places we could show our Project Wild Thing trailer, using a mini projector kindly provided by the lovely East London Design Store. First stop was the fabulous Welsh National Slate Museum... (who did great hot chocolate!) [caption id="attachment_210" align="alignnone" width="665"]Credit: Richard Outram Credit: Richard Outram[/caption] And then at Dolbardon castle, an amazing spot with a bloody history and glorious views only a few minutes walk from the car park. [caption id="attachment_213" align="alignnone" width="665"]Credit: Richard Outram

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britain on foot, Diary, snowdon, wet weather, wild weekend -

Well we've discussed the right shots with the photographer, and apparently the Sunday Times are interested... We just need to get up the mountain!! Weather today just fine so far. The camp is half up and Outdoor People has it's first volunteer - 21 year old Philip being amazing.

20140509-054749 pm.jpg Although half way here he said "I miss wifi..."! Unfortunately given the forecast several of the wonderful families of first time campers from Hackney with kids under 6 are no longer coming. It would not be the best introduction! But though he's no longer coming here, the lovely Urvesh from Gujurati Rasoi of Dalston gave us an amazing curry to enjoy later. His son Jai I know was very much looking forward to his first trip - we will plan another very soon! So we will be a party of experienced teens and adults tomorrow - though at least one of my friends is new to mountain hiking, and a couple haven't done much. We have done our risk benefit assessments and have back up plans for if it's dire! This is the forecast...

20140509-055958 pm.jpg And add in mountain forecast of high winds... Hmm. I'm glad my brother and fellow Wild Networker Andrew from Britain on Foot are joining us! They will know for sure I'd it's just too dangerous.. So we've got a mini projector loaded up with Project Wild Thing trailer, our PWT TShirts, our Outdoor People hats and waterproofs and cheese sandwiches. And the route has been chosen by 15 year old Phoebe, leading us as it's in celebration of National Children's Day UK!

20140509-061336 pm.jpg Wish us luck everyone!! There are still places to come join us in the evening for the screening of a Project Wild Thing at Plas Y Brenin, booking handy but not essential. Enjoy some outdoors everyone!

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Diary, llyn Gwynnant, National Children's Day, Outdoor People, snowdon, Wildtime -

It's all go here at Outdoor People corner, trying to pack up to go camping at Llyn Gwynnant campsite, taking some friends, family and their friends and family off to Snowdonia to swap some screen time for #wildtime. I'm also very much looking forward to being joined by lots more for a chilled night at the public bar at Plas Y Brenin to watch Project Wild Thing, though the folks with littlies will have their own wild night round a fire instead. So I made a 'making it easy' list of everything I could possibly ever need for camping. I won't take EVERYTHING, but the hammocks are in. And lots of wet weather gear. And some fairy lights. And a huge pot for making rice and curry over the fire. And extra tarps and brollies and stuff so kids can make wet weather dens. And my brand new storm kettle for making tea and hot chocolate. And my Outdoor People hats. Won't miss us in these beauties.... IMG_0456 You can download the camping 'Making it Easy checklist' pdf here. And when I blog again we'll be an official organisation, with a mission of making it easy for families, kids and communities to get outdoors. How exciting is that?! If you'd like to join us, please do! Click here to find out more, and to book. Have a wild weekend and enjoy National Children's Day!  

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