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50 things to do before you are 11.75.
April 16, 2012 5:19 PM   Subscribe

50 things to do before you are eleven and three quarters. Convinced that kids spend to much time on the couch, the UK's National Trust has launched a programme to encourage children to be given the opportunity to try fifty new experiences in the great outdoors.

The 50 Things to Do Before you're 11 ¾

1. Climb a tree
2. Roll down a really big hill
3. Camp out in the wild
4. Build a den
5. Skim a stone
6. Run around in the rain
7. Fly a kite
8. Catch a fish with a net
9. Eat an apple straight from a tree
10. Play conkers
11. Throw some snow
12. Hunt for treasure on the beach
13. Make a mud pie
14. Dam a stream
15. Go sledging
16. Bury someone in the sand
17. Set up a snail race
18. Balance on a fallen tree
19. Swing on a rope swing
20. Make a mud slide
21. Eat blackberries growing in the wild
22. Take a look inside a tree
23. Visit an island
24. Feel like you're flying in the wind
25. Make a grass trumpet
26. Hunt for fossils and bones
27. Watch the sun wake up
28. Climb a huge hill
29. Get behind a waterfall
30. Feed a bird from your hand
31. Hunt for bugs
32. Find some frogspawn
33. Catch a butterfly in a net
34. Track wild animals
35. Discover what's in a pond
36. Call an owl
37. Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool
38. Bring up a butterfly
39. Catch a crab
40. Go on a nature walk at night
41. Plant it, grow it, eat it
42. Go wild swimming
43. Go rafting
44. Light a fire without matches
45. Find your way with a map and compass
46. Try bouldering
47. Cook on a campfire
48. Try abseiling
49. Find a geocache
50. Canoe down a river
posted by biffa (71 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite

 
51. Shoot a man in Reno just to watch him die.
posted by The World Famous at 5:24 PM on April 16, 2012 [55 favorites]


Ok. Who's going to be the first to say it?
posted by jeremias at 5:30 PM on April 16, 2012


About the list, that is.
posted by jeremias at 5:30 PM on April 16, 2012


A snail race? These are kids not a head injury. Grandpa left "whitewash a fence" off the list, too.
posted by basicchannel at 5:31 PM on April 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


The fact that someone had to make the frickin' thing, is what I'm getting at.
posted by jeremias at 5:31 PM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I approve of this list.
posted by jquinby at 5:31 PM on April 16, 2012


What's a conker?
posted by odinsdream at 5:32 PM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Conkers!
posted by jquinby at 5:33 PM on April 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm very proud to say that the only ones of those I didn't accomplish in time were geocaching, which didn't exist yet, and the crazy british things that we don't do over here.

It strikes me, though, that if things have changed so much that that really is unusual then we're all doomed.
posted by cmoj at 5:33 PM on April 16, 2012


My kid's definitely an indoor kid, but thanks to several summers' worth of YMCA day camp she's got a fair number of these things on her "done" list as she turns 11. I don't know if she'll get in the rest before the 11.75 mark, but I'm glad she's done as much as she has, and she might finish off this list before she turns into a disaffected teen.
posted by briank at 5:33 PM on April 16, 2012


Snark aside, kids should be doing things like this, I agree.
posted by basicchannel at 5:33 PM on April 16, 2012


Try abseiling?

Surely one of these things is not like the others.

But, otherwise, nifty. And, now I know what Conkers is.
posted by eotvos at 5:36 PM on April 16, 2012


Snark aside, kids should be doing things like this, I agree.

EVERYONE should be doing things like this!
posted by curious nu at 5:36 PM on April 16, 2012 [8 favorites]


Try abseiling?

Surely one of these things is not like the others.


Bah. I did it for the first time when I was 8.
posted by Jimbob at 5:41 PM on April 16, 2012


Daming streams! Holy cow I forgot how much fun that is. Especially on pebbly beaches. I mean full blown engineering projects with six or more friends. Ok, I have a certain stream and beach in mind. You might not understand if you didn't try daming this particular stream.
posted by Brodiggitty at 5:46 PM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


The greatest snail race in history is from the Hungarian film Magic Hunter. In it, some Medieval Villagers have built a bridge, but to do so, they had to make a deal with the devil that he can have the soul of whoever crosses it first, and they cannot warn people away from crossing it. So some people are approaching from the distance, but, in the meanwhile, a snail has started crossing the bridge. Everybody watches to see who will cross first, the snail or the hapless humans.

That's a snail race I can get behind.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 5:47 PM on April 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Hey, this is a good idea. Do you think someone could make a year-by-year list of what we're supposed to have accomplished by when, just so I can get this lingering sense of failure off my back?

I've been edgy ever since I missed "Found Facebook" at 24.
posted by bicyclefish at 5:48 PM on April 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've made some improvements to this list by mixing & matching some options. I think this will lead to a more fulfilling & absurd childhood:

1. Catch a kite with a net
2. Eat a treasure straight from the beach
3. Bury someone's snail race in the sand
4. Balance on a rope swing
5. Eat mud slides growing in the wild
6. Take a look inside a grass trumpet
7. Discover what's in an owl
8. Catch a crab at night, eat it
9. Light a fire without a map and compass
10. Find a river
posted by allseeingabstract at 5:53 PM on April 16, 2012 [41 favorites]


The fact is that some of these things are head injuries waiting to happen. We have to accept that an interesting and full childhood to make interesting, full adults means some kids won't make it. A small percentage, yes, but not insignificant.
posted by clvrmnky at 5:54 PM on April 16, 2012


We have to accept that an interesting and full childhood to make interesting, full adults means some kids won't make it.

I've often argued the ideal childhood is the one found in A Boy and His Dog.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 5:57 PM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


100 buckets you must mop with before you die!
posted by thelonius at 5:59 PM on April 16, 2012


We have to accept that an interesting and full childhood to make interesting, full adults means some kids won't make it.

This shouldn't be difficult, since apparently we've already accepted that a certain percentage of kids are going to die in car accidents before they reach adulthood.
posted by Jimbob at 6:16 PM on April 16, 2012


#45 The map and compass. Every geek should try that. No matter the age. If you have even one problem solving bone in your body, you'll like it. Plus: Hiking!
posted by hot_monster at 6:18 PM on April 16, 2012


"5. Skim a stone"

I have been trying to do this for 30 years, and all I can say is, FUCK YOU SURFACE TENSION.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:19 PM on April 16, 2012 [9 favorites]


No no no...

CONKERS!
posted by symbioid at 6:20 PM on April 16, 2012


Some of the comments on the linked article are either thoroughly depressing, or brilliant sarcasm.
posted by helicomatic at 6:28 PM on April 16, 2012


Kids need to be instructed to play conkers these days by the National Trust? wow
posted by Bwithh at 6:41 PM on April 16, 2012


I can hear the helicopter parents now....

2. Roll down a really big hill


DANGEROUS!

26. Hunt for fossils and bones

ILLEGAL!

35. Discover what's in a pond

DON'T EVEN!
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 6:49 PM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


My kids have done almost all of these things and they're still young. I never get to brag about my parenting, never ever ever, so I'm going to fucking revel in this. Ahhhhhh.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:54 PM on April 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Okay, here's my childhood story from the England which this list speaks to. Most kids grow up in cities and likely won't get that much of a chance to do half of these. I think it's a little unfair to think of them as somehow couchbound when it's not their fault. Living in a suburb must be like death to a child. However, I grew up in, or at least near to the country, and so it was natural to go through this list without trying.

My father used to take us all out conkering in late summer. My older brothers, their friends, my sister, and even me, despite my age. When I was five, we went to Scawby Park, where an ornamental avenue of horse chestnut trees had been planted many years ago. All we had to do was roll up and take what we wanted. Actually collecting conkers was a little hazardous though, because you typically went in September when some had already fallen, but many were still in the boughs. To get them, the trick was to find a short but heavy stick, throw it up into the canopy, and watch the conkers rain down. Of course, eight kids wandering around with sticks and conkers falling everywhere is a fine way to get hit on the head...

However, on that day this was the least of our worries. For the cows and bulls had been left out to graze in the park, and we had to be careful to keep away from them. Sadly, my father had foolishly dressed me in a red coat. Now, bulls aren't really angered by red, but we thought they were at the time. My dad saw me skipping around as a bull wandered over, realized what I was wearing, and told everybody to run away. Being five, I wasn't really up for much running, especially as I was the supposed target. So my dad scooped me up and starting running. We got pretty far, but as we neared the field's ditch he slipped in a cowpat and slammed me into the ground. The bulls weren't really following us, so we were safe, but it put a crimp on our conkering and we gave it up.

Next year though was something special. In the fall of 1987 there was a great storm which brought down many trees. But by the time September 1988 came round everybody had forgotten all about the storm, though we remembered well the incident with the cowpat, and resolved this year to go somewhere else, namely down behind Cherry Tree Farm clay ponds. Our dad took us again, going through a friend's yard, through their orchard, over a horse paddock, cross a ditch, then we were there. And what did we see? The storm of the year before had felled a giant horse chestnut, the height of which reached the whole width of the field, well over 30m.

It was an amazing sight to behold, and not only because we had never seen such a huge tree felled (well, huge to us), but because it had kept alive despite the damage. From afar we could see that the boughs had grown upward a little through the year, and come out well in leaf. But as we neared we found that it was also filled with conkers, which we could literally pick off one by one as we scrambled over the trunk. There was nothing to do but walk about and take what we wanted. We stopped only because our carrier bags were too heavy, and my brothers later went back themselves for even more.

From such a great haul came my first experience of playing conkers, as my sister and I had plenty for our brothers to destroy. Even though we were terrible at the game, they would still play us in order to get their numbers up. My father was a little put out, however, for we were too young to hole the conkers ourselves, so we must have gone running to him every five minutes so he could broddle them. Of course, we never even thought about the mess we must have made shattering hundreds of conkers all over the house and yard...

And that's how I managed 10 and 18, the rest will wait until another day when I feel like telling a different rambling story.
posted by Jehan at 6:59 PM on April 16, 2012 [14 favorites]


Conker's!
posted by mkb at 7:04 PM on April 16, 2012


Fifteen out of fifty at age six. So far so good.
posted by davejay at 7:15 PM on April 16, 2012


sixteen out of fifty-one if we add on "singing really goofy made-up songs in the bathroom at the top of their lungs whilst bathing right at this very moment" to the list
posted by davejay at 7:16 PM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd done all of those things before I was 11 (well, I didn't start climbing and abseiling until I was 16) and I'm quite sure my enjoyment, and continued enjoyment, of them led directly to my becoming a dissenting, marginally productive adult.
I'd have been better off staying in the playground and learning how to play football.
posted by Flashman at 7:19 PM on April 16, 2012


Huh, I literally and honestly did 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 12, 13, 18, 22, 23, 26, 31, 34, 36, 37, 40, and 49 this last week, as a 40-year old overweight woman. Pretty typical week for me in nice weather. Why should kids have all the fun?
posted by The otter lady at 7:26 PM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've done most of the American-possible ones on this list, and am getting slightly misty-eyed at my extremely adventurous, dirty, scrape-filled childhood, despite growing up in the city. I think this is a great list, and I hope it does inspire weekend trips and adventures.

Also:


26. Hunt for fossils and bones

ILLEGAL!


Not always! Unless they're human in which case yes, super illegal, almost everywhere. But I treasure my tiny bits of hadrosaurus tendons and T Rex femur and bags of teensy tiny 3mm fossil sharks teeth. Check your local laws and keep an eye out for promising roadcuts!


Actually I am now slightly more than 2 X 11.75 so maybe it's time to go through the list again...
posted by jetlagaddict at 7:27 PM on April 16, 2012


My grandparents had a fruit orchard and big flower garden, and I spent a lot of my childhood there. Our neighbors kept bees, which was really cool. We also had a huge grapevine trellis, and a water well, and a root cellar. Oh, and we also had some relatives in the country whose property stretched into the marshes, with reeds and frogs and such. And they kept ducks. And there were cows, and goats, and a pond with water lilies.

And then we moved to the States, where we lived in an apartment complex that was surrounded by featureless, uninterupted pesticide-sprayed lawns, and street after street lined with near-identical suburban homes. Yeah.
posted by Nomyte at 7:37 PM on April 16, 2012


51. Pour gasoline in a line across the dirt road, try to light it on fire to make a daredevil wall of flames
52. Try to build a bomb out of an old light bulb, black powder and roofing nails, light the fuse and run for it
53. Wander out alone in a desert downpour and watch a flash flood pour under the makeshift bridge made out of a telephone pole (and nothing else) that you're precariously balanced on
53. Find a Gila monster and try to play with it; ditto for tarantulas, scorpions, rattlesnakes, black widows...
54. Find a discarded knife blade lying in the dirt; hurl it at the house and have it stick perfectly; spend the next hour trying vainly to recreate this feat
55. Sit on the severed head of a freshly butchered cow and try to pluck out its eyes

...or was my life maybe a little different than most?
posted by darksasami at 7:42 PM on April 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Most kids grow up in cities and likely won't get that much of a chance to do half of these. I think it's a little unfair to think of them as somehow couchbound when it's not their fault. Living in a suburb must be like death to a child.

Oi, I grew up in surburban and inner city London and we had lots of fresh conkers !
posted by Bwithh at 7:43 PM on April 16, 2012


If you had asked me to do these things at around that age, I would have loathed it. When I thought you weren't looking, though, I'd go off to play make believe, and, in doing so, talking to myself all the while, I'd probably end up doing nearly everything on this list (at least all the ones that could be done in my backyard or the park across the street).

So, I guess what I'm saying is this: if you preface each of them with "Make believe X character is going to," well, that's a list I can get behind. Now, excuse me while I go pretend I'm back on my spaceship trampoline.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:53 PM on April 16, 2012


Where's "Ride a bicycle"? Sheesh, kids today.
posted by scruss at 7:53 PM on April 16, 2012


If we're talking about American values, the first- or second-generation immigrant spirit that might be conjured up in a Tiger Mom or in some Italian family in Brooklyn in which parents force kids to study at night is a truly American value. I have no nostalgia for what I didn't experience, but I do feel that the swing towards celebrating the child, elevating the child, over-praising the child, boosting constantly at every opportunity the self-esteem of the child, assuming the child is a fragile little eggshell that can be broken at any moment, is something quite un-immigrant and therefore quite un-American, and also a great disservice to the child.
posted by vidur at 7:54 PM on April 16, 2012


Fuck outside. I had plenty to do inside:

1. write a story
2. draw a picture
3. learn an instrument
4. memorize the lyrics to your favorite song
5. make rock candy by dangling a string in sugar water
6. assemble a plastic model of a car or airplane
7. build with Lego without following a plan
8. make a blanket fort
9. make a pillow fort
10. play "can't touch floor"
11. learn to identify things in the spice rack by smell
12. teach yourself to skip steps going down as well as up
13. make ridiculous faces in the bathroom mirror
14. learn BASIC or another computer language and build some simple games
15. draw your own comic book, color it, staple it together
16. teach yourself typing
17. read a book
18. read another book
19. take the back off the TV to see what makes it work
20. learn to solder
21. build a battery with potatoes
22. build a volcano with vinegar and baking soda
23. turn flour and water into glue
24. hang posters aesthetically in your room
25. make a crazy domino-drop chain
26. do a puppet show
27. learn to mime
28. create a conversation with yourself using two cassette recorders
29. test and refine paper airplane designs
30. coloring books
31. activity books
32. listen to music while staring at beautiful album art
33. sit and think
34. get into model railroading
35. paint (by numbers or not)
36. build a spaceship from kitchen utensils
37. create a Dagobah diorama in your mom's largest potted plant
38. look for hidden pictures in the linoleum designs
39. stack Oreos
40. sing
41. cook on a stove
42. stay in the tub so long you turn into a prune
43. do lip-syncs for family members
44. make a stop-motion video with stuff around the house
45. sculpt with clay or Play-Doh
46. send a Slinky down the stairs
47. do a really huge crossword puzzle
48. do a really huge jigsaw puzzle
49. check out the inside of a piano
50. practice your kitchen floor sock slide
posted by scrowdid at 8:11 PM on April 16, 2012 [15 favorites]


Is there a way to "get behind a waterfall" by age 12 without having parents who take you on expensive vacations or send you to expensive summer camps? Maybe I've always just lived in waterfall-deprived places, but I feel like a couple of things like this give the list the stink of aspiration. (Though most of the items would be, of course, readily attainable in most backyards or sizeable municipal parks.)
posted by palliser at 8:24 PM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like this list. And, no, I don't have a list of 50 things to do while locked inside a small cellar with a toothpick, a cotton ball and a little mound of dirt.
posted by IvoShandor at 8:29 PM on April 16, 2012


0. Turn off Xbox

0.5. Logoff Metafilter
posted by LordSludge at 8:45 PM on April 16, 2012


> Living in a suburb must be like death to a child

Not at all. I live in the suburbs, and my kids have done huge amounts of the things listed above. We do have to leave our suburb sometimes (e.g. to "Visit an island" or "Camp out in the wild"), but that's what the minivans we're issued when we move here are for.

One of my kids goes to an outdoor Kindergarten in our suburb. We live a few blocks from an 80-acre park in our suburb. We spent the afternoon making a stockade out of driftwood on the beach in our suburb.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:57 PM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


The first thing I thought of when I saw this post was that awesome childhood hand grenade comment from years ago that I cannot possibly be arsed to find because it is bedtime.
posted by elizardbits at 9:19 PM on April 16, 2012


Where's "Find stash of porn in the woods"? Is that part of "Look inside a tree"?
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 9:56 PM on April 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


38. Bring up a butterfly

I always feel so bad for the poor caterpillar in a glass bottle. We did catch one last year, but it didn't eat the leaves that we put into the bottle. I think I've repressed its death.

My kids are in beavers & cubs — I think they've done almost all of those things via various camp activities. And there's a rope swing installed in our local public pool.
posted by wenat at 9:59 PM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


15. Go sledging

With a sledgehammer. "Coming through!"

I like this list. Kids should be kicked (better, dragged) out of the house for at least an hour a day, rain or shine, to do something other than hurry to or from school.

But it needs some astronomy -- dress warmly, cover yourself with bug repellent, go out where it's really dark, and look up. Find the Big Dipper, the North Star, Orion, learn the names of the brightest stars, find two or three planets, talk about what they can see on the moon. With the right person guiding them, you'd turn one in ten into amateur or professional astronomers, and many of the rest would never forget it.
posted by pracowity at 11:12 PM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


and I kissed a girl
posted by philip-random at 1:05 AM on April 17, 2012


Conkers!

Conkers look EXACTLY the way I pictured them when I read about them in some Enid Blyton story as a little girl. There must have been an illustration.

Anyway, English despair at the fact that many children now think, behave and look like oversized cabbages is completely understandable, but old people trying nostalgically and dictatorially to get little kids they don't even know to relive their childhoods for them was never good times and still isn't. Children don't need to do whatever 40-year-olds were doing 30 years ago in order to have meaningful childhoods. As long as they get excited about doing something apart from consuming, they'll be fine. Bothering wild animals and looking under rocks is only one way to live out of many.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 1:24 AM on April 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


1. Be Happy

Oh, that's my list done.
posted by fullerine at 2:01 AM on April 17, 2012


Also, Cheeves!!
posted by fullerine at 2:04 AM on April 17, 2012


Our boys have read "Fifty Dangerous Things (you should let your children do)" and now get to stick their hands out the car window nearly any time they ask. The book is brought to you by the creators of the famous Tinkering School.

See you at the Maker Faire this year!
posted by esc67 at 3:13 AM on April 17, 2012


I did all of that except geocaching (which hadn't been invented then) and bringing up a butterfly. I was too busy pulling the wings off flies for that sort of nonsense.
posted by Decani at 5:06 AM on April 17, 2012


jetlagaddict: "I've done most of the American-possible ones on this list...

Are there things on this list that you can't do in America?
posted by Petrot at 5:18 AM on April 17, 2012


Conkers. That's an ass-whuppin'.
posted by cmoj at 6:12 AM on April 17, 2012


We live near the country so my kids have done most of these, but you city dwellers could knock off most of the list with a weekend camping trip once a year. It is the least costly holiday you will ever have (even including the gear) and is great for kids.
Three of my kids have never spent an Easter weekend at home...
posted by bystander at 6:57 AM on April 17, 2012


Petrot: abseiling, conkers, and sledging are not traditional American activities, no. I only learned about sledging when I did a Girl Scout Wider Op to England and they mentioned "sledging"-- though I think we had substantially more snow and sledding chances than most of England, so I guess that balances out. Does the Backyard Ballistics book get sold in England? Because man, that was the best! I am all in favor of piezo-popper rockets and potato cannons for all children.
posted by jetlagaddict at 9:19 AM on April 17, 2012


Petrot: abseiling, conkers, and sledging are not traditional American activities, no.

Rappelling and sledding are absolutely traditional American activities. Conkers, though, is totally foreign to me.
posted by The World Famous at 9:41 AM on April 17, 2012


I was a Girl Guide, which gave me the opportunity to do every single thing on that list except sledging (no snow in Perth) and geocaching (did not exist). It's amazing how many little skills and things you get to try in groups like Guides that I probably wouldn't have had the chance to otherwise - learning how to tie knots, camping, abseiling, orienteering.

I kind of wish there was something like this for Grown Ups to organise it all for you. I loved all this outdoorsy stuff when I was young but the thought of picking up and going camping now just seems like a hassle.
posted by wingless_angel at 9:42 AM on April 17, 2012


42. Go wild swimming

Except everyplace that I have seen water in England it always says:

Danger Deep water no swimming. So there are loads of places to go wild swimming but it isn't allowed.
posted by koolkat at 9:57 AM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait, sledging isn't just on grass? They had these odd sort of plastic things for doing it on grass, which no, we had never seen before. I didn't realize it was the same word for normal snow sledding as well, sorry!
posted by jetlagaddict at 9:59 AM on April 17, 2012


koolkat: I was going to argue but then I realised how spoilt I am by where I live now. I can see a huge and generally clean (I've caught Bass and Mackerel from it) natural harbour from where I'm typing (literally, I just look left of my screen) and there are beaches within 2 miles which are generally safe to go in. Previously I lived on the Mersey (less safe then diving in mercury) and in Coventry (can't remember seeing open water).
posted by biffa at 12:27 PM on April 17, 2012


Rappelling and sledding are absolutely traditional American activities.

Pretty sure "sledging" requires Turkish Delight and a dwarf.
posted by palliser at 12:45 PM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think that the urban/rural issue is a big one. I grew up in a suburban village and most of these things I did either at my grandma's in the countryside or on holiday at the seaside. I remember on Brownie camp we did a lot of these things, and it was the first time for most people in my pack.

You didn't eat the blackberries which grew wild round me, because they mainly grew in hedgerows next to roads and were a bluey-grey color. I don't think they would have actually given us lead poisoning (which is what I was told), but I still don't regret not eating them. None of us would have rolled down any hill near us because we would definitely have landed in dog poo. Feed a bird from your hand? Not when natural selection favours urban birds who maintain a healthy distance from bored children.

This is not to say I don't approve of the list - it's a great list of fun things to do outdoors. But you need access to outdoor areas beyond a scabby urban park to make them fun.
posted by Coobeastie at 1:38 PM on April 17, 2012


Feed a bird from your hand? Not when natural selection favours urban birds who maintain a healthy distance from bored children.

Come to Trafalgar Square!
posted by biffa at 3:25 PM on April 17, 2012


Biffa If it could be done cost effectively there would be sign all along the coast. In Leeds I have walked around loads of resivoirs, some of which are perfect for swimming that are very clean (Eccup) and people will even pay to fish for trout in them (Fewston). All along those resivoirs and others that I have walked around (Jumbles in Bolton and others in the peak district) all say no swimming deep water usually at the place where there is a gentle slope where I wouldn't have been worried about letting a child paddle about in the water. I also laugh at the life-rings I saw around a fountain at a motorway service station on the M6. The water was maybe 2 feet deep at the deepest. If I saw a kid drowning in it I would just walk in and get the kid out and not bother about throwing a life-ring. The issue of wild swimming around me isn't for lack of places, it is entirely for health and safety reasons.

Of course people have also died swimming in reservoirs around here so maybe there is some reason, but I would suggest to a kid to swim to the island in the middle instead just swim along the edge. I think most of the people who have died were intoxicated and got shocked by the cold water.
posted by koolkat at 1:35 AM on April 18, 2012


The year I lived in the UK (Berkshire) was a hot one, and I hated the lack of fresh water swimming, for no apparent reason other than someone's safety fetish. I only really enjoy swimming away from crowds and rules, preferably in fresh water. What can I say, I'm from Michigan.
posted by Goofyy at 5:54 AM on April 18, 2012


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