HALF-TERM AUTUMN FUN WITH THE NATIONAL TRUST FOR ISLE OF WIGHT FAMILIES

Families on the Isle of Wight can go on an autumn adventure at National Trust places across the Island this Autmumn – with plenty of free activities on offer!

From a Fungi trail at Newtown National Nature Reserve to a Red Squirrel Scurry trail at Mottistone Gardens, there are new sights, sounds and experiences throughout the half-term holiday. As temperatures cool and colours intensify, the activity trails introduce families to all the drama that autumn has to offer – the Shipwreck Trail, with tales of smugglers, at the Needles Old Battery will certainly blow the cobwebs away. The colours of autumn are also appearing at Borthwood Copse.

Specially for autumn, the National Trust has also created a series of downloadable activities, to enjoy indoors or out, at home or at one of its places. You can find loads of ideas to help you and your family make the most of this vibrant season. Upcycle your pumpkin to help wildlife, create simple fruit feeders for birds, and discover fun things to do on an autumn ramble.

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The Needles Old Battery

Shipwreck Trail 1st – 31st October

Become a shipwreck detective, solve the clues around the Old Battery, and piece together the last moments of these historic ships and their lost cargo. The Needles headland and its dangerous shingles are treated with respect by sailors, for good reason: below the waves lie the graves of hundreds of years of lost ships, and they want their stories to be told.

All around the Old Battery, clues and puzzles have appeared, leading you to the wrecks, their lost cargo, and the story of their final moments.

Free self-led trail. An adventure for all ages, but suitable for 7-12 (standard admission applies, National Trust Members free).

Rocket Week 23rd – 30th October 2021, 11:00 – 16:00

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To celebrate the launch of Prospero, the first British satellite launched after rocket testing on Highdown and the New Battery, 50 years ago on 28th October 1971, The Needles Old and New Battery is to have a ‘Rocket Week’.

There are children’s craft and drawing activities all week and on the anniversary, the 28th October, meet one of the original engineers who worked on the project of the rocket testing control room at the New Battery and the nearby Highdown Test Site.

Have a go at re-creating models from recycling materials of the BLACK ARROW rocket which was built on the Isle of Wight and launched Prospero into space.

Free activity (standard admission applies, National Trust Members free).

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Mottistone Gardens & Estate

Red Squirrel Scurry 16th – 31st October 2021

Red squirrels scurry around looking for food before hiding it away ready for winter. Find where the squirrel and his friends are stashing their food as you explore the garden at Mottistone.

Discover what animals and wildlife visit Mottistone and how the garden provides food and shelter for their survival. Follow the trail the squirrel has left for you around the borders, vegetable patch and wild area.

Free activity (standard admission applies, National Trust Members free).

Newtown National Nature Reserve

Fungi – the unseen world trail 1 – 31 October 2021

The roads, lanes and meadows of Newtown medieval village are old, but in its soil is a living network of fungi even older, connecting all the plants and trees together. Come and meet these remarkable life forms and discover the connections they make possible.

The trail of carved mushrooms and fungi reveal the secret network of fungi underground that help the trees ‘communicate’ with each other.

Free, 10:00 – 17:00 each day, suitable for all ages. Free activity.

For more information on all the autumn activities and National Trust places on the Isle of Wight head online to https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/isleofwight

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