MORE than 15 local families slept under the stars in the grounds of historic local National Trust property The Vyne as part of the Big Camping Weekend.

The sold-out event opened up the Tudor mansion’s walled kitchen garden for the evening to visitors of all ages, supplying them with a BBQ evening meal and breakfast the next morning.

The camping weekend marked the official summer 2014 local launch of the National Trust’s popular 50 Things to Do Before You’re 11¾ campaign, which aims to get you and your family out and about exploring what the outdoors has to offer.

The charity hopes to get 200,000 kids playing outside this summer as part of its commitment to connect the ‘cotton wool generation’ with nature.

The Vyne’s camping co-ordinator Amy Dobson said: “We were really excited about hosting our first Big Camping Weekend, and thankfully the predicted storms didn’t appear, so the children and their parents were able to enjoy the balmy weather and sit around the campfire late into the evening.”

The Vyne, at Sherborne St John, offers 32 of the campaign’s 50 listed activities, including Pooh Sticks, damming a stream and making a home for a wild animal.

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