The secret identity of Captain Skim can now be revealed... as Mark Astley, ranger for Buttermere & Ennerdale valleys. As promised, here is an exclusive interview (oh, apart from the ones in the Sun, Telegraph, Mail, Express, Times, BBC Newsround, Look North, BBC Radio Cumbria, radio Merseyside etc.)
So, Mark, why on earth are you called Captain Skim?
Lots of rangers all over the country were nominated for a skill they had. I've always included skimming stones in our events and family days, but I couldn't believe it when I was told that that I was going to become a super-hero called Captain Skim with the super power of stone-skimming, I thought "here comes the leg-pulling"...
How did you become Captain Skim?
I was chosen with four other people in the country to help the Trust promote its campaign of ‘50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾’, and I had a right laugh. The others were (l-r)Midas the Treasure Hunter, me, Tree-Man, Bug Hunter and Den Boy. I think I got the best name!
What's the campaign about?The campaign is about getting children off the sofa and from behind the computer and into nature and allowing them to have the amazing experiences like the ones we had when we were children.
When I was a child I spendt my whole time outdoors running around and getting messy. But children today are so wrapped in cotton wool that they do not have the chance to enjoy the outdoors and the many adventures the natural world has to offer.
The '50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾' initiative is in response to a report commissioned by the National Trust which highlighted research that fewer than one in ten children regularly play in wild places compared to almost half a generation ago, a third have never climbed a tree and one in ten can't ride a bike.
How do families get involved?
They can download a voucher from the National Trust website for free entry to National Trust houses this weekend (21st-22nd April). Also families can register on the 50 Things To Do website where you can tick off the list of 50 things to do as you complete them, and get rewards.
Click here to go to the website:http://www.50things.org.uk/