Vango Launch 'Cheeky Little Campers' Campaign with Natural Connections and the Club

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Tuesday 03 June 2014

Leading camping and outdoor brand Vango has joined forces with Britain’s biggest outdoor learning programme, the Natural Connections Project and The Camping and Caravanning Club, to launch a campaign to create fun and informative videos encouraging children to learn how to pitch a tent.

The ‘Cheeky Little Campers’ campaign will involve ten primary schools across the South West. Each school will be gifted a Vango tent, and their pupils will be asked to create a fun video showing how they go about pitching their tent. Both Natural Connections and Vango want to encourage more youngsters to get outside and explore nature’s classroom.

The schools will be able to keep their tent for future use, along with Vango goodies and a free night’s camping vouchers to be used at Camping and Caravanning Club Sites across the UK which will give children the chance to camp for free. Teachers will also give children the opportunity to sign out the ‘class tent’ so they can share the camping experience with their family and friends.

Vango has always valued working with youth organisations and has a long-standing relationship with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and more recently the Scouting Association. The ‘Cheeky Little Campers’ campaign will add to Vango’s portfolio of work that aims to help the next generation get closer to nature when there are increasing temptations for young people to stay inside in front of a screen.

In response to the Natural Environment White Paper ‘The Natural Choice: securing the value of nature’, which set out the need to strengthen the connection between people and nature, the Natural Connections Demonstration Project was set up in late 2012. The Project is investigating the most effective ways on linking schools to local green spaces for learning. The Project, funded by DEFRA, Natural England and English Heritage, and contracted to Plymouth University, is the largest outdoor learning project in the UK. This three year programme, working in 200 schools across the South West, aims to significantly increase the number of school-aged children (aged 5 – 16) experiencing the full range of benefits that come from learning in natural environments (LINE) to stimulate the supply of high quality LINE services for schools and teachers. Natural Connections focus their work in areas of deprivation to help inspire the teachers and children who need it most.

Although currently working with schools across the South West region including Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Bristol and Plymouth, the Natural Connections team have plans to roll the programme out into other parts of the country once they’ve secured more funding.

Natural Connections project manager Ian Blackwell commented: “One of the things that makes learning outside so special is the children always seem to take so much away from it, and they enjoy the learning experience, even if what they learn varies from child to child. With a bit of creativity and shared resources it’s possible to teach any subject outside. Thankfully, teachers are increasingly recognising the positive impact outdoor learning has on their pupils. And of course the teachers, once we have helped them see all the amazing curriculum connections, enjoy the stimulation and challenges of teaching outside.

“I’m really pleased Vango has asked us to work with them on the ‘Cheeky Little Campers’ campaign. It’s wonderful that these children are going to be trying out some of the best tents at school and then with their families. I always think it’s ‘make-or break’ on the first camping trip, and if you’ve got good gear you’re more likely to fall in love with sleeping under the stars. Camping gives you the priceless opportunity of spending quality time together as a school group, with friends or family while engaging with the natural world.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the inventive videos the primary school children come up with to show us how to pitch a Vango tent!”

Vango’s Brand Manager Emma Robinson commented: “Natural Connections works directly with schools to get teachers and children learning the outdoors so they were the perfect fit for this campaign. They also work in a lot of schools with a high proportion of Free School Meals. Some of these children might have not had the opportunity to try camping before which, after the initial cost of gear, is an inexpensive way to enjoy spending time with the family.

“The idea for the campaign came from a teacher who wrote to us asking for a Vango tent that she wanted to use to teach her children how to write instructions. After receiving her classes’ handiwork, and seeing how much the children enjoyed making the instructional video, we knew we had to get more children involved; hence ‘Cheeky Little Campers’ was born!”

‘Cheeky Little Campers’ videos can be viewed online at . Tweet @vango or @ntrlconnections with the hashtag #cheekylittlecampers to get involved in the campaign!


Media Contact: for further information visit or contact Caroline Cockburn or Laura Kingston at Karol Marketing on 0191 265 7765 or email
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For more information on Natural Connections visit
For more information on The Camping and Caravanning Club visit

Notes to Editors:
• The Vango brand has been in existence since 1966
• Vango is owned by AMG Group and based in Scotland
• Vango products are designed by a UK-based team of product managers
• Vango is synonymous with designing and manufacturing high quality, innovative and reliable products
• Vango pioneered the inflatable camping revolution with the launch of the Vango AirBeam® in 2011
• Vango is the preferred brand of mountain explorers and outdoor enthusiasts the world over
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Natural Connections Demonstration Project
Despite increasingly robust evidence on the benefits of childhood experiences in natural environments, recent surveys show that the vast majority of our children are rapidly losing connection with their local natural environments and those children from urban environments are particularly disadvantaged. The pace of change is profound and undoubtedly contributing to major challenges facing society today – including the rise in childhood obesity and mental health issues. Evidence also shows that learning in natural environments can transform individual and school performance by increasing the standards of teaching and learning, allowing innovation and excellence in curriculum delivery and increasing motivation and attainment. Economic assessments indicate that failure to act quickly will result in major educational, health and environmental costs.
The Natural Connections Demonstration Project is set to run until March 2016 and aims to work with 40,000 children in 200 secondary, primary and special schools across the South West from Cornwall to Bristol. Funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Natural England and English Heritage, and delivered by Plymouth University, it is one of the largest outdoor learning projects in the UK.
Evidence shows that teachers face a number of challenges when planning lessons outside - from uncertainty about where to access high quality learning resources, to lack of knowledge about suitable and accessible locations for outdoors learning experiences. Natural Connections will support teachers in taking over children outside to learn, using activities and venues to inspire both children and teachers to excel in subjects from across the whole curriculum. From mathematics to music, biology to physics, languages to literature – the aim is to enable children to access the benefits of learning outside.
The Natural Connections Demonstration Project is:
• identifying ‘beacon schools’ that are already actively engaged with outdoor learning. Beacon schools will support other local schools which provide little or no regular learning outside the classroom.
• working closely with teachers and local providers of outdoor activities to find the most appropriate support to meet teachers’ needs for supporting ‘learning in natural environments’
• creating a sustainable support network, encouraging collaboration with other schools, and fostering links with local communities by recruiting up to 500 volunteers over the three-year period to help teachers deliver outdoor learning.
• delivering at a local level through ‘hubs’ in Plymouth, Devon, Torbay, Cornwall, Somerset and Bristol. A key feature of the project is to test this regional model, which could then be replicated in other parts of the country.

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About Plymouth University

Consistently ranked as one of the leading universities in the UK, and awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2012, Plymouth has a strong record of excellence, enterprise and innovation across its teaching and research activities. Distinguished by its long-term engagement with business and the community, the University enjoys outstanding links with employers and plays a key role in civic and regional leadership. It is the only university in the world to have been awarded the Social Enterprise Mark in recognition of its work in support of the sector.

With around 30,000 students, including those studying higher education at its partner colleges throughout the South West, the University is one of largest in the UK. It enjoys a high rate of graduate employment and has recently invested more than £150 million in its estate and facilities to enhance the student experience and support world-class research.

Plymouth has embedded sustainability across its operations, and is the overall best performing university in the People & Planet Green League. It is the first modern university to found a medical and dental school – the Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry – and is the leading provider of Higher Education in Cornwall. For more information, visit

Plymouth University press office contact:

Andrew Merrington / 01752 588 004 /

About Natural England
Natural England is the government’s independent adviser on the natural environment. Established in 2006 its work is focused on enhancing England’s wildlife and landscapes and maximising the benefits they bring to the public.
- It establishes and cares for England’s main wildlife and geological sites, ensuring that over 4,000 National Nature Reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest are looked after and improved.
- It works to ensure that England’s landscapes are effectively protected, designating England’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and advising widely on their conservation.
- It runs Environmental Stewardship and other green farming schemes that deliver over £400 million a year to farmers and landowners, enabling them to enhance the natural environment across two thirds of England’s farmland.
- It funds, manages, and provides scientific expertise for hundreds of conservation projects each year, improving the prospects for thousands of England’s species and habitats.
- It promotes access to the wider countryside, helping establish National Trails and coastal trails and ensuring that the public can enjoy and benefit from them.
Natural England press office contacts:

Michelle Hawkins / / Press Officer, Natural England / T: 0300 060 1109 / M: 07775 585 935

Emma Lusby / 0300 060 4231 / (based in Leeds)
Twitter: @NaturalEngland

About The Camping and Caravanning Club
1. The Camping and Caravanning Club is 113-years-old and is the largest and oldest Club in the world for all forms of camping. It has 110 award-winning sites throughout the UK and, through a partnership with the Forestry Commission, now runs and manages a further 16 Camping in the Forest touring sites.
2. tells why our members are happier and healthier.
3. incorporates all forms of outdoor holidays.
Camping and Caravanning Club Press Contact:
Kimberley Keay on 024 7647 5224, 07951 153074 or