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Here’s one she made earlier: Duchess of Cambridge takes on new job as Blue Peter presenter for pond dipping and den building

The Duchess of Cambridge has turned her hand to being a Blue Peter presenter, as she joins the landmark television programme to lure Britain’s children outdoors with pond dipping and den building.

The Duchess, who last month unveiled her “back to nature” garden at Chelsea Flower Show, is taking part in a special segment to be broadcast on Blue Peter on Thursday night to make the case for spending “ten to 15 minutes” playing outside as often as possible. 

She will also launch a “once-in-a-lifetime” competition for young viewers to design a sculpture to put in her garden at RHS Wisley in September, with two runners-up invited to design their own activity cards to help their peers into the garden.

The programme will see the Duchess speak about the importance of outdoor play, confessing her own children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis are “dragged outside” come “rain or shine”.

“It encourages creativity, confidence and even a short amount of time – 10-15 minutes outside – makes a huge difference to physical well-being but also to our mental well-being,” she said, in discussion with presenter Lindsey Russell.

A seven-and-a-half minute segment of the show, which is broadcast on CBBC, sees the Duchess introduced as a “gold Blue Peter badge-holder” before taking part in three outdoor activities children can try at home.

Duchess of Cambridge on Blue Peter

Team Catherine in their den Credit: CBBC

Joined by a small group of school children at Westminster City Council’s Paddington Recreation Ground, she first helps them with a spot of pond-dipping, shown a figure-of-eight technique to best catch wildlife in a net.

“I didn’t realise there’s an actual technique,” she said, before asking her young friends what they have caught before.

Told about their favourite tadpoles, she asks: “Do you know what tadpoles eventually turn into? Have you ever seen any froggies?”

When one girl carefully picks up a newt for a closer look, the Duchess praises her bravery with an admiring “wow”.

A second task sees her under the instruction of George Hassall, an RHS young gardener of the year and Blue Peter regular, to plant flowers in “upcycled” containers including colourful wellington boots and old colanders.

“They’re good gifts as well, aren’t they?” she said, in a hint at how the Cambridge children may be spending their pre-Christmas playtime. “You can do something quite fun.”

The Duchess of Cambridge and Blue Peter presenter Lindsey Russell

The Duchess of Cambridge and Blue Peter presenter Lindsey Russell Credit: CBBC

Finally, the children are split into two groups, Team Catherine and Team Lindsay, for den building, using a pile of sticks and foliage to build the best shelter.

Awarded a coveted Blue Peter green badge for her efforts, along with her teammates, the Duchess accepted the “real honour” and told children she had “learnt a lot” from them.

In an interview with Russell, the Duchess emphasised how she encourages her own three children into the garden and woodlands near their home, with pond dipping “massively up my street”.

A special competition now invites Blue Peter viewers to design a sculpture to go into the modified Back to Nature garden when it arrives at RHS Wisley in September.

Two young runners-up will also be commissioned to make their own activity cards, joining those already made by the Duchess and published during Chelsea Flower Show week.

The Duchess of Cambridge introduces her own children, including Prince Louis, to her Chelsea garden

The Duchess of Cambridge introduces her own children, including Prince Louis, to her Chelsea garden Credit: Matt Porteous

The contest will officially launch on Blue Peter on CBBC at 5.30pm on Thursday, June 13th at 5.30pm and runs until Tuesday, June 25th.  

It is not the first time a member of the Royal Family has appeared on the show. In 2017, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were awarded a gold badge on the show for their campaigning work for mental health with Prince William joking that he would “compare” his with that given to his grandmother the Queen for her golden jubilee.

A young Prince Edward visited Blue Peter in 1969, and the Princess Royal filmed a Kenyan safari with Valerie Singleton the following year.

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