Evidence has been growing for a number of years pointing to the array of health and social benefits to be derived from contact with the natural world for all ages. However, results from a new YouGov poll, commissioned by The Wildlife Trusts, highlight the discrepancy between what parents think is best for children and what they actually experience. Our new poll shows that:
Sir David Attenborough, President Emeritus of The Wildlife Trusts and Patron of Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, said: “We will be physically, mentally and spiritually impoverished if our children are deprived of contact with the natural world. Contact with nature should not be the preserve of the privileged. It is critical to the personal development of our children.”
However, a generation of children is growing up disconnected from nature, with just one in ten ever playing in wild places. The Wildlife Trusts reach around half a million children each year, many with outdoor experiences through their school, but are concerned that many more children are not getting the chance to get close to wildlife.
In a bid to ensure every child in the UK has an opportunity to enjoy regular contact with nature, over the next year The Wildlife Trusts are inviting individuals, parents, teachers, schools and organisations to share their ideas on what needs to happen to put the wild back into childhood as part of a new initiative called Every Child Wild see www.wildlifetrusts.org/everychildwild
It offers top practical tips for successful family adventures, inspiration from young people with a passion for nature and much more, including:
Experience nature with Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust and take your child(ren) to one of our events and activities, Wildlife Watch groups or join as a family. For more information see www.lrwt.org.uk/learn-discover/
Potograph: Getting muddy with Wildlife Watch (c. Julie Norman)
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