Great news for all of us nature lovers!
The Trust’s director general Fiona Reynolds said children needed freedom to discover nature for themselves.
More Children Injured Falling Out Of Bed Than Falling Out Of A Tree
More children go to hospital having fallen out of bed than having fallen out of a tree, she said.
The movement to re-connect children and their families has been growing rapidly in the past few years, as more and more people recognize the many benefits of being in touch with nature.
For children, spending time in nature brings improved grades, increased creativity, and better physical health, to name just a few. And at a time when one third of our youngsters are overweight or obese, getting off the couch and into the Great Outdoors is especially important.
The trust is marking the centenary of the death of Octavia Hill, one of its founders, who fought to preserve public open spaces in London and elsewhere. Indeed, when I lived in London, it was thanks to Hill that I was able to spend many wonderful Sundays exploring Hampstead Heath. a park that she campaigned to keep.
“A Nation Of Nature-Lovers”
From the BBC:
“It’s about wanting to give children a sense of freedom to discover,” said Ms Reynolds at a news conference in London.
“The campaign will help children to get outdoors and connect them with nature, including things that can be done at trust properties, to try and stimulate a nation of nature-lovers.”
In recent times, a number of agencies have warned that children in the UK and other developed nations are spending ever less time in natural surroundings.
A 2009 report for Natural England showed that only 10% of children now experience woodland play, as opposed to 40% of their parents’ generation.
The ingredients of the campaign will be made clearer in April but are likely to include an expansion of activities such as den-making and pond-dipping, which children can already do at some National Trust properties.
We Belong To Nature, And It’s Part Of Us
As first reported by the BBC, Matthew Oates, the Trust’s specialist on nature and wildlife experience, explained:
“But it’s not just for children – we want adults who’ve gone to cities, with children and grandchildren, who can go out and experience nature and recall that in the end, we belong to it and it’s part of us.”
Photo Credit: Jill Wignall