Children are happier, healthier and more creative when they are connected to the natural world. This should be an option not just for a few, but for every child in the UK.
We want every child to have access to wild experiences.
We reach over 300,000 children every year through our work with schools, but there are 800,000 children in every school year. Helping today's children to develop a love of the natural world is vitally important for conservation. Mostly our work with schools, our junior nature clubs and family events are supported by our members, but The Wildlife Trusts couldn't carry out this work without the help of our supporters: partners like People’s Postcode Lottery who help to fund some our education programmes.
That's why we need your help.We need you to help us raise awareness - not just of the disconnect between children and nature, but of the solutions too!
We want to see Every Child Wild.
We've been doing some research...
In a recent poll by YouGov, commissioned by The Wildlife Trusts1, we found out that...
• 91% of parents think that having access to nature and wildlife is important for children in general
• 78% were concerned that children don't spend enough time interacting with nature and wildlife
• Over a quarter (27%) of children aged 8-15 had never played outside by themselves, beyond their house or garden – and 37% hadn’t done this in the past 6 months.
• 37% of children had never seen a hedgehog in the UK
• Only 24% of children said their school had an indoor nature display area like a nature table
Find out more by downloading our report.
What you can do
1. Inspire a child yourself
You don't need to be a nature expert to take your children to a local wild place and let them discover it...
2. Tell us what you think
3. Spread the message
4. Read up
5. Get involved with your Wildlife Trust
We need to understand how we fit into our environment. And to do that we need to spend time immersed in it...
We want to hear and share your ideas and inspiration. There are lots of ways we can all help to reconnect children with nature, but we need to know what matters to you.
We've asked lots of different people - from wellknown faces to teachers, parents and children - one simple question:
What do you think would be the most important, and effective, change that could be made to ensure that future generations grow up to love wildlife?
Melissa Harrison (Author) - Ecoliteracy
Kate Blincoe (Author) -
Sorrel Lyall (Young birder) - Normalise
We've got loads more blogs available for you to check out here. If you'd like to join the debate, write a blog for your own site and share it with us using #EveryChildWild
"The wellbeing of people and planet go hand in hand. Contact with nature reduces stress; even seeing natures changes our brain waves and within a couple of minutes our blood pressure drops and muscles relax. But a bit of rain puts people off venturing out.
If they only took a step outside, they’d learn to love the rain...and the mud!"
What's your wild life?
Children need nature and nature needs children.
Yet only a fifth of 8-12 year olds have a connection to nature considered realistic and achievable (RSPB, 2013).
Whilst being disconnected from nature is characteristic of an unhealthy lifestyle, the opposite brings huge benefits. The wellbeing, happiness, health and education of our children can all be improved by having regular access to wild places. Nature makes children healthier, improves their self-esteem and makes them happier.
Our My Wild Life campaign has hundreds of stories, just like Ffion here, about how nature influences the lives of children every day, all around the UK.
Putting the wild in childhood
“Nature Tots has provided my daughters with so much. They have more confidence, they’ve learnt life skills and are getting creative." Georgie, Sussex
The Wildlife Trusts have got loads of ways that you can reconnect your child with nature, but we need your opinions too.
We've pulled together a few simple questions to give you the chance to feedback to us.
How do your kids feel about nature? Do they spend more or less time in it than you did as a child?
We need your feedback to help plan our work in the future: what one change would you make to ensure that future generations of children grow up to love wildlife?
What's going on in your area?
No matter where you live, there's a Wildlife Trust working to connect local people to local wildlife. Just select the area where you live to explore what they have to offer.
We've got loads of ways to help you give your family some well earned wild time together.
• Come along to a local nature club and let imaginations (and feet!) run wild
• Join your Wildlife Trust as a family and discover your love of wildlife all together
• Have a wild adventure together, by exploring one of our nature reserves: we have more than 2,000 across the UK, so search for one close to you.
Our Wildlife Watch website has tonnes of activities, games, challenges and competitions for your little ones to get involved with, too.
Advice. Inspiration. Information.
Wildlife Watch - Our junior website is packed with ideas to connect children with nature, through activity sheets, competitions, resources and the opportunities to get involved with local nature clubs.
Natural Childhood report - read this report by the National Trust which explores the barriers preventing more children spending time outdoors.
Share your ideas and inspiration using #EveryChildWild...
1 All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,082 children. Fieldwork was undertaken between 16th - 20th October 2015. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB children (aged 8-15). Total sample size was 4,224 adults, of which 1,070 were parents of children aged 18 or under. Fieldwork was undertaken between 16th - 20th October 2015. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
The Wildlife Trusts Forest Schools programme is supported in Leicestershire, Lancashire and Birmingham by players of the People's Postcode Lottery.