By Alex Hunt, Assistant Director of External Affairs – National Trust
A clear consensus has emerged that kids are losing touch with nature. And it’s happened in pretty much one generation.
There is no one reason for this happening; it’s more a combination of factors ranging from an aversion to any sort of risk to a lack of access to green space that’s created a critical mass where children’s connection and exposure to nature has become increasingly rare.
Experts and commentators have latched onto the notion of ‘cotton-wool’ kids which neatly sums up a generation growing up that lack any link to the wonder of nature.
Research carried out by the National Trust earlier this year outlined a mountain of evidence about why kids are spending less time outdoors and the benefits of being exposed to nature.
The time has come – we’ve concluded our report and we’re ready to move on from documenting the problems and looking to the solutions. That’s why we’re holding our Natural Childhood summit today – 25 September in London. You can join the conversation and follow the debate on Twitter around #naturalchildhood hashtag. We need everyone to work together to make a difference and it can’t be left to one organisation to deliver change.
Families are emerging as key players in creating a quiet natural revolution. Making nature part of the everyday experience for kids means that they grow up having an appreciation of its value and place in their world. It’s about trying to fit nature into the school run, playing in a local park or taking your kids on a walk.
Children have wonderful imaginations. Spend some time with kids in a wood for example and you’ll see them inventing games and activities to keep themselves occupied. What they need is the right places and time to let their creativity flow.