National Trust: ‘Children are losing touch with nature’

A SURVEY has revealed that 60 per cent of children are spending less time enjoying nature than their parents did at the same age.

Hatfield Forest owners, The National Trust, said that nearly two out of every three parents recall their first happy memory being out of the wilds, whereas only one in three children can bring to mind such natural memories.

According to the trust, the figures suggest that children are rapidly losing touch with nature and the great outdoors.

Nature conservation adviser Matthew Oates said: “My personal epiphany moment, when I became well and truly hooked on nature, happened before I was five years old.

“I vividly remember being shown an exquisite willow warbler’s nest with miniscule eggs. A chance childhood encounter became a wonderful, lifelong passion.


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“With mounting evidence that children can suffer both physically and mentally from a ‘nature-deficit disorder’, we’re doing everything we can to bring young people and nature back together.”

There was good news in the 1000-strong poll though – nearly every adult (96 per cent) and child (94 per cent) wanted to spend more time surrounded by nature.

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As the summer holidays kick in, the trust has plans to help them do so.

Hatfield Forest will be hosting Wildlife Wednesdays between July 28 and August 25.

Arrive anytime and stay as long as you like. Activities include bug hunting, finding out what lives in a wood, tremendous trees, camouflaged hide and seek, and woodland journeys.

Have fun following nature trails and make something to take home. �3 per child, normal car parking applies. No need to book.

For more info – visit nationaltrust.org.uk/hatfieldforest

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