Somerset Wildlife Trust

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Every Child Wild

 

For the past 200,000 years, children have grown up with a largely outdoor life. They are hard wired to be part of the natural world.  Over the last 40 years however, children have increasingly become separated from nature.

We want to make being part of the natural world an option for every child in the UK. We want every child to have access to natural spaces and to have special experiences within them. We want to see Every Child Wild.

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Nature is important to children

In a YouGov poll commissioned by The Wildlife Trusts, it was found that 92% of parents think that access to nature and wildlife is important for children, yet a whopping 78% are concerned their children don’t spend enough time interacting with nature and wildlife. We know that spending time outside improves their physical and mental health, contributes to their overall sense of wellbeing, and enhances their ability to cope with stressful situations and manage risk. We need to be doing more to connect children and nature.

Children are important to nature

The decline in children being engaged with nature from a young age means that we are at risk of losing an entire generation of naturalists. Many of our supporters, volunteers and advocates today developed their passion for nature at a young age. We need to make sure that children today have the opportunity to learn to understand, love and protect nature in the future.

#EveryChildWild

The Wildlife Trust movement has launched a national campaign aimed at getting Every Child Wild. 

At a local level, Somerset Wildlife Trust has fully embraced the campaign and is helping to get our children inspired by nature through:

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  • School visits to nature reserves - Some of these are even free. If your school hasn't been out with our team yet then get your teachers involved.
  •  Wildlife Watch - Children can join as a member to show their support for wildlife and also come along to Wildlife Watch Clubs 
  • Events - giving children (and their grown ups) the chance to experience nature first hand and have some wild time as a family
  • Nature Reserves - Keeping them open and free all year round so you can explore woodlands, wetlands and grasslandsany time the mood takes you.

But we can’t get Every Child Wild without a little help, so we need you to help us spread the message. Read the Every Child Wild report. Join in with an Event or Watch Club. Follow us on twitter #EveryChildWild

Not sure where to start?

Download our guide The Art of Getting Children Outdoors and follow our 10 top tips below:

  1. We’ve all got stuff to do, so try just finding bite-size, 10-minute chunks of Wild Time in your day.
  2. The harder bit - temporarily ban all gadgets! Lock up all your mobiles, iPads and laptops and switch off video games and the TV.
  3. Put on comfy clothes and maybe wellies ­ nothing too smart. It’s all about the adventure, not what you’re wearing. Mud and dirt are good!
  4. Take a bag with you to collect wild treasures, and a notebook to write or draw in – capture those special natural memories.
  5. Make sure everyone sticks to the rules. No sneaking off to text behind a tree!
  6. Keep it local at first ­ you can find wild time in your back garden, on that patch of green space you can see from your doorstep, or in your local park.
  7. Open your eyes, ears and take a very deep breath!  Look around and ­ see, touch, listen to and smell nature right where you’re standing.
  8. Get through the “I’m bored!” moment ­ suggest a few ideas to get your kids’ imaginations going.
  9. Move away from adult-supervised play – just plant a few ideas and then let the children take things where they want them to go. You'll be amazed at the adventures you have.
  10. Grown ups – make sure you indulge your inner child at the same time! Take yourself back to the childhood you remember in the great outdoors and pass that on.   

Good luck and we'll see you on the outside.