In a groundbreaking research initiative, the RSPB, with leading academics at the University of Essex, is creating the first ever baseline of connection to nature amongst UK children.
This comes as a result of growing concerns over generations of children with little or no contact with the natural world and with wildlife. Interestingly, this disconnection is seen as one of the biggest threats to nature.
This new approach will be used with 8 to 12-year olds across the UK, with the first baseline data to be announced next spring; andthen measured at two yearly intervals.
Mike Clarke, RSPB Chief Executive, says; ‘This is ground-breaking stuff. It’s widely accepted that today’s children have less contact with nature than ever before, but until now there has been no robust scientific attempt to measure and track connection to nature among children in the UK, which means the problem hasn’t been given the attention it deserves.
‘Without the opportunity and encouragement to get outdoors and connect with nature, children are missing out on so many benefits that previous generations have enjoyed; and it’s putting the future of our wildlife and natural environment at risk.’