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Report: New generation missing out

Created on 29/09/2010 @ 12:30


Worrying new research has shown that local children are missing out on childhood experiences more than their parents.
The report, commissioned by the RSPB, from Ipsos MORI, asked the public which 12 outdoor experiences they remembered having as a child. Four out of five boys remembered climbing trees and the same number of girls remembered making daisy chains.
The research revealed 15% more of those aged over 55 recalled these childhood experiences than those aged 15-34. It also found overwhelming support for getting every child outdoors, with 92% of the public agreeing that experiences of nature are still important to children today. More than four out of five people (82%) agreed schools should play a role in providing them to all children.
The new research marks the launch of Every Child Outdoors, the RSPB’s new report into the important relationship between children and nature.
Jon Gruffydd, RSPB Cymru Lifelong Learning Manager, said: “Mid Wales is lucky to have such an inspiring environment and giving children their first contact with nature can start a life-long interest and help equip them to handle the environmental challenges that lie ahead.”
The RSPB’s Every Child Outdoors research also revealed 10% more people on the lowest incomes believe schools should play a role in ensuring all children have these outdoor experiences compared to those earning over £25,000. A recent study by Ofsted found schools relied heavily on financial contributions from parents and carers to meet the costs of school trips and visits.
“The RSPB is concerned that children from poorer backgrounds miss out on these experiences.” Mr. Gruffydd added. “We believe all children should have equal opportunity to experience nature and a family’s ability to pay should not be a deterrent to schools offering these experiences.”
The RSPB says that there is growing evidence of the diverse and positive impacts of contact with nature on a child’s education, health, wellbeing and social skills – as well as the critical benefits to the environment. At the same time there has been a decline in these opportunities with negative consequences for children, families and society – a condition now known as Nature Deficit Disorder.
The research found the most remembered outdoor experiences for men were climbing trees (80%), building a camp or den (77%), and collecting and playing conkers (75%). After making a daisy chain (80%), the most remembered outdoor experiences for women were feeding the birds (67%), and collecting and playing conkers (66%).
Jon Gruffydd adds: “To many people, it would seem obvious and unquestionable that a crucial part of childhood is exploring the world around you. Unfortunately, this is far from the case and the amount of time and contact children are having with nature is declining.”
The RSPB’s Every Child Outdoors report is available from:
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