Wildlife Trusts launch Every Child Wild initiative

New initiative to give children more contact with nature as survey shows most have never seen a lizard in the wild. 

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A new poll has revealed the level of concern parents have for lack of contact their children have with nature and wildlife.

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Commissioned by The Wildlife Trusts, the poll shows that 57 per cent of parents believe their children spend less time outdoors than they did.

The poll also found that 71 per cent of children have never seen a lizard in the wild, 53 per cent have never seen a flock of starlings and 37 per cent have never seen a hedgehog.

The Wildlife Trusts campaigner manager Lucy McRobert said it was well-known that first-hand contact with nature was good for children.

“But there’s a gap between what society intuitively knows is best for children and what they’re actually getting,” she added.

“The results of our poll illustrate that some children are missing out on the contact with nature their parents and grandparents are likely to have known.”

A new initiative called ‘Every Child Wild’ aims to offer practical tips for successful family adventures and ideas from young people with a passion for nature on how to give children more contact with wildlife.

Billy Stockwell, a 16-year-old from Nottingham, discusses his love of the outdoors in a podcast produced by The Wildlife Trusts.

“There’s a symbolic side of nature, which makes you realise that some things just aren’t as important as you thought they were,” he said.

“The other day, I dropped my phone. I was so annoyed, but then spending time in nature, which has been around for millions of years, helped me to understand that I worried about the little things far too much.

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“We need to learn when to turn the computer off and actually go outside and have experiences.”