Get outside and let Nature Nurture

Bug finders Wildlife Watch (c) Matthew RobertsĀ 

Each week during the period of social distancing, we will be delving into the Wild Cornwall magazine archives to bring you our favourite articles from past and present Wild Cornwall magazine issues.

This weekā€™s Wild Cornwall article isĀ from the Wildlife Watch section of theĀ latest issue (Spring - Issue 141) which, we are thrilled to say, has been delivered to members this week.

Seeking out mini beasts Wildlife Watch by Kirstie Francis

Seeking out mini beasts Wildlife Watch (c)Ā Kirstie Francis

Here at Wildlife Watch we are passionate about sharing nature with the younger generation and understand the positive impact this can have on childrenā€™s wellbeing. So we were superencouraged to read The Wildlife Trust's survey Children and Nature 2019.

This is the largest study of its kind and was carried out by the Institute of Education at University College London. It explores the impact of nature and outdoor activities on childrenā€™s wellbeing and their views on nature. The survey was based on the responses of children attending events run by local Wildlife Trusts across Britain, just like the ones we run here for Cornwallā€™s Wildlife Watch.

The summary of this report is aptly called Nature Nurtures Children, and highlights the personal, educational and social benefits children gain from being in contact with nature.

Nigel Doar, The Wildlife Trustsā€™ director of strategy says:

ā€œThis research shows that children experience profound and diverse benefits through regular contact with nature. Contact with the wild improves childrenā€™s wellbeing, motivation and confidence. The data also highlights how childrenā€™s experiences in and around the natural world led to better relationships with their teachers and classmates.ā€

Wildlife Watch - A budding young birdwatcher, photo by Ruth Williams

Ruth Williams

Just one hour of nature a day is recommended ā€“ which we feel is something we can all reasonably help our children to aim for. This was also highlighted during Outdoor Classroom Day on November 7th 2019 when Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Cornwall Collegeā€™s Your Shore Beach Rangers were fully involved in the Our Bright Future campaign ā€“ An Hour Outdoors.

To conclude, Professor Michael Reiss, Institute of Education, UCL, says:

ā€œEach generation seems to have less contact with the outdoors than the preceding one. We owe it to all young people to reverse this trend ā€“ for their sakes, for our sakes and for natureā€™s sake.ā€

Children tree planting - Sarah Clappison

Children tree plantingĀ - Sarah Clappison

The simple message was, and still is, that more children need more time outdoors. So we'd like to ask you to encourage more children outside with Wildlife Watch. Can you recommend Wildlife Watch to your friends and maybe buddy up with them and join us on some of our events? From forest school and gardening club sessions to bird box building and rockpool rambling, itā€™s a great excuse to meet new friends not just for children, but for parents, grandparents and anyone who looks after children.

For full details of the report go to: https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/news/new-report-nature-nurtures-children

WILD CORNWALL

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