A new study from the National Trust has shown that children and young people’s wellbeing was improved by engaging with activities connected to the natural world, and that they were happier if they were relaxing outdoors.
Professor Miles Richardson from the University of Derby, who helped analyse the results, said the survey showed that people who spent more time with nature were more likely to help protect animals and the environment.
He explained, “This report for the first time demonstrates that simple everyday acts of noticing nature, that build a closer connection, are key to people taking action for nature. Every bit of connection makes a difference.”
However, it also showed that more than three quarters of children aged between eight and 15 rarely or never listen to birdsong, and that they never watch the Sun rise (90%), look at clouds (79%) or smell wildflowers (83%).
In order to combat the problem, the National Trust has launched a week-by-week Get Connected to Nature programme, full of tips for activities that take between 20 seconds and 20 minutes to complete, to help children connect with nature.
They include how to watch butterflies and bees, grow a plant on your windowsill or build a home for animals.