80 Percent Of UK Kids Aged 8-12 Aren't "Connected To Nature"
A three-year project conducted by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds found that only one in five kids had a "realistic and achievable" connection with nature. Unsurprisingly, adults' attitudes may be to blame.
Kecia Lynn has worked as a technical writer, editor, software developer, arts administrator, summer camp director, and television host. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she is currently living in Iowa City and working on her first novel.
What's the Latest Development?
A three-year project by the UK's Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is the first to measure the extent to which British children are exposed to nature. Turns out the numbers are quite low: In a survey of 1,200 children, just 21 percent of 8- to 12-year-olds had a "realistic and achievable" level of connection with the natural world. The project also learned that nearly twice as many girls as boys had this basic connection with nature, and that of the UK's four countries, Wales had the lowest percentage of children with this connection (13 percent). Interestingly, children living in cities scored higher than those living in rural areas.
What's the Big Idea?
A growing body of research shows that children's exposure to wildlife and the natural world has been decreasing in recent years. RSPB head of conservation Sue Armstrong-Brown thinks part of that has to do with adults' own anti-nature attitudes: "[I]n some cases...nature is not perceived as interesting or engaging. In some cases it is perceived as a dirty or unsafe thing." The RSPB's definition of "basic connection" included four descriptions of how children feel about nature, including "empathy for creatures" and "enjoyment of nature." Armstrong-Brown says improving this connection is vital for future conservation as well as children's own well-being.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
New research links urban planning and political polarization.
- Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
- Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
- People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
- What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
- Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.