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South's children top National Trust's survey of Britons concerned about decline in wildlife

National Trust launches initiative to persuade people to get back to nature

Geraldine Gardner

Geraldine Gardner

geraldine.gardner@newburynews.co.uk

Contact:

01635 886684

Children in the area have greater interaction with wildlife than nationally

CHILDREN in the south are most concerned about the decline in wildlife, according to a national survey commissioned by the National Trust.

The research found widespread concern for declines in nature among both adults and children, aged between eight and 15, who were surveyed by YouGov as part of the study.

In this area 78 per cent of children (73 per cent nationally) and 84 per cent of adults (81 per cent nationally) expressed concern.

More than 8 in 10 children in the south (86 per cent) thought that adults in general could do more to make sure nature and wildlife survives for the future, as against the national average of 81 per cent.

More than 80 per cent of children in the south said they infrequently or never smelt wildflowers, but in a typical week 73 per cent said they didn’t watch any wildlife at all, which compares favourably to 81 per cent nationally.

The study, carried out with the University of Derby, also suggested that being connected with nature - noticing natural phenomenon every day - is linked to higher well-being.

The release of the findings coincides with the National Trust’s launch of the equivalent of a ‘couch to 5k’ for nature - encouraging bite-size activities, taking from only 20 seconds to 20 minutes, to help people connect and take action that, collectively, can halt nature’s decline.

Rewild Your Life is a nine week programme packed with tips from simple everyday things, like watching the sunrise, listening to birdsong and watching butterflies and bees, to activities that take more time, such as planting something to grow in your garden or on your windowsill, sketching a flower or animal or building a home for animals such as hedgehogs.  

The campaign will also include billboards advertising the first day of spring, events celebrating the dawn, and a "blossom watch" scheme.

Head of the Nature Connectedness Research Group at the University of Derby Professor Miles Richardson said: “Daily doses of nature are vital to making this connection. The fantastic thing about it is that it's not hard for people to do.

“Whether it’s on the way to school or work, on a day out with family or friends or simply spending time at home - there are many ways we can all take time to actively experience nature.”

For more ideas and tips on how to spend time in nature, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/connect-to-nature. 

The conservation charity is also encouraging people to make a promise to help nature on leap day, 29 February.  See www.nationaltrust.org.uk/promise-for-nature

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