Tuesday, August 05, 2008

"Children have lost touch with the natural world and are unable to identify common animals and plants," according to a UK survey

As a follow-up to my prior post on Richard Louv's book, Last Child in the Woods - Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder, the UK newspaker, The Independent, ran an article about a UK survey on the subject. Sadly, the journalist Sarah Cassidy reports:

"Half of youngsters aged nine to 11 were unable to identify a daddy-long-legs, oak tree...or bluebell, in the poll by BBC Wildlife Magazine. The study also found that playing in the countryside was children's least popular way of spending their spare time, and that they would rather see friends or play on their computer than go for a walk or play outdoors."

"Experts blamed the widening gulf between children and nature on over-protective parents and the hostility to children among some conservationists, who fear that they will damage the environment. They said that this lack of exposure to outdoor play in natural environments was vital for children's social and emotional development."

"Dr Martin Maudsley, play development officer for Playwork Partnerships, at the University of Gloucestershire, said that adults had become too protective of wild places: 'Environmental sensitivities should not be prioritised over children.'"

"He said: 'Play is the primary mechanism through which children engage and connect with the world, and natural environments are particularly attractive, inspiring and satisfying for kids. Something magical occurs when children and wild spaces mix.'"

6 comments:

JGH said...

Hi I found your blog thru blotanical looking for garden blogs nearby!

It's been so nice here in the northeast lately, we should feel no guilt about telling the kids to GO PLAY OUTSIDE! :-)

You have some gorgeous hydrangea there and I'm very excited to see your tutorial to propogate them.

Daisy said...

I've heard these theories quite a bit. I've worked with middle and high school aged children in lots of different capacities through college and afterwards.

I'd never heard the theory that conservationists have expressed hostility towards children based on fear that they will damage the environment. That's interesting. I've more often heard the conservation and environmental education efforts linking up to use these developmental benefits for children to forward conservation of open space. (So kids have a place to run and play.)

On another note, I would love to be able to make your pictures on the right side bar get larger. Is there any way to make it so one could click on them? I want to get a closer look at your brick path , the bed in the front garden, and the fenced vegetable garden.... maybe I should explore your blog more and see if those pictures are elsewhere. ;)

Daisy said...

Oh my goodness!!! I just scrolled down and say your post on propogating hydrangeas!!! BRILLIANT!!

I never thought of that, but I've been coveting my neighbor's hydrangeas. The spend NO time in their yard, yet every year they have this gorgeous hydrangea that has more blooms than any other hydrangea I've ever seen (and growing up, my mom had tons and tons of different kinds...)

I can't wait to go ask if I can cut some stems!

heirloomgardener said...

Daisy,

All of the pictures on the right are from different posts. If you look at the labels, I label each post by garden room, so if you want more pictures of Goldberry Hill, just click that link. I hope that helps. If it doesn't, just let me know.

-Heirloom Gardener

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Hello HG. I can't believe that someone would say that conservationists would not like children. Children are the key to the future. CRAZY thinking if indeed someone wrote that. What were the people thinking that even suggested such a thing???????

I hope all is well and good at your end of the garden.

Nettie said...

It saddens me to know that this is happening to children in our country as well. And I am actively trying to prevent my children from having this problem. I am hoping that the love for the outdoors and gardening that my parents passed to me will pass to them.

Your flowers are beautiful, as usual!

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