We Connect With Nature

I read a report last week, carried out by the RSPB, uncovering how ‘connected to nature’ our children are. I found the results quite alarming.

The national results show that currently only 21 per cent of 8–12 year olds have a connection to nature level that the RSPB consider a realistic and achievable target for all children. One in five children seems appallingly low to me.

It got me thinking about my children, and how ‘connected’ they are, though they’re of course much younger than 8. We get outside as often as we can, most dry days we’ll be found in a park, or the garden, and when we spend this time together we talk about the nature around us.

For example, last weekend, the husband informed me that it would stay dry until 4pm, according to the BBC weather forecast, so we ‘d be fine to go to the park for the afternoon! Now, if you’re wondering, it did stay dry, until 4.22, when the rain came lashing down – not bad, the BBC, not bad! Great, a dry day, we must get to the park, was our first reaction. Hopefully, that in itself is a step closer to ‘connecting’. And what did we do there?

First off, we visited the little nature centre that they have there..

nature centre

Boo climbed all manner of fences and trees, and even Little Man shouted until he could be sat upon a branch, too πŸ™‚

treeclimbing

We crunched through leaves, inspected the greenery (brownery?!) around us, looked up at the trees and talked about the names of each tree whilst having fun.

naturearoundus

We fed the ducks. At first, there were 3-4 of them there, and then a few minutes later, we were practically surrounded!

duckfeeding

Boo ran in mud, jumped in puddles, and the two of them stared at streams, trampled through the woods, andΒ just ran, and ran!

enjoyingnature

It was a fairly typical outing, with chats about the birds we spotted and excitement at any squirrel sightings, too. We collected a few twigs, leaves, acorns and fir cones along the way, as there always has to be a nature haul!

I believe that trips like this makes us connected. I know that it feels important to do this as a family, and moreover, it feels enjoyable, relaxing, and healthy to do this as a family. The children are 4 and 1. As they grow, I’d imagine that these trips will become more chaotic, more adventurous and the education gleaned from just chats and observations can become more comprehensive. And then they’ll grow some more, and maybe gadgets, TV, computers will try to keep them inside more – is this the problem? It’ll be a bridge to cross when we get there, but even if we just all get out for an hour a week, we will remain connected to nature. Why wouldn’t we when we can all have so much fun in doing so?! Now, I don’t profess to know all that much about the nature around us, but then that’s all part of it, making discoveries together and coming home and looking things up to find out what we’ve seen.

Do get involved, and Get Outdoors. Take the short survey to find out how connected you are, and then tweet them with what you’re up to and share your photos with them. Help get the message out there that this is important, and this is fun.

How connected do you think your family is?

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36 thoughts on “We Connect With Nature”

  1. I think we’re generally a bit more connected to nature than most but perhaps not as much as I’d like. We’re trying though! I used to love feeding the ducks there next to the leisure centre-the ledge used to make me feel like I could just step onto the water (I didn’t though!)
    Iona@redpeffer recently posted…Sat CapMy Profile

    1. I think, that if it’s on your radar and you’re trying, you’re doing OK! It is a great place to feed the ducks, but boy do they swarm!

    1. Yes, that’s an area we’re enjoying working on, too. We’ve plans to have different nature hunts over half term that should help with this

  2. You know I think my children are fairly connected, but then if I compare them to myself as a child they’re not. I do blame all the computer games! They don’t just go in the garden and find insects to play with like I used to do. We don’t have an apple tree (like I had as a child) so don’t get to climb it and pick the apples.
    Pinkoddy recently posted…The Brook Kids OutdoorsMy Profile

    1. Yes, I do think modern technology has a lot to do with it. But then, we have so much info about nature at the touch of our fingertips with the Internet, so it can help! More insect hunting should be on everyone’s agenda!

  3. You’re so right – you just need an hour or so to get out and about and keep the kids connected to nature, and also to each other (my three are ignoring each other, variously on the wii, the ipad and my iphone right now. But I haven’t had my second cup of tea yet so it’s allowed!)
    LearnerMother recently posted…On a night at the beachMy Profile

  4. Lovely post. I read the same report last week. I would like to think as a family we are very connected to nature. We get out every day and explore our surroundings and are always looking for green spaces in the city. Our contact with animals (both at home and wild) is very important to us and our daughter. Nature has so much to teach us x
    Only Best For Baby recently posted…Greenwich Park in AutumnMy Profile

  5. What a wonderful post. Looks like you had the best time and the photos are fabulous. I think we’re pretty connected in that we try to go somewhere once a week if we can. We’re lucky that we have so much green space in Surrey though, if we lived in South London still it would be a bit more of a challenge!
    Charly Dove recently posted…Autumn adventures at RHS WisleyMy Profile

  6. I’d like to think that mine are connected to nature. They certainly have a reputation among their friends as most likely to know what a particular bug or bird is that’s been found. I’ve found that, it’s like everything, a little often is better than once in a blue moon. Regular trips and a variety, but its good to revisit.
    Cheryl (@CherylInTheUK) recently posted…A Very Wet WalkMy Profile

    1. Thank you. Yes, we love this time of year, too. The colours are gorgeous and there’s so much falling to the ground to make for a fun collection.

  7. It certainly looks like you had a great day connecting! It’s an interesting issue – I think we do okay with our lot, but as Joy said, they aren’t nearly as connected as I was at their age and I would agree that modern technology has a lot to answer for. Yet, the skills they learn from that are also important today… It’s a tough balance, but like most I try and get them outside and engaged as much as possible – little and often with a big adventure thrown in every so often πŸ™‚
    Sara (@mumturnedmom) recently posted…Autumn activities: how to make a scarecrowMy Profile

    1. You see right to point out that modern technology has it’s benefits, too. Though I want my children connected, it’s an as well as, rather than an instead of, isn’t it? Well, we can just all keep on getting out there and having fun and see where it leads us.

    1. We don’t very often get seagulls here! Yes, I do think the beach is a big draw to get you outside, but then there are loads of lovely parks and woodlands to visit, so we should all be out there.

  8. What a poor percentage, let’s hope with all the recent forest schools and NT incentives that it shows an improvement. It certainly looks like your children were connected with nature and enjoying all it has to offer. It so enjoyable to get out and make the most of natures playground and see the wonders of the world through children’s eyes. Thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.
    Coombe Mill – Fiona recently posted…Country Kids from Coombe MillMy Profile

  9. Do you know, I used to worry that my own children might not connect with nature, given that we live in central London. But, like you, we have incredible, interesting parks on our doorstep, with perhaps an even greater variety of flora and fauna than I experienced as a child in rural Wales. It takes a bit of effort, but children CAN connect – lovely post, good to raise awareness.
    Nell Heshram recently posted…Spring bulbs: Our Time of Gifts week 16My Profile

    1. Thank you. It does take effort, but I think it can then become a lovely habit to get out to a park regularly and have a good old nature hunt πŸ™‚

  10. I think you are really connected. I live in London but we are lucky enough to have a medium park a short walk away and a very large park a bus trip away. I am taking L every week to the park but she doesn’t really do much at just 4 months old but i am hoping that this starts a long lasting habit of connectedness.

    #lovingautumn
    Mummy Morkus recently posted…Baby Halloween!My Profile

    1. That’s a great start to be giving her, and I’m sure she’ll be engaging and enjoying in a few months time πŸ™‚

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