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Effects of Kids Not Using Outdoors and Trails, experiencing nature - Where is Similar WA research

A useful Research Group for children re-connecting with nature is http://www.childrenandnature.org/research/volumes/C16/16 and email to   info@childrenandnature.org  The question remains ...Where is the equivalent Australian/WA research?

 

David Forster, Recreation and Trails Advocate, Volunteer

 

Brief Background

 

After the publication of "Last Child in the Woods" in 2005, author Richard Louv and others came together to co-found the Children & Nature Network. With them, they brought a substantial set of accomplishments and a shared vision for an international children and nature movement focused on education, urban design, architecture, conservation, public health and many other disciplines. C&NN co-founders are the recipients of numerous awards and recognition for their research, leadership, journalism, educational program development and entrepreneurship.

 

Dr Richard Louv will be in Perth on Wednesday 21 April 6.30PM for a free presentation at the Perth Concert Hall on Nature Deficit Disorder (contact DSR or www.dsr.wa.gov.au for details). His will be a USA based research evaluation. Where is the equivalent Australian/WA research?

From their website Natural England in April 2009 released their One Million Children to the Wild - Survey which showed that ‘outward bound’ was 'out of bounds.'

Woodlands, countryside and parks have become out of bounds to a generation of ‘cotton wool kids’ with fewer than ten percent playing in such places, according to new research results revealed today by Natural England.
In addition, less than a quarter (24%) of children said they visit a patch of nature near their home on a weekly basis, compared with over half of adults (53%) who visited a local nature patch weekly when they were young. The survey was produced to mark the launch of Natural England’s ‘One Million Children Outdoors’ programme, which aims to encourage more children to visit places such as nature reserves and environmentally friendly farms.

Key findings of Natural England’s Childhood and Nature survey

• Children spend less time playing in natural places, such as woodlands, countryside and heaths than they did in previous generations. Less than 10% play in such places compared to 40% of adults when they were young.
• The most popular place for children to play is in their home, while for adults it was outdoors in local streets. 62 % of children said they played at home indoors more than any other place. 42 % of adults said they played outdoors in local streets more than in any other place.
• Three quarters of adults claimed to have had a patch of nature near their homes and over half went there at least once or twice a week. 64% of children reckon they have a patch of nature near their homes but less than a quarter go there once or twice a week.
• The favourite places to play have changed over time. In the past these were in the streets, near home (29%), indoors (16%) and in some natural places (15%) whereas nowadays children like playing indoors best (41%) and, to a lesser extent, in the garden (17%).
• The majority of children (over 70%) say they are supervised wherever they play, except only 52% are supervised in the garden and 31% in the streets near their homes. This rises to over 80% in natural places.
• The grandparents' generation had slightly more freedom than the younger adults and most feel that children have less freedom today (87%). The parents’ generation were a little more likely to have played at organised venues but still feel that they had more freedom than children today.
• Parents would like their children to be able to play in natural spaces unsupervised (85%) but fears of strangers and road safety prevent them from giving much freedom to their children.
• Children would like more freedom to play outside (81%). Nearly half of the children say they are not allowed to play outside unsupervised and nearly a quarter are worried to be out alone.
• Traditional outdoor activities are as popular now as they were in the past with all achieving a mean score of more than 3 out of 5. Building a camp or den and exploring rock pools on the beach were and still are the most popular activities.
• There is little difference in attitudes across the country and little difference in attitudes based on whether adults and children live in urban or rural communities.- Survey shows ‘outward bound’ currently out of bounds.


Woodlands, countryside and parks have become out of bounds to a generation of ‘cotton wool kids’ with fewer than ten percent playing in such places, according to new research results revealed today by Natural England.
In addition, less than a quarter (24%) of children said they visit a patch of nature near their home on a weekly basis, compared with over half of adults (53%) who visited a local nature patch weekly when they were young. The survey was produced to mark the launch of Natural England’s ‘One Million Children Outdoors’ programme, which aims to encourage more children to visit places such as nature reserves and environmentally friendly farms.

Key findings of Natural England’s Childhood and Nature survey

• Children spend less time playing in natural places, such as woodlands, countryside and heaths than they did in previous generations. Less than 10% play in such places compared to 40% of adults when they were young.
• The most popular place for children to play is in their home, while for adults it was outdoors in local streets. 62 % of children said they played at home indoors more than any other place. 42 % of adults said they played outdoors in local streets more than in any other place.
• Three quarters of adults claimed to have had a patch of nature near their homes and over half went there at least once or twice a week. 64% of children reckon they have a patch of nature near their homes but less than a quarter go there once or twice a week.
• The favourite places to play have changed over time. In the past these were in the streets, near home (29%), indoors (16%) and in some natural places (15%) whereas nowadays children like playing indoors best (41%) and, to a lesser extent, in the garden (17%).
• The majority of children (over 70%) say they are supervised wherever they play, except only 52% are supervised in the garden and 31% in the streets near their homes. This rises to over 80% in natural places.
• The grandparents' generation had slightly more freedom than the younger adults and most feel that children have less freedom today (87%). The parents’ generation were a little more likely to have played at organised venues but still feel that they had more freedom than children today.
• Parents would like their children to be able to play in natural spaces unsupervised (85%) but fears of strangers and road safety prevent them from giving much freedom to their children.
• Children would like more freedom to play outside (81%). Nearly half of the children say they are not allowed to play outside unsupervised and nearly a quarter are worried to be out alone.
• Traditional outdoor activities are as popular now as they were in the past with all achieving a mean score of more than 3 out of 5. Building a camp or den and exploring rock pools on the beach were and still are the most popular activities.
• There is little difference in attitudes across the country and little difference in attitudes based on whether adults and children live in urban or rural communities.

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