Children’s relationship with nature is waning

Children are oftentimes referred to as the leaders of tomorrow, so if society is looking to protect future generations by going green, shouldn't sparking youth interest in helping the environment be a priority?

Author and British television producer Stephen Moss has done years of research on the relationship children have with nature, and if his work is accurate, not only are young people not very engaged in outdoor activities, their interest is waning. Moss used his studies to produce the Natural Childhood report, in which he said there's a growing epidemic of "Nature Deficit Disorder" among youths, according to a press release.

"We all know the benefits being outdoors can bring, and as parents we want our children to spend more time outdoors than they do," Moss said in a statement. "But despite this overwhelming evidence and the different initiatives and schemes run by organisations across the U.K., our kids are spending less and less time in the outdoors."

The report showed that while 50 percent of children in the last generation (30 years ago) played in the wild, fewer than 10 percent do so today. Additionally, the roaming radius for children is down 90 percent from what it was for the last generation.

Moss explained that it's important to address this problem immediately while there are still two generations that spent most of their time outside.

For the next two months, the U.K.'s National Trust will work with experts and consider public input about ways to encourage children to get outside.

Fiona Reynolds, director-general of the National Trust, said that there are huge benefits when kids are engaged in outdoor activities, and huge costs when they don't.

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