From the RSPB – Nature Education | Research – The RSPB
Connecting children to nature
“With the kind support of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the University of Essex the RSPB established a clear definition of connection to nature and a method for measuring it.
For the first time, this research – reported in Connecting with Nature: connecting-with-nature-report.pdf (rspb.org.uk) reveals how connected to nature children are across the UK. The national results show that currently only 21 per cent of 8–12 year olds have a connection to nature level that we consider a realistic and achievable target for all children.
The recent State of Nature report shows that nature in the UK is disappearing – 60 per cent of species assessed have declined over recent decades. Not only can children take action to help turn this around, but they will also benefit from having more contact with nature.
We believe everyone has a role to play in putting nature back into childhood – including governments, local authorities, schools, families and organisations like ourselves.
Little Green Champions
Birmingham’s parks offer children, schools and families the perfect opportunity to connect with nature and also to explore how we can start to turn around the decline in wildlife and help stop the wider threats to the planet including climate change.
There are so many ways children can get involved in green spaces but we only want you to try five:
Connect with Nature
Shout About it!
What are we asking?
Through all the work in the FPA – Naturally Birmingham Project so far, we know there are many reasons for us to help young people connect to the natural world around them, a good quality of life, a good education and good mental and physical health. We want to build a mechanism in Birmingham to encourage and support this, we are calling this “Young Green Champions” for 6 – 16 years (with Little Green Champions for 0-5 years Little Green Champions – Naturally Birmingham Future Parks Project ).
We want children to be able to lead the way by giving them the freedom. knowledge and safe environments they need to be able to make their lives good, better, best.
We want to support children to use parks and green spaces to just explore those five simple themes with proposed activities, a city-wide alliance of organisations including BCC Park Service, seasonal updates, story sharing digital platform and celebration events.
We are asking you and any adults who can connect children with green spaces to join us and our partner organisations and BCC departments as we continue to explore, discover, and create this programme. Helping us shape the Young Green Champions programme together with young children because we want to make sure it is developed in a way that is inclusive and relevant to all young people as we start to build a City of Nature that has young people in its heart.
We held a really positive online workshop with teachers in the summer, with huge thanks to the schools that attended and provide great feedback and input to the development of the programme. You can see a taster of the online training session by watching this short video:
Please let us know if you would be interested in finding out more about Little Green Champions. We are happy to talk to your team at staff meetings or talk to the whole school through an assembly.