Measuring connection to nature in children

Chiara Rocci, chiara.rocci@bgci.org | 01/08/13 | London

Do our children spend enough time in the natural environment? And is it possible to measure their connection to nature?

Several studies have demonstrated that children today have less contact with the natural environment than 50 years ago. Although the positive effects of interaction with nature for children are being continually supported, they spend most of the time indoor watching television or playing on the computers. This could mean that if children do not value and respect nature when they are young they are less likely to take care of it when they are older.

RSPB  and the University of Essex conducted a research to develop a scientific and practical methodology to measure connection to nature in children aged between 8 and 12. The result of the study is the Connection to Nature Index, a baseline measure for the UK that will help to create new ways to inspire and connect children with nature right through to adulthood. Thanks to this study, botanic gardens and other LOtC centres could also use this method to find out whether they can have an impact on the relationship of humans with nature.

If you want to find out more about this research, read the final report at http://www.greenexercise.org/pdf/RSPB%20Report%202013%20final.pdf.

To find out how connected to nature you are, take the survey at http://www.rspb.org.uk/getoutdoors/

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