Project Wild Thing Nurture
12 Sep 14

Project Wild Thing

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I wanted to introduce to a movement in the UK aimed at highlighting the gradual disconnection our children are having with nature. In fact this was one of the great driving forces for Helen Reeve and myself setting up Nurture Outdoor Kindergarten (in Worcestershire). Most of us will have seen Richard Louv's book, Last Child in the Woods. He is one of many now starting to recognise that something is deeply wrong. In America, the Child and Nature Network operates under the vision of: "A world in which all children play, learn and grow with nature in their everyday lives." Meanwhile, in the UK, Project Wild Thing stands tall as the social organisation generating solutions and motivation for others to reconnect children with nature.

I believe that this movement to re-inspire children through nature has the ability to unite a new generation. George Monbiot does a good job of bringing us to the heart of the issue when he says in his book, Feral: "Of all the world's creatures, perhaps those in greatest need of rewilding are our children. The collapse of children's engagement with nature has been even faster than the collapse of the natural world."

For me, my childhood was spent outside. We'd head down to the water meadows - a stone's throw from our home in Winchester, dodging cowpats and climbing trees. We'd even climb over the fence into the local primary school's conservation area and discover waterboatman, tadpoles, frogs and stick insects.

Think back through your own bank of memories and you will probably discover the same - most of your beloved childhood memories take place outside. So why aren't we doing more to get our children outside, getting muddy, rained on and blown about?

Before you answer that one, I think it's time for us to take a look at Project Wild Thing. Along these lines, the Project Wild Thing film gets us thinking about 21st century living and reconnecting children with nature. Take a look, go on - just scroll down to the video section.

Last modified on 17 Sep 2014

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