Natural Childhood, the report written for the National Trust by Stephen Moss, has received a lot of publicity this week.
The National Trust website says it:
charts years of academic research and a steady stream of surveys on the subject, highlighting how a generation of children is finally losing touch with the natural world.
The report outlines a clear need to tackle the rise of ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’, a term coined by the US based writer Richard Louv, to describe a growing dislocation between children and nature.
Report author Stephen Moss, said:
“We have all seen the headlines about the decline in children’s play in the outdoors.
“We all know the benefits being outdoors can bring, and as parents we want our children to spend more time outdoors than they do.You can download Natural Childhood from the Trust website.
I also obtained a good quote from the chartered psychologist Elie Godsi in my day job yesterday:
"Obviously the term 'Nature Deficit Disorder' is intended to be a neat phrase to capture the public and media's attention rather than something to be considered as a genuine clinical condition.
"Yet despite this there is a growing body of evidence that indicates that children's physical, emotional and social development is hampered by the increasing restrictions on their ability to explore the world around them and to process their discoveries on their own without adult supervision.
"Parents are rightly concerned about children's safety although some of this is driven more by myth than fact: paedophilia is often cited as a reason to keep children at home yet statistically we know they are far more likely to be harmed indoors by people who know them. On the other hand, levels of traffic have increased markedly and has contributed to the limited range that current children are now allowed to wander unsupervised.
"There is no doubt, however, that exploring and connecting to the natural environment is essential to children's development and not simply because this removes them from excessive exposure to the sedentary world of television viewing and computer games: establishing a relationship with the natural world not only reconnects all of us to our place within nature but also helps us understand the nature that is within us all."