Stepping up for Nature!

I just watched this gorgeous film and had to share it.

Last year Play England and many colleagues across the Play sector, including last week’s blogger London Play, helped Tim Gill in pulling together his report Sowing the Seeds. Commissioned by the London Sustainability Development Commission, this focused on the best ways to instill a love of nature into children. His rigorous – and academically verified – report clearly shows that encouraging children to play outside – to climb, jump, roll, dig, build, collect, bury, dream… – is the best possible way to give them that lifelong love so that they too want to ‘step up for nature’. This is echoed in research cited across other campaigns such as the National Trust’s Outdoor Nation and Sustrans’ Free Range Kids.

Adventure Playgrounds like Fort Apache* in Torbay and Glamis in Tower Hamlets, London (to name but two of the 150 or so out there!) are offering these opportunities every day to children and young people. Chances to play outdoors and really get to know nature as a friend.

Many schools too, like Beacon Rise Primary near Bristol that recently got ‘outstanding’ in their Ofsted inspection, have wonderful outdoor environments that foster a love of playing outside. And who knows where the wonder of that will lead them?

In our families too, we often ‘lay down memories‘ with the children we care for simply by letting them play out.

So please do act now, think about how you love outdoor play – love the outdoors – and how you can pass on that love to children and young people you care about, children and young people in your communities, children and young people who are your friends.

For some ideas about how to get involved with Love Outdoor Play please take a look at the Take Action page, and do take a look at the RSPB’s campaign too.

*For those of you who don’t ‘do’ Facebook this link won’t work, but I’m afraid time- & money-poor playgrounds often only have a Facebook Page – and there are loads of amazing stories of outdoor play there so they are well worth a visit!

2 Responses to “Stepping up for Nature!”
  1. arillauk says:

    That video roused me to realize the simple fact: “playing” outdoors is a nature of animals. And, thought sometimes forgotten, we are animals. We use to estrange our children from the wild very early and effectively. It really doesn’t have to be so!

    • Cath Prisk says:

      That’s so true!

      The academic I should have quoted here was Stuart Brown ( who wrote the brilliant book ‘Play’.

      This morning in the park I was watching the usual dog walking crowd and as usual a few were pouncing on each other in mock battles and playing, just like groups of young children want to do. Play is biological necessity, its part of who we are. We stop it at our peril.

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