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Connection measure

Boy playing in woodland

Image: David Tipling

The RSPB believes that connecting with nature should be a part of every child’s life.

Getting all children connected with nature develops deeply-held feelings and attitudes towards wildlife and the world we all live in.

With the kind support of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the University of Essex we’ve 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 - 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 that everyone has a role to play in putting nature back into childhood – including governments, local authorities, schools, families and, of course, organisations like ourselves.

That is why we have joined forces to form The Wild Network and support its film-led campaign Project Wild Thing: reconnecting kids and nature.