- Research shows children who have a healthy connection to nature are more likely to benefit from better health and develop stronger social skills.
- However, people in Scotland are becoming less and less familiar with the wildlife on their doorsteps.
- RSPB Scotland is offering half price entry to three of its reserves this summer to reconnect families with the natural world.
Can you tell the difference between a swift, a swallow and a house martin? Do you know your bullfinch from your chaffinch? Or could you identify a great crested newt if one popped up in your garden?
Despite research showing that children who have a healthy connection to nature are more likely to benefit from better physical and mental health, do well at school, and develop stronger social skills, people in Scotland are becoming less familiar with the wildlife living on their doorsteps (1).
With the summer holidays upon us, now is the time to remedy that and RSPB Scotland is calling on the nation to get up, get out, and get reacquainted with the fascinating creatures living all around us. To help, the conservation charity is offering half price entry to three of its 'great for families' reserves: Loch Leven in Perth and Kinross, Loch Garten near Aviemore, and Lochwinnoch just outside Glasgow.
All three sites have an engaging programme of family activities and events running over the next few weeks to reconnect children with nature, including mini-beast safaris, rock pooling, and building hedgehog cafes - all of which can be counted towards one of the RSPB's Wild Challenge awards.
Jasper Hamlet, Youth and Families Officer for RSPB Scotland, said: "Connecting to nature should be a key part of any kid's childhood, experiencing for themselves what a worm feels like or learning how a plant grows. The country's wildlife and the habitats that they depend on will benefit too, as children who have adventures outdoors; who feel, smell and explore nature, and build up an emotional attachment to it, are much more likely to want to protect and conserve it in future.
"At RSPB Scotland we want to make sure that every child has the opportunity to get out and enjoy the natural world, so we're offering half price entry to three of our reserves this summer to help families on their way. We're also encouraging people to sign up for Wild Challenge and see where the adventure takes them!"RSPB Scotland's half price reserve entry offer runs until 31 August 2017. To download a half price family voucher and learn more about the three reserves included in the initiative please visit: www.rspb.org.uk/familyfun
The RSPB Connecting with Nature Report from 2013 can be found here: https://www.rspb.org.uk/Images/connecting-with-nature_tcm9-354603.pdf
RSPB Scotland is part of the RSPB, the UK's largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again. We play a leading role in BirdLife International, a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations.
To learn more about the RSPB's Wild Challenge, go to: https://ww2.rspb.org.uk/kids-and-schools/kids-and-families/wild-challenge/