Nature connection in the news
Articles, blogs & news items, from the UK & internationally, on the importance of, and barriers to, connecting with nature, for children & adults.
Arranged in chronological order, most recent at the top
How To Reconnect Kids With The Trees, Nature’s Best Teachers
Picking a ‘friend’ tree and the benefits trees give us – they ground us, teach us, set an example and support connection.
Tinkergarten (US), 20 February 2018 (?)
Forest Bathing Connects Us to Nature and Better Health
What is forest bathing, how does it reduce stress, and how do you do it?
Outdoor Families Magazine, 30 January 2018
Twenty amazing things that trees do
“Trees have a key role to play in rewilding Britain – to help restore nutrients to the soils and encourage the return of diverse flora and fauna. But there’s even more to trees than that bit of simple miracle working.”
Rewilding Britain, 2 December 2015
A Child’s Day In The Woods: Why Nature Play Is Important
Lovely blog post describing the joy of a day of playing in nature.
We Are Wildness (Canada), c2017
Nature Preschools and Kindergartens at Record Numbers in the U.S.
‘A new national survey of nature-based early childhood educators found that the number of nature preschools and forest kindergartens operating in the U.S. is at an all-time high.’ This article examines the findings.
Natural Start Alliance (US), 17 November 2017
Connecting to Nature
From rewilding to forest schools, our attitude to nature is changing for the better
The statistics may be terrifying – but the UK’s approach to natural habitats is undergoing a quiet transformation (2020)
Our Kids Can Save The Planet — If We Teach Them How
“It’s crucial that we work to create a more sustainable future for ourselves and upcoming generations, and the work must begin now ― not with young adults, but with young children. A large body of empirical social science work conducted over the last two decades supports this…. Fostering a child’s curiosity is simple…”
Huffington Post, 8 February 2018
Building a Movement to Help Young Children Connect with Nature and Care for It
Looking at the early childhood environmental education movement and how to get more children to experience “the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.”
Natural Start Alliance, October 2017
The Nature Fix: overcoming barriers to the outdoors
The excuses we use to stay indoors, and strategies to overcome them – with some examples of organisations working to do this, particularly with women.
REI Co-op (US), 6 February 2018
Nature is the best way to nurture pupils with special educational needs
“Outdoor education doesn’t just engage students with complex needs in the curriculum, it teaches life skills too.” With examples of schools and organisations doing this work.
The Guardian, 1 May 2016
Concerns raised over number of children not engaging with nature
Two-year study finds more than 10% of children in England have not been to a natural environment in the past 12 months. This article considers why, especially for BAME households, what some organisations are doing to counteract it, and what parents can do themselves.
The Guardian, 10 February 2016
This Is Your Brain on Nature
When we get closer to nature—be it untouched wilderness or a backyard tree—we do our overstressed brains a favor. Extensive, interesting article on why being in nature makes us feel better in all sorts of ways, citing lots of different research into many aspects of the subject.
National Geographic, 2016
Nature’s Wall of Grief
Article on how spending prolonged time in nature may help us tap into long-held feelings of grief, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Huffpost (Au), 18 October 2015
Ideas on Raising Environmentally-conscious Kids
“If You Are Wondering How You Can Teach Your Children To Be Earth-Conscious Individuals, Here Are Some Ideas That Can Be Helpful.”
iheartintelligence.com, 4 March 2015
Let Kids Run Wild in the Woods
What if everybody picked a flower? Maybe they’d care more about nature. Article looking at the concept of ‘leave no trace’ & how it can inhibit fun & bonding with nature, and the benefits of nature play areas – ‘set-aside areas where kids could go off trail, climb trees, collect specimens, and generally leave as much trace as they wanted with minimal adult supervision.’
Slate (US), 25 May 2014
Benefits Of Exposing Your Children To Nature
Online article on why nature is the world’s best classroom – good for physical health, increased observation and communication skills, balanced mental and emotional development, and environmental sensitivity.
The New Age Parents, c2014
If children lose contact with nature they won’t fight for it
George Monbiot considers our declining wildlife, Nature Deficit Disorder and what will happen it we don’t tackle it.
The Guardian, 19 November 2012
Earth Education: Permaculture for Kids
‘Sarah Smith, a geography teacher, describes the fun she has had since discovering Earth Education and explores its links with permaculture principles.’
Permaculture magazine, 29 May 2012
Kids These Days: Why Is America’s Youth Staying Indoors?
Lack of access to, and interest in, nature keeps kids from experiencing the outdoors. “There is a growing disparity between the time kids spend indoors wired to technology and the time they spend outside enjoying nature… only about 10 percent say they are spending time outdoors every day, according to a new nationwide poll from The Nature Conservancy.”
Nature Conservancy (US), 2012
Why our children need to get outside and engage with nature
‘… a growing body of evidence is starting to show that it’s not so much what children know about nature that’s important, as what happens to them when they are in nature (and not just in it, but in it by themselves, without grownups)… when kids stop going out into the natural world to play, it can affect not just their development as individuals, but society as a whole.’
The Guardian, 16 August 2010
How the city hurts your brain
…And what you can do about it. Article pulling together a variety of studies looking at the benefits of nature connection, and the risks of losing it. By Jonah Lehrer.
boston.com (US), 2 January 2009
Healthy Planet, Healthy Children: designing nature into the daily spaces of childhood
‘This chapter draws on the latest research findings, which suggest that a healthy, therapeutic effect is experienced by children who are directly exposed to nature, and explores the roles of physical design in improving the quantity and quality of exposure to nature by integrating it into the built environment.’ Robin C Moore & Clare Cooper Marcus, in Biophilic design: the theory science and practice of bringing buildings to life.
Green Schoolyard Network (US). 2008
Building for Life: Designing & Understanding the Human-Nature Connection
‘This chapter explores this importance of childhood contact with nature, particularly for children’s emotional, intellectual, and evaluative development. We consider how children’s physical and mental well-being depends on the quality of their experience of the natural world. ‘ Stephen R. Kellert, Nature & Childhood Development.
Green Schoolyard Network, c2002.