One in five children are 'connected to nature', study says

Last updated at 11:42
child in nature

Large numbers of children in Britain are missing out on the nature around them, a study from the RSPB (The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) suggests.

The report says that only 21 per cent of children aged 8-12 were "connected to nature", something it defines as appreciating wildlife and having a sense of responsibility for the environment, among other things.

The RSPB says grown-ups could be holding kids back because they think nature is dangerous or dirty.

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Gender difference

The RSPB came up with a definition of what "connected to nature" actually means and then developed a questionnaire with 16 statements designed to assess the level of connection among children.

Around 1,200 children from across the UK were asked to agree or disagree with these statements.

The report shows a difference between boys and girls with 27 per cent of girls agreeing with the four statements above, compared to only 16 per cent of boys.

"We need to understand these differences," Sue Armstrong-Brown, head of conservation at the charity, told BBC News.

"Whether boys and girls are scoring differently on different questions, are girls more empathetic to nature than boys for instance?"