COLUMN: Young people are disconnected from nature

Afternoon tea with Jane Austen event at No. 28 community hall as part of the Belper arts festival. Pictured here is Kathy Fairweather speaking about Pride and Prejudice.

Afternoon tea with Jane Austen event at No. 28 community hall as part of the Belper arts festival. Pictured here is Kathy Fairweather speaking about Pride and Prejudice.

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By Kathy Fairweather

We live in an era where more and more children are disconnected from nature. The temptation of video games/social media and fear for children’s safety has resulted in large numbers of children’s lives becoming devoid of experience of the natural world.

According to a recent study, lack of connection to nature is not benign; there are costs to children’s health: “attention difficulties, hyperactivity, childhood obesity, diminished use of senses, and disconnection from things that are real.”(AFF, 2014) From the point of view of the future of our planet, this raises a different type of question: if children are spending most of their time indoors, especially in urban communities, how will they learn about and value nature? How will the next generation become stewards of the planet’s resources? In order to develop new technologies which will deal with resource scarcity, pollution and global warming they need to not only receive comprehensive education about the natural world, but to also develop a passion for it.

 

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