Countryside visits and nature studies should be part of the school curriculum.

This morning BBC Radio Cambridgeshire invited me to come and discuss the results of a survey by the Campaign For Rural England (CPRE) that showed how the majority of parents valued green spaces. A whopping 96% of parents thought it was important for children to experience green spaces first hand. 85% of parents thought this should be made part of the National Curriculum.

The survey of 2,000 parents across England, was carried out by OnePoll, and commissioned by CPRE, reveals the top five reasons cited by parents for why children should spend time in nature were:

1) Boost physical health (74%)

2) Learn more about nature and science (74%)

3) Boost their mental health (70%)

4) Experience the thrill of observing wildlife first-hand (65%)

5) Understand why we should protect the countryside (64%)

We’re delighted that there is so much parental support for including time in nature within the national curriculum. Spending time with children in a nature rich environment it’s amazing to see the confidence it gives to all the children to just be. Yet in just being they learn so many life skills independence, resilience and respect the ability to value each others uniqueness. We hope that the growing trend for schools to timetable time for Outdoor Learning and Forest School will further increase the importance that teachers and parents place on time spent outdoors.