In the UK, access to green spaces is not an option for everyone, children are growing up more and more disconnected from nature, with 1.3 million children* in the UK not even visiting the natural environment once a year.
If we lose our connection with nature then we lose ourselves
Sir David Attenborough, TCV Vice President
I think in this day and age it is so easy to become totally divorced from the natural world, this connection is one of the greatest treasures you can have. And if you lose it, you’ve lost a really important part of your life
Sir David Attenborough
We agree with Sir David, but sadly having no access to a safe green space within a local community is becoming all too common. This means that, for many people and especially children, they may never have the chance to make this first important connection with the natural world.
Our current Christmas appeal aims to raise £25,000 so that we can make green spaces accessible to all regardless of their age, ability or location in the UK.
We want everyone to enjoy the magic that the natural world brings to people’s lives and especially at this time of the year. The stunning displays of gold, green and amber, the crunchy crackle of twigs under your wellies and that first sighting of a robin.
The natural world has so much to offer: it’s a natural playground (and a vital classroom) for our youngsters. It’s a healthy outdoor gym that’s open 24/7 for everyone to enjoy. It’s a quiet sanctuary for peaceful reflection. In other words, creating and restoring green spaces isn't just about caring for nature it's about caring for people as well.
...it’s only too easy to lose your greatest treasure it in this day and age, and in this sort of environment. TCV enables people to get back into connection with themselves and their environment.
Sir David Attenborough
TCV’s Buggin’ About provides a welcoming and gentle approach to going outside, looking at nature, experiencing textures, sounds, tastes and smells found in our environment. Parents and toddlers are encouraged to join in feel good in active natural play in the great outdoors. The group meet at our Singleton Environment Centre, for a few hours of crafts, activities and a short walk.
As many as 35 children join in on a busy day. Every week - no matter what the weather - families are led on a walk through the woodlands, make mud pies in the Mud Kitchen, or get their hands dirty on the Sensory Table, kids can make as much mess as they like. So far we have run 87 Buggin’ About sessions and engaged with over 2504 participants over the duration of the project.
With increasing evidence that outdoor play offers a whole range of benefits for children in terms of health and wellbeing, Buggin’ About offers parents a great chance to allow their children to experience the fun and excitement of the natural world.*
“Buggin' About is my daughter's favourite regular event. She talks about it all week, it’s a great place to bring your children to become more aware of natural surroundings and more likely to want to look after them.”
So, if you can, please make a donation and help us to re-connect more people with the natural world and vitally give more children the opportunity to explore, discover and create some magical first memories of outdoor adventures – together we know we can achieve this.
*HUNT, A., STEWART, D., BURT, J. & DILLON, J. 2016. Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment: a pilot to develop an indicator of visits to the natural environment by children - Results from years 1 and 2 (March 2013 to February 2015). Natural England Commissioned Reports, Number208.