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Help for housebound kids

Plantlife survey reveals a staggering number of children in Merseyside never play outside.

July 24 2012

73% of the children surveyed had never told the time with a dandelion clock.

73% of the children surveyed had never told the time with a dandelion clock.

Plantlife are calling on parents in Liverpool to encourage their children to play outside more frequently so they learn about nature and benefit from all the other wonderful experiences the great outdoors has to offer.

It comes after the charity carried out a Wild about Plants survey that showed an overwhelming number of youngsters in Merseyside don’t venture outdoors so aren’t familiar with even the most common wildflowers that their parents and grandparents would have known when they were the same age.

Plantlife carried out independent research of approximately 200 children aged between the ages of 8 and 11 which revealed:

  • Only 27% of children play outside with their parents.
  • 39% of children said when they do play outside it’s in the street.
  • 42% of children have never eaten a blackberry.
  • 50% of children could not identify a poppy.
  • 73% have not told the time with a dandelion clock.
  • 94% said they felt happy when learning outdoors.

Rachel Jones who runs the Wild about Plants Projects says “The findings are really sad and we really want to move away from this trend where children are almost house-bound. All too often youngsters play inside on computer games and mobile phones so don’t get to enjoy the simple pleasures of outdoor play such as making daisy chains, building dens and even taking the dog for a walk! We are working hard in Merseyside to put on Wild about Plants projects that the whole family can enjoy and learn more about the nature on their doorstep. Its great fun, hugely educational and what’s even better it doesn’t cost a penny!”

Over the last two years Plantlife’s Wild About Plants project has held over 300 workshops and worked with 2400 children from 10 different schools in Merseyside and Lancashire.