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New project to help Scotland’s housebound kids

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

April 29 2013

Plantlife Scotland is calling on parents to encourage their children to play outside more and enjoy nature.

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

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

  • Over half never play outside
  • Only 13% of the children play in woodlands, beaches or local parks
  • 72% had never played conkers
  • Fewer than half knew what clover looks like
  • Not a single child recognised meadowsweet, a common flower found along woods, canals and rivers.

Getting inside kids…..outside!

The charity is launching Wild About Plants, a brand new project to encourage families to venture outside and discover more about the nature on their doorstep. This summer, Plantlife Scotland will be running workshops, walks and family activities so people can enjoy and feel more confident discovering the wild flowers and fungi that make Scotland such an amazing place to be. Events include:

  • Painting with mushrooms
  • Dying wool with lichens
  • Tasting wild garlic pesto

Ali Murfitt who is leading the project at Plantlife Scotland says “I grew up in the countryside and have vivid memories of never-ending days playing outside and exploring. As an adult I discovered how incredible our wild plants and fungi really are and how relevant they can be to everyday life - even the humble daisy was once used in an ointment to help treat bruises and cuts. It’s sad to think that so many children are missing out on these wonderful experiences and we want to break the trend where children are almost 'housebound'".

"Throughout the year Wild About Plants will be giving children and adults alike the opportunity to learn more about our wild flowers and plants and feel confident being outside in nature using all our senses - it’s great fun, hugely educational and what’s more, it doesn’t cost a penny!”