Natural Childhood by Stephen Moss 2012 - National Trust Report
Natural Childhood presents compelling evidence that we as a nation, and especially our children, are exhibiting the symptoms of a modern phenomenon known as ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’. We look at what this disorder is costing us, why it’s proving so difficult to reverse, and gather current thinking on what we must do to eliminate it, before opening up the question to the nation for consideration.
With this report, the National Trust is launching a major consultation process, asking individuals and institutions to come up with practical, workable and effective solutions to reconnect Britain’s children with the natural world. If you are a parent or grandparent, or work with children in a professional or voluntary capacity, we want to hear from you. And especially if you are in a position of influence – a journalist or broadcaster, teacher or conservationist, politician or author – we also need you to spread the word. Only then will real change begin to happen. There will be some who will consider the aims of this report and its associated campaign impossible to accomplish. They will argue that society has changed since the days when children roamed free, and that it is now too late to reverse the trends of the past few decades. But we are not trying to put back the clock to some nostalgic, rose-tinted image from the past, like something out of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books. This is all about looking forward, and creating a new world: where the sight of children playing outdoors, without parental supervision, is the norm rather than the exception. This will not be easy to achieve. But ultimately it comes down to one question: should we ensure that every child has the opportunity to develop a personal connection with the natural world, with all the benefits this will bring… or not?