Families urged to explore the great outdoors

Daily Echo: There are plenty of fun things for youngsters to see and do in the great outdoors. There are plenty of fun things for youngsters to see and do in the great outdoors.

DID you know that the time spent playing outside has dropped by 50 per cent in just one generation?

A recent survey also reported that only one in five eight- to 12-year-olds has a connection with nature.

This is despite substantial research showing that time spent outside in nature increases happiness, health and wellbeing in youngsters, as well as adults.

In response to this, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust is encouraging families to explore the outdoors with the launch of its campaign, Make a Wild Change.

Children and adults who spend time outdoors on a regular basis tend to be physically healthier, have better attention spans, can be more confident, creative and less stressed.

As the summer holidays approach, this is the perfect time to get outside and have fun with your children.

The good news is that you can start straight away in your garden, local green space or at one of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust's reserves.

You don’t need to be an expert or have special equipment for a wild adventure, just clothes and shoes that can get a bit muddy and will keep you and your children warm, and a bit of green space that provides children with the freedom to imagine and play.

Many of the wildlife trust’s reserves and education centres can be accessed on foot, by public transport and have parking available.

Education centres have toilet facilities and some have mobility scooters for hire and accessible paths.

Taking with you a picnic or some snacks for a pit stop is always a good idea too on a wild adventure.

Whether you have toddlers or kids on summer holidays, have five minutes to spare or a whole day, you can follow the wildlife trust's tips online to make this summer the time when your family made a meaningful connection with nature.

The trust also runs groups across Hampshire called Wildlife Watch for five- to 15-year-olds which are aimed at creating factual, informal, fun ways for children to investigate their natural surroundings.

There are also tots' groups for under-fives. For more information visit the learn and discover section at hiwwt.org.uk.

For more ideas on wild adventures this summer visit wildlifetrusts.org/ mywildsummer.

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