The Wildlife Trusts commissioned UCL to evaluate the possible effects of nature activities upon 450 children aged between 8 – 9 years old. It will come as no surprise to read that the findings were positive. Here is a summary:

90% of children felt they learned something new about the natural world
79% felt that their experience could help their school work
After their activities 84% of children felt that they were capable of doing new things when they tried
79% of children reported feeling more confident in themselves
81% agreed that they had better relationships with their teachers
79% reported better relationships with their class-mates.

Importantly children’s wellbeing increased after being active in nature.

An important part of the research involved measuring the level at which a person considers their identity to be part of nature, or rather their emotional closeness to the natural world. Essential if you believe there is a link between exposure to nature and future environmentalism efforts.

The Wildlife Trusts suggest a daily ‘nature hour’, however, would even a weekly ‘nature hour’ be possible in most schools for children beyond early years? It is certainly worth thinking about and an area I am keen to develop.

For a summary see link below:

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-11/Nature%20nurtures%20children%20Summary%20Report%20FINAL.pdf