4th September 2019
The Land Trust is excited to announce the launch of a new education pack, as it pledges to empower more families to spend time outdoors together and get healthier and happier in the process.
The development, and launch, of the new educational resource comes after the Land Trust carried out a survey at the beginning of 2019 to gain an understanding of how much time people currently spend outdoors, who they do it with, and what benefits they feel they gain.
One of the results from the survey that stood out was 98% of people questioned said they believe that spending time outdoors is vital for young people’s physical and emotional development. However only 8% of people believe that young people spend enough time outdoors.
Alan Carter, Director of Portfolio Management for the Land Trust, said:
“We know that spending time outside in well managed green space has significant physical and mental health benefits and at the Land Trust we recognise the importance of developing positive habits at an early age that young people will take them throughout their lives.
“This desire is set against a backdrop of rising childhood obesity levels, decreasing childhood mental health and a worrying lack of time spent by children and young people in the natural environment.
“We have been delivering educational activities on our sites since the Land Trust’s inception and the education pack is the latest part in our strategy to develop this offer further.
“We recognised that young people have more distractions than ever before and the free time that families have to spend together is often limited so we designed our education pack to be an activity that all the family can enjoy.”
The education pack was first rolled out on the Land Trust’s site Davy Down in Essex. The pack includes a number of activities that can be done either individually or as a group, such as identifying different types of woodland trees and spotting different pond and woodland creatures. Following the success of the pack at Davy Down the national land management charity is now being made available to schools and communities across the country.
The Land Trust’s health theme for 2019 is all about empowering families to spend time together and with more strain on the NHS than ever, and illnesses like diabetes and mental health issues costing the NHS and the economy billions each year, Carter highlights the importance of people taking responsibility for their own health to ease the burden on overstretched resources.
“With our NHS in crisis, the importance of people spending time outdoors simply can’t be underestimated. Our Health for Life research project that was carried out on our site at Countess of Chester Country Park, highlighted the positive benefits that spending time in well managed green space can have on the mind and the body.
“We shouldn’t just be relying on our doctors and hospitals when we become unwell. It’s vital that we take responsibility for our own health and wellbeing and focus more on prevention rather than cure.
“It is reported that three quarters of UK children spend less time outdoors than prison inmates while a fifth of children do not play outside at all on an average day. These findings are completely unacceptable and if they are allowed to remain unchanged we risk generations of people living unhealthy and inactive lives. Hopefully our new education pack can play its part in making sure this doesn’t happen.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Aaron Gales joined the Land Trust in March 2018 as a Communications and Marketing specialist.
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