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British kids can’t identify a conker or a bumblebee

Written by on 14/08/2019

British children are becoming so disconnected from nature that many struggle to identify wildlife and plants.

Half of children cannot identify stinging nettles, 65% wouldn’t know what a blue tit is, 24% do not recognise conkers and 23% do not know what a robin looks like.

Almost all of the children surveyed could not identify a beech leaf or a cabbage white butterfly, while 83% did not know what a bumblebee looks like.

Eight-year-old Daisy holds her birthday balloons while looking at a bluebell glade, in Micheldever Wood, near Basingstoke in Hampshire, on April 19, 2011

Image: Bluebells are a common sight in the UK in spring but many children cannot identify them

Four out of 10 did not recognise a dandelion and almost five out of 10 could not identify a puffin or a bluebell.

The figures are from a survey of 1,000 adults and 1,000 children between the ages of five and 16.

The survey was commissioned by family activity app Hoop and children were asked to identify a series of pictures of animals and plants.

Forty-four percent of parents said their child spent less time enjoying nature than they did as children.

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A third said screen time was getting in the way.

Puffins are globally listed as vulnerable to extinction

Image: Almost half of children surveyed could not identify a puffin from a picture

According to Hoop, today’s kids spend more time per day on their smartphones (1.88 hours), watching TV (1.82 hours), and gaming (1.68 hours), than enjoying nature (1.36 hours).

And the problem is worse for older children.

Spending time in nature can help children keep fit as well as promoting creativity, responsibility and an appreciation for how the world works.

The sentiment was echoed by the Duchess of Cambridge earlier this year when she said: “Spending time in nature can play a pivotal role in helping children grow up to become happy, healthy adults.

“The great outdoors provides an open playground for children to have fun and learn life-long skills – from balance and coordination to empathy and creativity – with their friends, their parents, their carers, or their family members.”

 Sky News

© Sky News 2019

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