Thousands of schoolchildren from deprived areas inspired with 20,000 nature activities

Thousands of school children in London have taken part in more than 20,000 nature activities provided by a wildlife charity.

The project, run by Generation Wild, which is spearheaded by WWT London Wetland Centre, worked with schools, children and families from disadvantaged communities across the capital to get young people connected with nature.

WWT’s National Learning Manager, Mark Stead, said: “Nature is for everyone. But we know there are various barriers, including cost and accessibility, that make it more challenging for some children to get outside and build meaningful connections with the natural world.

“That’s why we’re so thrilled about the positive impact that Generation Wild continues to have. 

Feedback from teachers, parents and children has been glowing, and points towards a significant improvement in mental well-being, care and concern for nature – as well as a greater crossover between learning inside and outside the classroom.”

More than 6,000 children got involved in art based activities provided by WWT’s creative partner, Stand and Stare, based around the story of Ava, who is half girl and half bird.

The children completed their nature activities at home which included building bird nets, making a bug hotel and star gazing.

Alexia Hollinshead, general manager at WWT London, continued: “The curiosity, deepening interest, and happiness that’s been shown and continues to grow has been a joy to witness. 

“We’re delighted to be supporting children on a life-long journey as nature lovers.” 

An independent research study is being conducted by Cardiff University, which looks at the impact of the Generation Wild project on children’s connection to nature and mental wellbeing.

The interim findings show an improvement in both aspects post-participation, with the full report expected in the Autumn.

Pictured top: Children taking part in the Generation Wild project with a sculpture of the stories central character, Ava (Picture: Nigel Wilson)

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