Thursday, 6 September 2012

Isn't the Countryside obvious ?

I was asked by a school child when I was  on a school coach trip once  " Is this the countryside?" Now I admit where I live is suburban but its not a city it is in fact surrounded by the countryside. We need as parents to take time out of our busy lives to make sure we give our kids a countryside experience . This is something I have been doing with my own son.

Isn't the countryside obvious?


A billboard campaign backed by the NHS, and the National Trust begins today - Monday 3rd September - aiming to persuade one million children to enjoy the benefits of Nature.

The billboard campaign, the first of its kind, will cover the whole of the UK for two weeks, in hundreds of sites. The aim of the billboards is simple: to get people to spend more time outdoors. The poster depicts a young girl, IVY BOND, licking a frog, with the caption, “Get Into Nature”, along with a link to the campaign website -

Running the campaign is filmmaker DAVID BOND, who has appointed himself Marketing Director for Nature, with the sole purpose of explaining the benefits of nature to the nation.

“Big brands like Apple, Shell, BP, even The Conservative Party, all use symbols of nature to advertise their products for a profit. I am advertising nature because it’s good for you and it’s free. The billboard campaign is one small step towards encouraging people to spend less time watching screens, and more time outside.”

The project challenges parents and children in towns, cities and the countryside across the UK to leave behind the cosy indoors and get outside into the wild. With the help of advertising and marketing experts, Bond’s goal is to persuade one million children of the benefits of Nature – an amazing, free, wonder-product – in just two weeks.

According to UNICEF we are raising the unhappiest kids in the developed world. Fewer than 10% of children play in wild places, compared with 50% a generation ago, kids roam far less and half of kids have been stopped from climbing trees, and 20% from playing conkers or tag.

“The lure of the indoors – with TV, the internet and computer games – is creating a generation that has no connection with the natural world. My kids are 3 and 5 and they scream if I switch off the TV. I’m now fighting to get my kids back before it’s too late. I’ve spoken to teenagers across the UK many of whom say, ‘Why would I want to go outside – staying indoors is much more fun’. I don’t want to hear that from my children.

“Spending time outdoors is fun, it's good for you and it's free. Given the opportunity, kids love being outdoors. They just need to be given the opportunity. If we don't act now, a generation of children will miss out on developing a fundamental connection with nature. Without future custodians of the natural world, who will look after our planet 50 years from now?”

Bond’s marketing campaign is being filmed for a documentary. The British feature-length documentary PROJECT WILD THING, is being produced by film company Green Lions, in conjunction with the Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation. It is due to be released nationwide in cinemas in Summer 2013.

As part of the film director David Bond appoints himself the Marketing Director for Nature and launches a REAL LIFE campaign encouraging parents and children to spend less time indoors, or in shopping malls, and more time outdoors in nature. The campaign is running now, 3-16 September. You can see it here:

We are encouraging people to go to the Project Wild Thing site and sign a nature pledge. When you pledge, the site tells you which pledge number you are. There's a special pledge number (already randomly selected - to be announced when pledges reach 5,000) that wins that person a week's holiday in Nature (Swaledale, Yorkshire - picture of cottage attached). Could that be of interest to your members?

As well as the pledge, you'll see the website has loads of information and ideas for parents on how to get kids into nature. You may also be interested in the Out and About pack for new mothers:

The goal of the campaign this September is that we reach 1 million people and make them aware of the importance of time outdoors, to adults and children. Project Wild Thing is the beginning of a major 2013-2015 campaign that we are developing with the National Trust, Play UK, RSPB, The NHS and others.

So I have made my pledge  I do hope that you make your pledge to!


  1. We took our daughter to the local (ish) beach to hunt for shells and driftwood. It was one of the best days we had this summer. Luckily my folks live in a pretty rural area so she has grown up with lots of outside time and is thrilled with the local park :) Unfortunately not all 11 yr olds find beach walks with the parents cool enough :(

  2. My kids are true Country Kids and have even more wild space to explore and outdoor time than I did as a child. Moving to Coombe Mill was a deliberate lifestyle change for us to allow this and the best move we could have made. Anything which encourages children to experience a little of this is a good thing.


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