Tuesday, 5 January 2016
Our new year's resolution is simple, to make our lives a little bit wilder. So this year we're going to make an effort as a family to get out more and learn about the nature around us, picking up basic ID skills as we go.
If you've visited this blog before you'll know all about my passion for connecting children with nature and my concern about the impact of nature deficit disorder, you can read my 2008 thoughts here and here.
I have worked for The Wildlife Trusts for 15 years but to be honest I didn't know much about wildlife before I started working there, in fact I don't even think I owned a pair of wellies! Most of my passion has come from being surrounded by colleagues that are quite simply nerds about nature, bird watchers, badger vaccinators and otter poo sniffers (don't ask!) and by working for a conservation charity I have the access to some of the most wonderful wildlife and places to visit.
I am blessed to be able to share this with my children, but even with this knowledge we do find it hard to get out as a family with the same time pressures that all others families have; after school clubs, homework, work commitments, sports clubs and weekend matches and screen time (the boys even have online homework!)
Last year the Wildlife Trusts launched their Every Child Wild campaign to engage children with nature, one of the stats that stood out for me was that less than 24% of children surveyed had an indoor nature display area like a nature table. So that was it, the seed was planted and we're going to bring back the nature table! We'll display the bits and bobs we find on our weekly wild adventures and most importantly learn about what we find*, like a proper old fashioned school nature table.
We'll try and post regularly on here, I'm hoping the boys will contribute their thoughts here too and I'll also post over on Instagram using the hashtag #thenaturetable you are most welcome to join in too, the more the merrier. I am hoping we'll increase our knowledge, observe the seasons changing and get to spend quality time together.
P.s. If you live in Gloucestershire there's an offer on membership of the Wildlife Trust this January, just use the word GIFT in the offer code to take advantage of an amazing 50% off your membership which starts from just £1.25/month! The family membership is rather fab as the children get their own Wildlife Watch mailings four times a year too.
*as wildlife identification skills are increasingly on the decline and just not passed down from generation to generation anymore