One hundred years ago only 2 out of every 10 people lived in an urban area. According to the World Health Organisation, by 2010 more than half of the world’s population had migrated into the cities and this percentage is expected to grow steadily until by 2050 just 30% of people will live in the countryside. It’s no wonder then that there is a continuous tug to get back to nature, to explore the beauty and wonder of the countryside and to appreciate the diversity of nature.
It is true that forest schools and the Natural Connections Demonstration Project (NCPD) are going some way to address the situation. Working across more than 200 schools in the South West of England, NCPD aims to “significantly increase the number of school aged children experiencing the full range of benefits that come with learning in natural environments.” But many opportunities for parents to get out and explore with their children are lost; partly because parents don’t feel that they have enough knowledge to share adventures with their children and partly because of a lack of affordable and inspiring nature kits.
Now trained teacher, Jackie Roby aims to turn this around. Already an experienced forest school leader and skilled environmental educator, Jackie is looking to create Go Wild Nature Kits. Stuffed with games, ideas, tools and other exciting things the kits will help children and their families, parents and grandparents, to explore nature. With a choice of kits catering for differing age ranges, countryside and season, the nature kits are not only packaged in tidy boxes they have been designed by Jackie and other environmental professionals to be “game-changing, behaviour-changing packs that empower both parents and children alike to discover, connect and grow in nature.”
To help get her idea up and running Jackie has turned to the power of the crowd. She needs £20,000 to fund the printing of guided activity booklets and to buy initial stocks of items such as bug pots, firesteels and field guides. In return Jackie is offering a range of rewards including handmade thank-you cards, Go Wild tote bags and places for 8-12 year olds on a 5 day summer holiday forest school course in Bristol. Jackie is also a strong contender in the Santander social enterprise challenge and the more pledges she receives, the better her chance of winning an extra £5000 for her Go Wild Nature Kits.
If you, like Jackie, believe that we should keep in touch with the endless variety which nature brings to our world, to explore and to share with children the fun of getting muddy then take a look at her Crowdfunder page and make a pledge today.