Magazine article Geographical

It's Only Natural

Magazine article Geographical

It's Only Natural

Article excerpt

Growing up in the suburbs of Sydney, Australia, I was fortunate enough to live right next to a national park and within a half-hour's drive of some gorgeous beaches. Little surprise then, that much of my childhood was spent outdoors, whether it be exploring the bush, swimming in the ocean or poking around in rock pools. And little surprise, too, that I went on to study biology at university and then to become a writer specialising in natural history, and that the charities that I support tend to have an environmental focus. Even today, I'm at my happiest outdoors, experiencing the natural world.

But I'm certainly one of the lucky ones. Fewer and fewer children, it seems, are having the sorts of experiences that I took for granted. A combination of factors, from the concreting over of near-urban green spaces to parental over-protectiveness, has seen a drastic reduction in the amount of time that children spend experiencing nature first-hand.

In this issue, Victoria James discusses the rise of a movement in the USA that seeks to address the problem of what has been dubbed 'nature deficit' (page 34). …

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