Proposals to connect every schoolchild with the outdoors has been welcomed by one of the UK’s leading outdoor education charities, The Field Studies Council.
The environment secretary, Mr Julian Glover, organised a Landscape Review of England’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Beauty (AONBs). Among the proposals published in the final review is a suggestion that all children should be given the opportunity to spend a night under the stars in a national landscape. It also suggests that a stronger mission to connect all people with national landscapes is needed and landscapes to improve the nation’s health and wellbeing should be created.
In his review, Mr Glover says: “We think that seeing and knowing our country is the best way to respect and save it. There are many good examples of working with schools, but we want to see more done.”
Having previously raised concerns regarding the accessibility of outdoors learning for children, the FSC welcomes the proposals outlined by Mr Glover.
Mark Castle, chief executive for the FSC, said: “Opportunities for children to connect with nature have been declining slowly over the years due to school funding pressures and this issue has been one of great concern to us.
“All children should have the chance to experience learning outdoors in designated landscapes such as National Parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty and nature reserves. We are pleased the review highlights the significance of this by suggesting overnight school trips to help pupils understand more about their natural environment.”
The FSC welcomes 165,000 school, college and university students a year to its centres across England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. It runs a range of courses aimed at inspiring and bringing environmental understanding to all.
Words by Riana Dixon