Sussex Wildlife Trust launched its Rewild a Child campaign from the top of Brighton’s newest attraction, the British Airways i360 on Brighton seafront.
Up to 70 people attended the launch, and from their birds-eye view from the top of the i360 watched their children taking part in Wild Beach activities on the shingle below.
Dr Tony Whitbread, Chief Executive of the Sussex Wildlife Trust said, ‘Rewild a Child is a unique opportunity to help Sussex Wildlife Trust provide activities for local children in Sussex to explore the outdoors, learn new skills and try something different. We’re working to make nature a part of growing up again. From imaginative play in woodlands to pond-dipping and getting wet and muddy, this builds confident, healthy and happy children and makes a connection with nature that can last a lifetime.’
Pete Crawford, Director of Learning and Engagement at Sussex Wildlife Trust said, ‘Children’s contact with the natural world is in decline. Only 10% of children now spend time in wild places, compared to 40% of their parents when they were young. The increase in screen time, the pressures of school work, parental fears and a decrease in accessible green space have all contributed to a decline in ‘wildplay’, leaving our children divorced from nature in their formative years.
‘If children continue to be disconnected from nature they will not value and care for it in the future. Children who spend less time in nature also suffer in their health and wellbeing and miss out on opportunities to develop physically and mentally.’
Sussex Wildlife Trust has been inspiring children in Sussex for over 50 years, engaging children and young people aged 3 to 18 years old on its nature reserves and taking its own special hands-on nature-led education into schools and communities all over Sussex.
Some of this work is already funded, but Sussex Wildlife Trust still need to raise an additional £60,000 this year to deliver its community programme and ensure 10,000 children in Sussex get outdoors and connected with nature. Contributions will be used to cover the costs of delivering nature education and engagement work with children and young people throughout Sussex.
Your support could help a child in Sussex to discover a whole new world and be inspired to make nature part of their life.
If you would like to find out more about helping to put nature back into childhood please visit our Rewild a Child webpage or telephone Louise Collins on 01273 497522.
Wild Beach at the i360 © Miles Davies