A new poll, conducted just after the release of the John Lewis Christmas advert #BusterTheBoxer, reveals that an overwhelming majority of children aged 8 to 15 feel happy being outdoors, seeing wildlife and visiting wild places. However, it also discovered that many children have never seen three of the four wildlife species featured in the ad.
The poll of over 1,000 children was commissioned by The Wildlife Trusts, John Lewis’s Christmas campaign charity partner. The advert celebrates the joy of encountering wildlife in a garden using a cast of wild creatures: a fox, badger, squirrel and hedgehog.
The poll found that 89% of children say that being outdoors makes them happy, 81% like seeing wildlife in their garden or local area, 80% enjoy visiting wild places and 70% enjoy playing outside. But 67% had never seen a badger in the wild; 25% had never seen a hedgehog, and 23% had never seen a fox.
Dominic Higgins, The Wildlife Trusts’ Nature and Wellbeing Manager, says, “At a time when it’s increasingly hard for children to spend time in wild places – whether because of parental worries, time pressures or simply absence of wild places near to where people live – this new poll sends a clear message: children are happy outdoors and benefit enormously from contact with nature. It also shows that we must do all we can to ensure there are wild havens close to where people live – whether it’s by making our own gardens wilder or taking action to protect our local community green spaces.”
For ideas on how to help children enjoy the outdoors and make gardens more wildlife-friendly, go to http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/news/2016/12/24/new-poll-shows-children-be-outdoors-and-enjoy-wild-places