The Wild Network

What bugs can you find in an old tree stump © National Trust / Bernie Brown

What bugs can you find in an old tree stump

Latest update 01.10.2013 16:06

A new movement of more than 300 organisations, including the National Trust, has been launched to kick-start a revolution that will reconnect kids with nature and the outdoors.

The Wild Network is a unique and pioneering collaboration between organisations both large and small to let kids get back their 'wild time' and reverse the trend of children losing touch with the natural world and playing outdoors.

As well as the National Trust, schools, local authorities, play groups, NHS Trusts, Scout groups, businesses, campaigners, conservationists, outdoor activity organisations, city farms, and others, have all signed up to help breakdown the barriers to kids spending time outside playing rather than inside.

Evidence about the impact of an inactive and indoors childhood has grown over the summer with the Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation calling for a return to the 'traditional outdoors childhood', and new reports by the UCL Institute of Child Health and also Public Health England.

Alex Hunt, National Trust Assistant Director of External Affairs, said: 'Over the past year our properties have been doing a huge amount to reconnect the nation's children with nature through ‘50 things to do’ and much more. Today is a proud moment for the National Trust in taking that further by inspiring a bigger and broader network of partners to work together to ensure every child gets the opportunity to form a connection with nature.'

The creation of The Wild Network was first hatched at a National Trust-hosted summit last autumn, when hundreds of people - including teachers, health professionals, academics and naturalists - came together to discuss and debate the issue of children's disconnection with nature and decline in playing outdoors.

The Wild Network is releasing a major new feature length documentary film Project Wild Thing. It will be shown at Picturehouse cinemas across the country and at the Cinemagic Festival - Queens Theatre, Belfast on Saturday 5 October at 2pm and the Waterside Theatre on Sunday 27 October at 1pm and 3.30pm.

This witty, original and inspiring film takes a look at how kids have lost touch with nature and the outdoors, why it matters, and what parents can do to reconnect them.

Tickets for Project Wild Thing are now available to buy online.