This important question was posed by Rob Bushby, the John Muir Trust’s Award Manager, in an article for the The Scotsman on January 13th.  It appears in full on the JMT website.

The article begins:

“Children are disconnected from nature” has become something of a worrying mantra. We’re told that they spend less time out of doors than prisoners.  That one in ten is obese.  But it isn’t the face value of such statements that’s the worry.  The concern is what they obscure, and that they aren’t challenged and unpacked in more constructive ways.  Is the issue really as acute as these statements suggest?  The air we breathe is ‘nature’. So too is the food we eat. If children truly were ‘disconnected from nature’, they’d be dead.  If one in ten children is obese, nine aren’t then?  Prisons offer enlightened rehabilitation schemes, some with extensive outdoor dimensions focused on gardens, nature reserves and National Parks.  It’s not a binary thing.  We’re not either connected or disconnected.  We’re all somewhere on a spectrum that reflects our experiences, knowledge and proximity to nature, and our values in relation to it.”

We think that this argument is sound and encourage you to read Rob’s piece in full.  We especially liked: “So let’s get beyond headline-grabbing messages of doom and gloom. Talk up the good stuff, learn from the less good, and keep a sensible perspective.”  Yes please …

1 Comment

  1. Of COURSE they are disconnected! You nay have missed that the whole mode of operation OF this culture is to disconnect us all AND children from nature. This is built on the metaphysical premise of mind/body(nature) dualism where the body and nature are supposed to be mechanical and ‘dead’ whilst only the mind is intelligent. Though some neuroscientists even try and explain away consciousness. In fact consciousness is believed to be produced by the brain.
    So it is laughably naive to argue against the obviousness that of COURSE children are disconnected from nature because that is the purpose of school. it main subjects drilled into millions of kids, reading, writing and arithmetic are all ‘left-brain’ and IF children for whatever reason cannot cope with this o-PRESS-ion they are labelled ‘dis-ordered’ and pushed drugs for bogus conditions like ‘ADHD’.and ‘depression’ etc.
    It is ironic that you haven’t noticed that the old boys, and girls in positions of power are literally destroying nature?

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