Are we out of touch with the great outdoors?

New research has revealed that families across the UK are missing out on enjoying their local woodland, as they don’t know where to find it or prefer to take part in other activities

Out of the 2,000 parents questioned, one in five say they don’t spend time with their family in the local woodland as they don’t know where to find it, and a third say they don’t have any woodland near them to visit.

These worrying findings are supported by recent statistics from the Woodland Trust, which show the UK is one of the least wooded countries with only a 13 per cent covering compared to a European average of 44 per cent.

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When it comes to spending time together, the activity families most enjoy is hitting the beach (28 per cent) closely followed by visiting the local woodland or park (24 per cent).

18 per cent are happiest at a local theme park and a surprising 10 per cent prefer to stay indoors watching TV or playing computer games. 27 per cent of parents also admit their kids spend less than two hours a week playing outside and a staggering five per cent say their kids spend no time at all playing outside of the home.

Despite this, half of parents think it is very important for their kids to get out of the house to play and the same amount would like to see more woodland in the UK to enjoy with their family. 61 per cent would be keen to get involved in tree planting initiatives in their local area and 31 per cent know of a local area that could be improved by a woodland planting scheme.

Janette Wickens from the Woodland Trust says: “As well as the environmental and ecological benefits that woodland provide, people also have a lot to gain from visiting their local woodland.

“A walk in the woods can give anyone a feeling of peace and tranquility and most of us have fond childhood memories of playing on or around trees.”

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