Brits losing touch with nature, finds research

British people feel they are losing touch with nature – with many admitting they have not been to the countryside in two years and don’t know enough to teach their children about wildlife.

Published: July 24th, 2017 at 2:58 pm
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These are the findings of new research which shows that seven in ten (69%) of Brits feel they are losing touch with nature, with three in four people (76%) unable to identify an ash tree.


The study also found that even familiar species of British wildlife are not recognisable to some Brits, with 17% of respondents saying they have never seen a toad and 13% say they have never seen a hedgehog.

According to the report, 13% have never laid eyes on a hedgehog/Credit: Getty

A third of respondents (33%) could not identify a barn owl while 66% failed to recognise a turtle dove. Both these farmland birds are in decline with turtle doves being one of the UK’s fastest declining species after the 2016 State of Nature Report revealed that populations have fallen by 96% since 1970.

When it came to identifying trees, one in three Brits would not be able to identify an English Oak, while 76% were unable to identify a Hawthorn tree – despite both trees species providing essential habitats for birds, insects and bats.

Commissioned on behalf of the Jordans Farm Partnership, which brings together The Wildlife Trusts, LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming), The Prince’s Countryside Fund and 40 progressive British farms that grow cereals for Jordans, the partnership aims to support endangered species by restoring and recreating habitats.

As part of the scheme, farmers work with the Wildlife Trust to list wildlife and rare species present on the farm to enable conservation plans to be put in place, including protecting hedgerows, providing watercourses and leaving wild habitat for pollinators.

Janel Fone, Director of Marketing and Development at The Wildlife Trusts, said: “We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to experience the joy of wildlife and wild places in their daily lives and this research by Jordans provides an interesting insight into how connected people feel towards the natural world.


“We are proud to be working with a company like Jordans Cereals who through their British farming supply chain are making a positive difference to the natural world and helping The Wildlife Trusts achieve its vision of restoring nature.”


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