The Duchess of Cambridge has lent her support to a nature campaign encouraging children to play outdoors and protect nature where they live.
In a statement on the Backyard Nature website, Kate wrote about how important it is for children to spend time outdoors.
“Spending time in nature can play a pivotal role in helping children grow up to become happy, healthy adults.”
Backyard Nature is a joint venture between the Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation and Semble, a leading grassroots community project organisation, that hopes to inspire children to take a vested interest in the natural world that surrounds them, protecting it and playing in it at the same time.
The Eco Emeralds, a young environmentalist group, based in Liverpool, met with the Managing Director of Iceland Foods – who himself had been “hearing from store colleagues that they wanted to help young people protect nature where they live,” according to the Backyard Nature website – to discuss the campaign.
Semble stepped in and brought charitable partners, including The Wildlife Trusts, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Frog Life, Plantslife, and the Bat Conservation Trust, to aid in the campaign, which officially launches on 10 July.
Richard Walker, the Managing Director of Iceland Foods, said in a statement that “I strongly believe that children need to know nature in order to want to protect it, and this campaign is about supporting them to do just that.
“By encouraging children to spend one million hours in their ‘backyards,’ the campaign is committed to truly connecting the next generation with the planet we all need their help to save.”
Once young people sign up, they’re given the option to pick their patch – and it could be anything from a window box plant to a garden, to a school or a footpath or a park, depending on where they live.
“By protecting even the smallest of patches, you can make a big difference to the planet!” according to the Backyard Nature website.
After a young person picks their patch, they’re given the tools to maintain their bit of nature through activities and events nearby, and will even “take on seasonal missions that focus on protecting wildlife that really needs our help.”
“The great outdoors provides an open playground for children to have fun and learn life-long skills – from balance and coordination to empathy and creativity – with their friends, their parents, their carers, or their family members,” Kate continued in her statement.
“I hope the Backyard Nature campaign inspires children, families and communities to get outside and engage with nature, wherever they live.”
Supporting the Backyard Nature campaign is just the latest way the Duchess of Cambridge is focusing her work on the role nature plays in the healthy development of young people.
Her Back to Nature Gardens for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and the Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival both emphasised the importance of playing outdoors.