Research is showing that in a world where our language for the natural world is being lost or overtaken by uses that refer to digital technology, especially among younger generations, it is ever more important that we find ways to inspire children’s curiosity of nature and help them explore the marvels of the natural world around them.
An academic study of evidence from over 25 years has highlighted a declining trend of Britons associating words like stream, web and cloud with nature. The research conducted by Dr Robbie Love, linguistics fellow at the University of Leeds and issued by the National Trust in July 2019, reveals that now just 1% of uses of the word ‘tweet’ relates to birds and 7% of the word ‘web’ to spiders.
With a passion for connecting children with the world around them, the Den Kit Company has developed products designed to encourage outdoor adventures amongst young families and help overcome the worrying disconnect our nation has with the natural world. Their latest product, the Hideaway Kit, has been developed in association with Europe’s largest conservation charity, the National Trust.
The National Trust Hideaway Kit – available now at National Trust shops and online (nationaltrust.org.uk/shop) – has been designed to appeal to children aged 8 and above. The kit is designed to inspire children to play imaginatively, whilst challenging their ingenuity and teaching new skills.
These formative years can be tricky to negotiate for children and parents alike, but research shows that physical activity and engaging with the great outdoors can help develop confidence and improve communication skills – leading to positive choices and a lifelong love of nature.
Clare Brown, Head of Brand Licensing for the National Trust says of the kit:
“with such strong shared values, we are thrilled with the development of the National Trust Hideaway Kit. We know that, as a nation, we are losing our connection with nature. This is really worrying for us as a conservation charity. If today’s children aren’t connected to nature, then who is going to stand up for our countryside and wildlife in the future? If we can strengthen our connection with nature through products such as the Hideaway Kit, not only can we inspire the next generation to have a love for the natural world, but we can help improve their wellbeing”.
This exciting new kit invites and enables children to build their very own nature hide. Contained in a stylish canvas duffle bag is a powerful monocular to spot wildlife, a ground sheet removing any wet weather excuses, camouflage netting to get up close to birds, animals and mini-beasts, and a jotter book with spotter sheet, perfect for sketching and recording discoveries.
“We’re thrilled to be working with the National Trust on our first kit aimed at children over 8 years” says Den Kit co-founder Kay Miller. “The design development journey has seen us work hard to source the very best tools and products, focusing on sustainability and longevity, and our young road-testers have enjoyed hours of fun in the woods putting the kit through its paces”.
This is a gift that gives back to nature; a minimum contribution of £2000 from the sale of Nature Hideaway Kits will be made in support of the National Trust’s conservation work, ensuring the nation’s historic houses, coast and countryside can be enjoyed for generations to come. Available on The Den Kit Company website or Amazon UK website.