I've been reading a lot recently about the importance of children spending time in nature so that they become interested in conservation when they're older.
(It seems to me that a lot of teenagers are interested in the carbon footprint reduction aspect of environmentalism but perhaps fewer are interested in conservation of wildlife and wild places, which would fit with my overall perception of the general public's attitude to the environment these days).
People's arguments are that how can children grow up to protect nature if they don't learn to love it? And how can children learn to love nature if they don't spend lots of time outdoors getting muddy and looking for bugs, plants and animal tracks?
I totally agree with all of that. I think it's more vital than ever that children are out there, experiencing nature.
However, it's interesting that when I was growing up, I almost never played outside except in the back garden of the house where my parents still live (which is nice and big and has a wild patch at the bottom but it's still a domesticated garden). Although we had regular day trips and holidays to relatively rural places, I wasn't encouraged to actually explore the great outdoors and certainly never ran wild. My knowledge of wildlife was for a long time based largely on what I read in books.
And look what happened to me!
I'm taking a wee blog break - back early next week!