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09th Dec 2019

UK parents call for compulsory days out in the countryside for school children

Melissa Carton

What do you think?

Parents in the UK are calling for days out in the countryside to be made compulsory for all school aged children.

In a recent poll taken of over 2,000 parents the majority said that they would prefer if their child’s education contain more time outdoors.

While schools implement more healthy attitudes especially regarding healthy eating, it’s staggering to think that in 2019 still most of the school day is spent indoors.

Many studies have shown that free play and outdoor play are necessary for the brain development of children and yet still children from as young as six spend most of their school day sitting at desks.

In the recent survey taken by Campaign to Protect Rural England revealed 96 per cent of parents where in favour of children spending more time in the natural world.

In Yorkshire alone 88 per cent also supported making such visits compulsory during school time.


The organisation’s chief executive Crispin Truman explained to The Yorkshire Post that although school children are learning on biology and nature in class it was not the same as going outside and experiencing the countryside firsthand.

“It’s a real issue that kids are not getting the experience of the countryside they need, and it seems parents agree with us.

Young people can learn so much just from a day on a farm. It’s not only good for them but it reconnects people with the countryside, which is good for the countryside, too.”

I agree with the parents surveyed that more time outdoors needs to be introduced into our children’s curriculums.

Being city kids my children are lucky in that one side of their family is from the country and so they get to visit it quite regularly. This is not the case for most children, especially those living in urban areas, where green space is at a premium.

More needs to be done to update the way we approach teaching children both for their education but also for their physical and mental health.