A Small Patch of Green

In my previous post I explained why environmentally friendly retro-fitting and savvy energy monitoring make Ickworth House in Suffolk my ‘green-spiration’. However, beautiful and useful green initiatives needn’t be limited to the indoors. As my fellow intern Julia knows well, the great outdoors is the perfect arena to inspire future eco ambassadors

 So Julia tell us a bit about yourself, what’s your ‘green-spiration’?

 At my interview for this internship, I was asked to talk about a place that is special to me. Without even having to think about it, I answered at length about the patch of allotments behind my house. Growing up, I’d play for hours out there with my brother and the other kids down our road. I grew up in London, but it never occurred to us that our stomping ground was only a small patch of green in a bustling and crowded city. To a seven year old, having a wild area to roam about freely in felt like having all the space in the world.

 I must have spoken pretty passionately about it, because a week later I received a phone call telling me I’d been selected to work on Project Wild Thing.

©National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra Children on the Community Allotments at Minnowburn, Co Down, Northern Ireland.

©National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra
Children on the Community Allotments at Minnowburn, Co Down, Northern Ireland.

 How does Project Wild Thing help to inspire greener futures?

 By getting kids reconnected with nature, Project Wild Thing is doing far more than introducing kids to the benefits of outdoor play; it’s ensuring that the next generation grows up with an interest in nature and its conservation. David Attenborough has said that ‘no one will protect what they don’t care about’, and that ‘no one will care about what they have never experienced’. If children don’t grow up feeling like nature is something to be enjoyed, what reason would they have as adults to protect it?

 Has the project inspired you to embrace the great outdoors?

 I’ve certainly been inspired to rethink my relationship with nature and proactively increase the amount of ‘wild time’ I get. It’s incredible how quickly you see the benefits once you decide to make this change. In the past month alone, I’ve been canoeing, high-rope climbing, rambling and rope-swinging. I definitely feel happier and more engaged with the work I’m doing because of it.

 Julia Bush is a Campaigns, Research and Policy Intern at the National Trust, working on the Natural Childhood Project and with the Wild Network. You can follow Julia on twitter: @JuliaBush.

 Project Wild Thing is an ambitious, feature-length documentary that takes a funny and revealing look at the increasingly disparate connection between children and nature. For more information visit www.projectwildthing.com.

Interview by Katie Canning

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