In international interest for Nature Conservation, Denmark conducted a poll to investigate how 3 past generations of Danes experienced nature. As part of this poll, a representative sample of 1,000 parents of 5- to 12- year-old children and 1,000 adults between 55 and 70 years of age answered a series of questions about their or their children/grandchildren’s use of natural space and attitudes toward nature. In this report, Paltved-Kaznelson presents many interesting findings, highlighting the following:
- In three generations, there has been significant decline in time that children spend outdoors in nature. For instance, 59% of grandparents reported visiting a natural setting every day during the summer when they were children, as compared to 42% of parents and just 26% of children today.
- The level of engagement in organized sports has increased significantly. For example, 22% of grandparents reported participating in organized sports several times a week when they were children, compared to 38% of parents and 44% of children today.
- 73% of grandparents and 54% of parents reported that children do not spend enough time in nature.
- 81% of grandparents and 67% of parents reported that electronic media is the prevalent reason children spend less time outside than previous generations. Also, 44% of parents believe that “parents not taking time to let their children experience nature” is an important reason why children do not spend as much time outdoors.
- In general, parents agreed that childhood experiences in nature had a positive influence on their lives and that a childhood with nature experiences is better than one with few or no nature experiences.
- The majority of parents agreed that it is important for their children to learn about nature and that it is healthy for children to spend time in nature.