Is there a link with a disconnect from nature and a nation turning into couch potatoes?
A new national travel survey of 17,633 people found that England is turning into a nation of couch potatoes. Researchers asked individuals how often they went on a walk of more than 20 minutes, 65% said at least once a week, while 21% answered "less than once a year or never."
Another recent survey found that 7 in 10 Brits feel they are losing touch with nature. When quizzed on wildlife 33% of those questioned could not identify a barn owl and 66% could not recognise a turtle dove. In fact both of these birds are in decline, with turtle doves being one of the fastest declining species in the UK, with it's numbers fallen by 96% since the 1970's.
Sadly 17% of those questioned said they had never seen a toad and 13% had never seen a hedgehog. 13% reported that they hadn't set foot in or near the countryside for at least two years.
Nature holds many benefits for human health, including lowering blood pressure and helping prevent anxiety and depression. A disconnect from nature does not bode well for the future of conservation either, having a personal relationship with nature, flora and fauna often motivates individuals to want to protect it.