There are over 2,500 varieties of apple grown in the UK alone, yet a recent study has found that less than 10% of British children can name even one of them.
It is proven that a childhood spent outdoors helps children to grow up healthier and happier, but new research shows that gardening and picking apples has become a pastime that’s as antiquated as hopscotch. Whilst 87% of British households do have a garden, it’s clear growing isn’t something that families do together. Over half of British children between 4 and 8 are unable to name 5 vegetables or fruits grown in this country, with 95% unable to name 3 herbs. Many of those couldn’t identify basic gardening tools, with only 8% able to identify a trowel, 80% never having seen a rake before and, worrying, 79% believing worms are bad for plants.
73% of those asked said they had never grown a sunflower, while only 8% had ever picked an apple, which perhaps explains why they’re unable to name even one. Less than 10% had dug up a vegetable and only 6% had ever eaten a fresh pea from the pod. Based on this evidence, it is perhaps unsurprising that only 20% have ever eaten a vegetable they’ve grown themselves.
Taking inspiration from the Duchess of Cambridge’s enthusiasm for family-friendly gardening, skincare brand Sudocrem and Britain’s oldest nursery Clifton have joined forces to launch Get Out and Grow, a campaign to get families into the garden, planting, growing and having fun. The campaign includes tips and advice on potting plants, spotting a weed, watering and feeding.
“Gardening as a skill, is being forgotten. Parents worry about their children getting the odd scratch which is where My Little Sudocrem comes in because it’s a great multi-tasker for gardeners. But we can’t simply blame over-protective parents, children need to be persuaded that getting outside and growing is more fun that an iPad or watching TV,” says Alice Bamford, Sudocrem brand manager.
Should gardening be taught in schools? Children think so. Although under half of the children surveyed had access to a garden at school, over 90% of them said that they would like one. At one primary school in Lincolnshire, run by innovative headmaster Sam Coy, a school garden has helped transform pupil’s behaviour. Sam Coy insists: “The children absolutely love den-building, just generally getting dirty and nature hunts. One child recently told me that he loves going to the forest school on a Tuesday afternoon so much as it helps him to behave all week as he never wants to not be able to go.”
Just over half had ever weeded a garden or planted a seed, key skills that they would traditionally be taught by gardening alongside a family member, yet 60% had neither gardened with grandparents nor at school. Passing on a knowledge of gardening and a love of the natural world on to the next generation is how skills like gardening are kept alive.
“There are undoubtable benefits for a child’s development when it comes to learning about growing their own vegetables. It’s about re-educating families to get outside and grow, together,” says Phil Woolfe from Clifton.
Soothing Gardener’s Skin…
Gardening can be tough on skin, as every gardener knows. From constant contact with cold water when watering the plants, digging in the mud for weeds, planting new seeds and planters, using tools – it’s a hands-on activity. Even standing outside in the sun can cause damage and dryness to the face and neck. The there’s getting pricked by rose thorns, stung by nettles and insects, scraped knees….
Gardener’s new best friend comes in the pocket-sized form of My Little Sudocrem, the Swiss army-knife of soothing skincare products. Loved by everyone from babies to teenagers, runners to cyclists, mountaineers to gardeners and anyone in between.
Thanks to the team at Sudrocrem, I have a “Get out and grow” Goody Bag to giveaway to two lucky readers.
These Goody bags are aimed at children aged 2-5 and include a “Get Out and Grow” branded drawstring bag; “Get Out and Grow” branded t-shirt for 3-4 yr olds; My Little Sudocrem Child’s gardening gloves; Small watering can; Mini gorilla gardening tub; Flower seed packet; Lavender seed packet; coloured sticks to use as plant markers.
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