The great outdoors is something that kids need
WHEN I was younger I did what was natural to me. I went exploring. I was a curious kid and it was part of growing up.
My friends and I never gave it a second thought. We didn't have mobile phones or computers.
It was not until I became an adult that I began to study the natural world in a formal way.
Now whilst new technology is amazing we must not let go of the fact that the great outdoors may not be "what the kids want" but it is something "the kids need".
Over many years I have been privileged to work with many local schools and other organisations around Bristol. I have helped many youngsters who have benefited from the chance to go outdoors and explore for themselves.
As kids get older it is important that studying the natural world is linked an end result such as educational programmes. For example biology or science studies.
What puzzles me is the fact that traditional skills, such as carpentry, are no longer taught as part of the national curriculum.
So what will we do in the next 30 years when these skills are still needed? Where are the skilled trades people going to come from?
I was chatting to a head teacher not so long back about the national curriculum and the importance of bringing back a more active "hands-on" approach to school studies.
We both agreed it would be a fantastic idea provided it led to a qualification for students.
Speaking of education I have just found out that I have been nominated for a national award voted for by the public. It is part of the National Learning Council's outside of the classroom awards.
And I have been nominated in the lifetime achievement category.
I thought winning the Bristol's Green Capital volunteer of the year award and then the Bristol Zoo Walk of Fame award as local conservation educator was awesome.
But now I have the prospect of a national award.
If you would like to vote for me please go to http://bit.ly/votelotc
Or you can visit my website for my latest goings on http://steveengland.co.uk
Steve England is an (RHS) horticulturist, amateur naturalist and chairman of the Stoke Park steering group. He lives in Lockleaze and has spent his whole life at Stoke Park from playing there as a boy to studying its history, wildlife, and pre historic past. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org