Changing children's relationship with the outdoors

P1 Marine Foundation takes action to address dramatic decline in children’s relationship with the outdoors

London 30th April: P1 Marine Foundation, supported by The Crown Estates marine stewardship fund, launched its 2014 environmental education programme last week in a bid to address children’s growing disconnect with the outdoors.

Almost 500 students from schools in Kent and London will take part in the organisation’s Marine Environment and Renewable Energy Education Programme (MEREEP) which aims to develop understanding and appreciation of our oceans and coastal areas.

The programme was developed in response to growing evidence that children in the UK have lost touch with the outdoors, requiring ‘urgent action to bridge the growing gap before it is too late’ .

The events take place at Reculver Beach in Kent and offer young people aged 9 - 14 the opportunity to develop a relationship with the marine and coastal environment through interactive outdoor sessions. These will address the threat climate change poses to our coastline and will also look at how we use offshore wind to create a sustainable form of energy.

The programme has been funded by The Crown Estate and Vattenfall with support from Canterbury City Council. There will be no costs to any participating schools.

The Crown Estate’s Coastal Manager, Gary Thompson, said: “As owners of half the foreshore and almost all the seabed around the UK we are delighted to support P1 Marine Foundation’s efforts to encourage children to engage with the outdoors and develop a deeper understanding of the marine environment.”

Vattenfall’s Kent Local Communication Officer, Melanie Rogers, said: “It’s wonderful to continue the work we started last year with the P1 Marine Foundation. Vattenfall are very pleased to support the project and work with such an enthusiastic team and it is clear that the children are interested in the role that wind power is playing in creating a sustainable energy mix in our environment.”

P1 Marine Foundation’s, Project Manager Sabrina Taseer, said: “Encouraged by the very positive feedback from both students and teachers to our inaugural programme last year, we have expanded the number of events this year with much-valued support from The Crown Estate and Vattenfall. We believe that having a closer relationship with the marine and coastal environment will enable children to play an active role in shaping the future of our oceans and coastline”

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