Conservation Manager, Stuart Benn tell us how his childhood experiences were different to those of children nowadays but hopes this could be about to change thanks to the 'Project Wild Thing' film.

I climbed a tree this week.

Maybe an odd thing for an adult to do but I got the urge after I’d seen the Project Wild Thing film.


When I was a kid, I used to climb trees all the time and no trip to the local park was complete without scrambling up into the branches of something or other (I’m still not great on tree identification!). I was doing it for fun but, without knowing it, I was also keeping fit, testing my abilities, gaining independence, building my self-confidence, working out how to solve problems.

The world looks different when you’re up a tree.

Children don’t climb trees so much now – they’re told it’s dangerous, they might get hurt, they might get dirty – and a little bit of adventure disappears from their lives.

This is what Project Wild Thing is all about – kicking back at the couch potato, risk adverse culture we’ve turned into - reconnecting kids (and adults!) with the outdoors, reconnecting us with nature.

Check out their website for loads of ideas or go along and see the film – it’s showing at Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh on Monday 16 December or, if that’s not handy, maybe there’s another screening near you. The Guardian tells us that the film will change your life – wouldn’t it be great if it did. But if it changes children’s lives that would be truly wonderful!

Speaking of going wild, I’m going to fulfil two lifetime ambitions next week. I’ll be visiting one of the most ambitious wildlife projects in Europe – the Oostvaardersplassen near Amsterdam - and I’ll also be seeing Chic live in concert!

I’ll be blogging about both in 2014 but, in the meantime, have a great break over the festives and why not go wild too!