‘Project Wild Thing’ to inspire children back to nature

Project wild thing for web

Published Wednesday 23 October 2013

A special screening of a film to inspire children to connect with nature will take place in the New Forest during half term week.

‘Project Wild Thing’ will be shown at Lymington Community Cinema on Wednesday, 30 October, in the same week as it's released in selected cinemas across the country.

The film is a feature length documentary that takes a funny and revealing look at one father’s humorous journey to encourage his own children to enjoy nature. With contributions from experts including New Forest naturalist Chris Packham, the film raises interesting questions about how children spend their time and how it has changed over the past few generations.

Backed by the National Trust, the New Forest National Park Authority and New Forest Transition, the public screening is part of growing movement of organisations and individuals who want to see more children playing outdoors in the 21st century.

A new report revealed that as many as 80% of children in the UK feel disconnected from nature, missing out on all the benefits it can bring including exercise, learning through play and developing their independence.

The screening will be followed by a discussion on the issues the film raises for people living and visiting the New Forest.

Jim Mitchell, project delivery manager at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘Connection to the natural world is what National Parks are all about. They can offer everything from peaceful strolls and wildlife watching to cycling, canoeing and climbing. We have perhaps the best opportunity here to connect children to nature, with so much woodland, heathland and coast on our doorstep.’

Sarah Fawkes from New Forest Transition said ‘We are inviting local people to come and watch the film and share their views on how we can connect children with nature in the New Forest’.

The film will start at 7:30pm and tickets are priced at £4 each, with proceeds to New Forest Transition. To book go to www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/projectwildthing, www.newforesttransition.org or call 01590 646664. Some tickets will be available on the door.

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Notes to Editors:

The Report quoted in the release is produced by the RSPB and further information can be found at www.rspb.org.uk/news

Project Wild Thing

Project Wild Thing is an ambitious, feature-length documentary that takes a funny and revealing look at a complex issue, the increasingly fragile connection between children and nature.  David Bond (from the film Erasing David) is concerned. His kids' waking hours are dominated by a cacophony of marketing, and a screen dependence threatening to turn them into glassy-eyed zombies. Like many kids, they spend way too much time indoors - not like it was back in his day. He decides it's time to get back to nature - literally. In an attempt to compete with the brands, which take up a third of his daughter's life, Bond appoints himself Marketing Director for Nature. Like any self-respecting salesman, he sets about developing a campaign and a logo. With the help of a number of bemused professionals, he is soon selling Nature to British families. His humorous journey unearths some painful truths about modern family life. His product is free, plentiful and has proven benefits - but is Nature past its sell-by date?

Film contributors include: naturalist CHRIS PACKHAM, Professor AGNES NAIRN, writer and environmentalist GEORGE MONBIOT, scientist JAAK PANKSEPP, writer JAY GRIFFITHS, Professor MICHAEL DEPLEDGE, advertising guru MICHAEL WOLFF, and brain scientist Prof. Baroness SUSAN GREENFIELD.

Project Wild Thing is an 82 mins feature documentary. Cert PG.

Find out more at www.projectwildthing.com

New Forest Transition -harnessing local energy

Transition is about people and place. It is not us sitting in our armchairs complaining about what's wrong; it's about getting up and doing something constructive about it with others. As a result the people and place become stronger and happier!

In the New Forest there are groups in towns and villages that work together on topics such as growing our own food and supporting our farmers and producers, reducing and reusing waste, promoting sustainable transport, generating renewable energy and making the buildings we have more energy efficient and much more.

Find out more at www.newforesttransition.org and www.transitionlymington.org

About the New Forest National Park Authority

Protect - Enjoy - Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

•    Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect

•    Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:

•    Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk  to find out more.

Media Contacts:

Sion Donovan, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority

Tel: 01590 646639

Email: sion.donovan@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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