One in four city-based children have never seen a deer, poll finds

A survey of 1,000 city-dwelling parents and their children aged six to 12 revealed that 21 per cent of the kids have never tried climbing a tree, while 35 per cent have never slept in a tent.

Other activities they've missed out on include camping (32 per cent), eating a meal cooked on a camp stove (39 per cent), or crabbing in rockpools (41 per cent). The study also found that 39 per cent of urban children visit the countryside a maximum of just three times a year.

This research was commissioned by The Camping and Caravanning Club, coinciding with its new Club president, Hamza Yassin, celebrating National Camping and Caravanning Week by launching a new initiative to provide people with essential wildlife and camping experiences.

Hamza, who took more than 40 first-time campers to the countryside to teach them about British wildlife, said: "I love going camping, connecting with nature and experiencing wildlife."

"It's something I believe all children should have the opportunity to do because let's face it they are the future when it comes to protecting our natural world."

"It was great to be able to introduce families to the joy of camping and show how it really puts you on nature's doorstep giving them the chance to learn about the incredible outdoors and all the benefits it can bring."

The study also discovered that 63 per cent of parents whose child has visited a rural area believe their youngster would like to experience it more.

According to the data, 46 per cent of parents say their children often express a desire to visit rural areas. However, 54 per cent of those who don't visit the countryside as much as they'd like cite 'lack of time' as the main reason.

Hamza Yassin, President of The Camping and Caravanning Club, has pledged to encourage more families to embrace nature and the incredible outdoors.
Hamza Yassin, President of The Camping and Caravanning Club, has pledged to encourage more families to embrace nature and the incredible outdoors. -Credit:SWNS

The OnePoll.com data also reveals that 36 per cent find distance to be the biggest obstacle. Despite these challenges, 55 per cent of all parents claim their child prefers being outdoors rather than indoors, and 31 per cent believe their children are very interested in nature and wildlife.

Sabina Voysey, director general of The Camping and Caravanning Club, which is launching a competition to win camping experiences and equipment, said: "Spending time in the outdoors through camping can be an amazing experience for children, giving them a sense of wonder and freedom."

"It's a great way to connect with nature, see wildlife up close and learn skills such as map reading, cooking and pitching a tent. It's beneficial in so many ways. The research shows that unfortunately not all children have easy access to the wonderful outdoors for various reasons, which is something we wanted to change through our work with our new president, Hamza."

The study also found that 88 per cent of parents believe it is important for their son or daughter to experience the great outdoors, with 87 per cent wishing they had more outdoor learning opportunities at school.

However, a worrying 54 per cent of parents who feel their child doesn't spend enough time outdoors often fret that they could be missing out on key childhood experiences as a result.

Moreover, 52 per cent of parents claimed they spent more time outside than their children do now, with 63 per cent expressing concern about the availability of green space.

Hamza stated: "Learning in the outdoors not only teaches children to protect and respect the natural world, it supports all of their learning needs, especially for those who have learning difficulties, like I have with my dyslexia."

"It gives children the freedom to explore, enhancing their creativity, imagination, and fostering a sense of adventure. Camping and sleeping in the outdoors is one of the best ways to experience this, as it puts nature front of mind. This is why, in my new role I want to make camping accessible for as many people as possible."