Survey finds 50% of children in the UK don't know what a stinging nettle is

·Freelance Writer
Close up of stinging nettle (urtica) plant and leaves
Half of UK children could not name a stinging nettle (Getty)

A new survey has found that children across Britain are becoming increasingly clueless about nature - with half not knowing what a stinging nettle is.

The results found that while nearly all (97%) of the the 1,000 five to 16-year-olds questioned could identify a fox, a staggering 83% did not recognise a bumblebee.

When shown cards depicting various animals and plants, 24% could not name a conker while 23% were unable to identify a robin.

Bumble bee on peach flower
Some 83% of youngsters could not identify a bumblebee (Getty)
brown conkers on white background
A quarter of children could not identify a conker (Getty)

Hedgehogs fared better in the survey, carried out by family activity app Hoop, with 93% of respondents able to name one.

Reacting to the results, Andy Beer, the National Trust's regional director for the Midlands, told The Times: “As a nation we are losing our connection with nature. This is really worrying for us as a conservation charity.

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“If today's children aren't connected to nature, then who is going to stand up for our countryside and wildlife in the future?

“We all need to do more and encourage children to experience nature and to have fun outdoors; as then they will start to care about it and want to spend time outside.”

Urban fox standing on a wall
Nearly all children were able to name a fox (Getty)

A third of parents in the survey blamed too much screen time for a lack of knowledge about nature, while 26% of children said they had little or no interest.

Older children fared the worst in their lack of interest in nature, with 34% of those aged 11-16 saying they were disinterested, compared with 19% in the 5-10 age bracket.

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