Nature–deficit disorder is not a formal diagnosis, but a way to describe the psychological, physical and cognitive costs of human alienation from nature, particularly for children in their vulnerable developing years. Richard Louv
There is a growing body of evidence that children missing out on outdoor play is a cause for concern. Possible links between lack of outdoor play and rising levels of childhood obesity, increasing levels of screen time in children and a rise in mental health issues in children have led to a number of interventions from organisations such as the National Trust, Natural England and RSPB aiming to reconnect children with nature.
The Feral Spaces project addresses how children living in disadvantaged urban areas can connect with nature and what impact it can have on their well being. We are currently undertaking research in partnership with Derby University, funded by the Canal and River Trust, to investigate how our activities benefit young people’s well being. Leading on from this we are hosting a public conversation to discuss the value of disused urban spaces for young people and communities. A report sharing our findings will be available Autumn/ Winter 2018.