Lifelong affair with outdoors
A BIG part of the Lancashire Wildlife Trust plan is to get children interested and involved in nature.
Our engagement and education officers are out every weekend coming up with brilliant ideas to drag families out of their homes and into the wilds of the north west.
It is great to see school kids getting absolutely muddy at our Forest Schools project in Moston, instead of being dragged round the shops by their mums and dads.
I agree with the theory that by getting children out into woods and fields you are helping them to live a healthier lifestyle, both now and in the future.
I believe, although I have no scientific evidence to prove this, that the immune systems of many young people have never been so low.
Take the recent injuries to the youngsters from giant hogweed in Bolton.
They broke the stems of the plant and sap got on to their skin, this then burned them in sunlight leaving seriously nasty injuries.
When I was a kid we used to break these plants and use their hollow stems as pretend telescopes and peashooters but you never heard any stories of people reacting badly to the sap.
The point I am making is that getting kids to experience the mud and muck of nature may strengthen their immune systems. Getting them to meet some of our native wildlife might stop them being so frightened for years to come.
For example, the safest way to deal with a wasp in autumn is to remain calm, not to flail around like a windmill annoying the little blighters who take exception to being slapped across a pub dining area.
So educating families in what’s best to approach and avoid in the wild is the best way forward. And once they fall in love with the countryside there will be no holding them back.
To support the work of the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside, text WILD09 with the amount you want to donate to 70070. The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside is dedicated to the protection and promotion of the wildlife in Lancashire, seven boroughs of Greater Manchester and four of Merseyside, all lying north of the River Mersey. It manages around 40 nature reserves and 20 local nature reserves covering acres of woodland, wetland, upland and meadow. The trust has 27,000 members and more than 1,200 volunteers. To become a member of the trust, go to the website at www. lancswt.org.uk or call 01772 324129. For more information about Cheshire Wildlife Trust, call 01948 820728 or visit the website at cheshirewildlifetrust. org.uk.
●● You should remain calm around wasps