Monday, 23 March 2015

Fact or fiction, the challenge for Nature Watch

A SURVEY by UK holiday property rental company suggests that one in seven children believe that they might come across fictional creatures from the Harry Potter series in the British countryside. 

Fourteen percent of the 7-12-year-olds questioned said they believed in dragons and werewolves, creatures commonly spotted at Hogwarts, while 11 percent thought Gilly Weed and Whomping Willow were real plants and trees.

In response, is urging families to remedy this and encourage children to explore the country’s wildlife as part of its Nature Watch campaign.

When asked to state whether certain species were real or fictional, almost half of the children surveyed either didn’t know or thought that common native trees and plants, such as Silver Birch, Holly, Bluebell and Honeysuckle, were imaginary species.

The agency’s Nature Watch campaign is designed to encourage families to spend more time in the countryside this spring and summer. In an effort to raise children’s awareness and understanding of wildlife, nature and the importance of protecting their natural habitat, it has developed a free wildlife activity pack that can be download from its website.

It’s also running a competition. Young explorers who share their wildlife picture, photograph or short story have the chance to win a £500 voucher towards their next family holiday. Full details at

‘We take great pride in offering holidays to some of the UK’s most beautiful locations and want to encourage the nation’s children to enjoy the great outdoors with Nature Watch,’ said James Morris, director at ‘I come from a generation that spent a great amount of its childhood playing outside, not cooped up in front of a television or computer screen. The fact that a third of today’s 7-12 year-olds don’t know or think that dragonflies, honeybees, and daddy long legs are not real just shows us that we need to get back to that and celebrate our native wildlife more.’

Go Holiday editor David Kernek comments: The company was either extraordinarily unlucky in surveying what turned out to be an exceptionally dim sample of children, or education standards in our schools are far worse than even the pessimists fear. Either way, these findings are terrifying!

Go Holiday news :

Picture Credit: GoHoliday via Wikimedia Commons.

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