According to Rob Cowen and Leo Critchley, there is something very wrong with modern life.
“Asked to picture their favourite childhood place or memory, many adults will picture something outdoors - but they may well be the last generation to do so,” Cowen explains.
“Today’s children are likely to answer their bedroom, in front of a TV or games console.”
They aren’t the first pair to preach the restorative powers of nature to stressed out city dwellers, but their new book, Skimming Stones and Other Ways of Being in the Wild, is more than just a hippie manual about staring out to sea or strolling through woodlands. For them, our route back to nature is through play.
“Even those of us that do want to satisfy the yearning to be in the countryside have lost the skills and sense of play that once connected us to the landscapes; we no longer know how or indeed why we should scratch the biological itch to be in nature,” says Cowen.
And so, to encourage us to get back in touch with our inner child, the book provides an accessible guide to everything from carving whistles out of wood to foraging for fossils – all activities designed to reintroduce ourselves to the rhythms and possibilities of nature.
In the gallery below are ten extracts from Skimming Stones and Other Ways of Being in the Wild – all perfect ideas for you to try out this Easter.
See Cowen and Critchley discussing their book on The Culture Show: