Without really noticing we've been heading towards the end of the traditional outdoors childhood. Something that many millions of adults took for granted is becoming the exception rather than the norm for today's children, where-ever they live. Roaming ranges are down, physical activity is down and the ability of children to identify common wildlife is being lost.
There is a poster on the London Underground that takes your breath away. It shows the huge head of a tiger staring straight into the face of a young boy. Their noses are nearly touching - and the gaze of the boy is equally intent. In the space between their eyes is an invitation. It reads: 'Come within a whisker of nature's most breathtaking predator.' But it is the message I like to ponder most; which of the two is 'nature's most breathtaking predator'?
These three million children are not just growing up in material poverty, but in environmental poverty. They can not afford nature... Children growing up in deprived areas are more likely to be underweight at birth, and obese in their teens. They are at much greater risk from accidental injury in the home and tend to perform worse at school.
Lets be clear here -we are not meant to live on Mars. You've seen the pictures. Our bodies are built for earth.