Page 17 - Wildlife News December 2015
P. 17

Northern gannets are    Welcome
                                                                           increasingly having to share their
                                                                                                                                  I used to love reading to
                                                                               environment with wind farms.                       my children at bedtime.
                                                                           The new research may reduce any                        The song about Mike TV’s
                                                                                                                                  fate in Charlie and the
                                                                                             negative impacts.                    Chocolate Factory was a
                                                                                                                                  favourite. In it Dahl vents
How it was done                                                                                                 his wrath on the hated television: “They
                                                                                                                sit and stare and stare and sit until they’re
                                     Researchers taped tiny GPS transmitters to the                             hypnotised by it”. The intensity grows
                                     tail feathers of 26 birds captured on Alderney                             until he shouts “IT ROTS THE SENSES IN
                                     last June. These devices relayed the positions of                          THE HEAD! IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!”
                                     tagged birds every three hours whenever they                                 What would Roald Dahl think now?
                                     were in range of a 3G signal. After about two                              Not only does the average child watch
                                     months the transmitters fell off. To watch the                             17 hours of TV a week; they spend 20
                                     webcam, or sponsor a TAG and name a gannet,                                hours online.
                                     visit                                     People have probably always looked
                                                                                                                at the next generation’s lifestyle with
                     The tag lasts                                                                              horror, so as I join the ranks of parents
                     two months.                                                                                struggling with screen addiction I try
                                                                                                                desperately to be objective. The facts
December 2015                                                                                                   are that children only roam 300 yards
                                                                                                                from the house, not six miles as my
                                                                                                                grandparents’ generation did, and 30%
                                                                                                                have never climbed a tree.
                                                                                                                  That we are not designed for this
                                                                                                                is borne out by shocking evidence of
                                                                                                                the near incurability of serious obesity,
                                                                                                                and terrifying graphs of mental health
                                                                                                                admissions for children and young
                                                                                                                people. We need love, support and
                                                                                                                companionship, but the need to be close
                                                                                                                to nature is in our DNA too.
                                                                                                                  Your Wildlife Trust is working with
                                                                                                                as many children as it can to reverse
                                                                                                                these trends: in schools, in parks, in wild
                                                                                                                places. A ‘wild’ childhood is good for
                                                                                                                health, wellbeing and nature. We want
                                                                                                                every child to be wild. Your support as a
                                                                                                                member is critical in helping us to reach
                                                                                                                this ambition. Thank you.

                                                                                                                Stephanie Hilborne OBE
                                                                                                                Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts

                                                                                                                If your family or friends share your interest in
                                                                                                                wildlife please encourage them to join their
                                                                                                                nearest Wildlife Trust. There are 47 Wildlife
                                                                                                                Trusts across the UK with over 800,000
                                                                                                                members. We are the largest UK voluntary
                                                                                                                organisation dedicated to conserving all the
                                                                                                                UK’s habitats and species.
                                                                                                                For links to all Wildlife Trusts go to the

                                                                                                                  twitter @wildlifetrusts

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