Wyevale Garden Centres' survey finds children prefer IPads to trees

Wyevale Garden Centres are launching a new campaign, supported byl research conducted by a children and young adult research specialist, Childwise, to encourage Britain's gardener's to plant more trees across the country "in a bid to improve the health and wellbeing of children growing up across a technology-dependent UK".

The research has found that 75 per cent of children do not value trees as a play area, one in three children have a tree in their garden but have no desire to play in it and that half children would rather have an iPad than a tree house.

More than 50 per cent of children quizzed revealed they have a tree in their garden but one in five don’t want it there.

Almost two thirds of children do not recognise the UK’s most common types of trees, including Silver Birch (53 per cent), Willow (47 per cent) and Crab Apple (63 per cent)

While 82 per cent of children recognise that trees produce oxygen and 64 per cent understand that they clean the air, only 25 per cent view trees as a sociable play area.

Wyevale plant buyer David Mitchell said: "Trees have long been the plant of choice for gardeners seeking to create a shady spot, a burst of colour or a bite to eat. Once upon a time, trees were also a popular source of entertainment from swings to tree houses. Planting more trees this Autumn will not only set your garden up for Spring, but also create spaces to encourage children to put down the tablet and enjoy the outdoors." 

Childwise research director Simon Leggett said: "The questions in this survey were quite unusual in the sense that they were very specific to trees and the difference these make to a child’s upbringing. They brought to light some very interesting data which shows the hold technology is increasingly having on younger generations and just how out of touch they are with the traditional enjoyment trees are known for."

Wyevale advise planting a tree cared for by a child, get your child to play in nature for an hour a day, walk the dog, have days out and try traditional fun such as conkering.

#Meanwhile, Wyevale chairman Justin King has resigned as chairman of 41 Wyevale group companies in an administrative move designed to remove unnecessary roles. He remains chairman of 30 Wyevale group companies.

And Wyevale in Folkestone, Kent, is to close in 2017 and be converted into private residences and office space after the proposal was granted planning permission by Shepway District Council.

A Wyevale spokesman said: "Our goal is to deliver the very best service and products to our customers across the UK and we've enjoyed operating Folkestone Garden Centre.

"The landlord of the garden centre has obtained planning consent to use the site for residential purposes. As a result, we have been served notice to terminate our lease with effect in March 2017."

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