Generation Wild

Creating lasting and meaningful connections with nature through storytelling and adventure.

This project will connect 45,000 children and their families with nature, creating a new generation who will carry forward a life-long love of the natural world.

Why was the project developed?

Evidence shows that connecting with nature makes children feel happier, increases their self-esteem and improves their behaviour as well as their physical and mental health.

Children from disadvantaged communities often have fewer opportunities to connect with nature. Through Generation Wild, we will work with schools, children and families in these communities to inspire the next generation of nature lovers.

75% of UK children spend less time outdoors than prison inmates

What do we mean by connecting with nature?

Connecting with nature involves more than simply spending time in natural environments. In order to gain maximum benefit, people need to interact directly with the environment and wildlife around them.

All of the activities in Generation Wild are designed to connect people with nature through five pathways identified by the University of Derby: senses, emotion, compassion, meaning and beauty.

In 2016, more than one in nine children did not set foot in a park, forest, beach or any other natural environment

Why wetlands? Why WWT?

Water seems to be preferred by people, for their mental health. Our wetland centres provide the perfect start for schools and families wanting to explore nature. They are the ideal stepping stone from visitor attraction to nature reserve.

It all starts with a story…

The Generation Wild programme has been built in partnership with production company Stand + Stare, who have brought together a team of theatrical producers, creative technologists and puppeteers to offer a truly unique and unforgettable immersive experience.

Children and their families will find themselves transported by a magical narrative as they meet Ava, a part-bird, part-human creature in a giant nest. Can they help her to find her family, fulfil her destiny and unlock some of nature’s wildest secrets along the way?

Empowering teachers and families

If we are to reconnect children with nature, we can’t act alone.

It is children’s teachers and families who are best able to facilitate a long-term connection with the natural world. Generation Wild supports teachers and family members as they promote a life-long love of nature.

Schools as local community hubs

Generation Wild will reach out to children and families in disadvantaged communities through their local schools. Eligibility is based on the percentage of pupils eligible for free school meals. This will ensure that we reach those most in need.


What’s on offer?

  • A free school visit (suitable for ages 5-11) to one of our wetland centres (including free transport)
  • A free family visit for every participating child and their family1
  • School and family access to a website containing nature-connection activities for every season
  • Curriculum resource packs with activities linking to the project
  • Specially-designed certificates and badges for the children
  • A chance to win the construction of a mini-wetland in the school grounds

1Free entry for 2 adults and their children.

Interested in getting involved?

Find out more

Partners and funders

Generation Wild has been funded through an anonymous charitable foundation with additional funding provided by the ScottishPower Foundation.

The on-site experiences were developed in partnership with the interactive design studio Stand and Stare. The project website at www.generationwild.org.uk was produced by Fieldwork and evaluation of the project conducted in partnership with Cardiff University.