Re-connecting during lockdown – a new generation of adventure-seeking kids?

In July 2020, 181 of my Routes for Little Boots followers, Norwich Mumbler followers and other parents kindly completed my survey.

Although the main purpose of the survey was to find out about the information and resources followers wanted, I was also keen to find out a bit about what lockdown had been like for everyone else. I wondered if it was just me who had felt cooped up. Who had been desperate to get back onto the trails a bit further afield… but who had also started to find enjoyment in walks from my own doorstep.  Whether social distancing with kids had been an issue for others too.  So I popped those questions in the survey and I thought I’d now share these with you, because it reaffirmed what I already feel about getting outside with kids (as well as throwing up a few really encouraging stats):

  • 83% of people said they got out for a walk more in lockdown, but moreover, 97% of these people say they’re going to continue to get out more now that restrictions have eased – so I’m going to get loads of ideas up on the new website ASAP to serve that need
  • People found lots of new, local walks from their doorstep three on average – but 40% found more than this (the highest number was 10)
  • And while I was expecting mental health to be a main benefit of getting outside in lockdown, what I wasn’t expecting was the amount of emotion behind the words used (e.g. “caged”, “trapped”, “suffocated”, “cooped up”… and on the flip side, “pressure relief”, “release”, “re-setting”, “mood-lifter”). I could almost feel the emotion coming out of the screen and I could empathise with it as well. “Re-connecting with nature” and “re-connecting as a family” were also heart-warming and noteworthy comments.

RFLB summary

Other findings jumped out to me too. While I loved that most people wanted to continue getting out for a walk more, I also loved that parents have been doing more activities on their walks, such as bug hunts, games and species identification (I did this too – I was a lot more ‘present’ and was trying to educate her in any way I could! We found some brilliant apps for species identification and much of our learning became nature-based).

Favourite walks overall were woodlands, although coastal walks and those near rivers and lakes weren’t far behind – confirming that people are more drawn to “green space” and “blue space”.  When I asked what attractions people had missed the most, the runaway winner was a generic ‘play parks’ rather than specific attractions, followed by our lovely beaches.

I’ve found it absolutely invaluable in terms of direction and trying to understand what information and resources people want going forwards. Thank you so, so much to everyone who took the time to complete it. I’m now in the process of putting some of the ideas and resources into place – lots to do but I’m working my way through it. Focusing on the website content is a priority and I hope this will be up and running over the next few months (hopefully the Routes for Little Boots social media pages and this blog site will keep you going for just a bit longer!).

All in all, it confirmed just how important getting outside is to us all, and in so many different ways – mentally and physically, for both parents and their children. And if nothing else positive comes out of this horrible situation, I hope all this extra time outdoors has kick-started a new generation of more adventure-seeking, nature-loving kids.

Thanks again


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