City Kids Spend Less Than 2 Days Per Year in the Great British Outdoors

Aug 09, 2011, 08:17 ET from Weetabix Food Company

LONDON, August 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

Children living in cities spend on average less than 2 days a year in the great British countryside compared to an average of 17 days a year watching TV, according to new research commissioned by Weetabix. The research, taken from a poll of 1,000 parents living with their children in UK cities, shows that children living in the cities of the South most frequently escape to visit the countryside. Contrastingly children in the Midlands do so less, with 1 in ten children living in Midlands' conurbations such as Birmingham having never left the cities to visit the UK countryside.

Rural living and livelihoods hold little appeal according to the poll with only 6 per cent of city children expressing any interest in becoming farmers. Cereal producer Weetabix has worked with Children's community charities to give city children a full farm day experience and an insight into the Great British outdoors and the world of farming.  All of Weetabix wheat is grown by selected farmers within a 50 mile radius of its mills in Burton Latimer. These 'Weetabix farms' have been selected because the high standards of their farms and the quality of their wheat ensures the best taste for Weetabix cereal. The local sourcing approach also means lower impact on the environment.

Yesterday, the children travelled out of London to a farm in Bedfordshire to take part in harvest. Harvest marks the peak of activity in the farming calendar where farmers work from sunrise to late into the night when conditions permit. The young children were given a taster of the outdoor lifestyle. Naturally they started their day with a bowl of Weetabix to prepare them for the full day ahead. They saw the combine harvesters in action before the grain was sorted, cleaned and packed. Fourth generation Weetabix farmer Brian Shaw explained the processes that go into farming to the children and how it has changed over time. "Today's modern farming practices are so sophisticated. I think the children were impressed with the power of the machinery and the staggering pace of harvest." He added that he feels it is sad that so few children express an interest in becoming a farmer and that the divide between rural and urban in the take up of the career is so polarised.

Sally Abbott, Marketing Director of Weetabix, explained that many tens of thousands of tonnes of wheat go in to making Weetabix each year, thanks to the efforts of their 150 local farms selected for their quality. Abbott added "it is great for children to experience things outside of their everyday lives. For many children growing up in cities they have such a limited understanding of the countryside, so to take such an active part on a farm has been wonderful."

Notes to Editors

** All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGovPlc.  Total sample size was 1,000 adults with children between 5 and 14 living in UK cities. Fieldwork was undertaken between 29th July - 2nd August 2011

When parents were asked how many hours a year does your child spend outdoors in the British countryside 40% said less than 48 hours.

When parents were asked how many hours a week does your child spend watching TV 31% said between 6 - 10 hours.

52% of children from cities in the South have visited the British countryside more than 11 times.

9% of children from cities in the Midlands have never visited the British countryside.

Weetabix Food Company is the trading name of Weetabix Limited.

©Weetabix Ltd 2011.

SOURCE Weetabix Food Company