SATURDAYS see the good people at The Angling Trust, the single organisation to represent all game, coarse and sea anglers and angling in this country, take over our blog.
Angling Trust chief executive, Mark Lloyd brings you this week’s blog.
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AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE ENVIRONMENT IS VITAL
“KIDS these days, eh?” You hear it a lot. Often it’s said about young people who throw litter on the ground without a second thought, or who spend all weekend indoors umbilically connected to their games consoles.
Environmental education, when it’s done well, is a big help in getting kids to respect the natural world, and to learn about ways in which they can get into the great outdoors to explore all that it has to offer.
That’s why this week the Angling Trust has raised concerns about proposals by the Education Secretary Michael Gove to remove requirements to teach pupils about the need for conservation of the environment.
We’re encouraging our members to respond to the Government’s current consultation and to call for the National Curriculum to continue to require that pupils are taught at Key Stage 1 to care for the environment; and at Key Stage 2 about ways in which living things and the environment need protection.
An understanding of the natural environment from an early age is important to reduce antisocial and environmentally damaging behaviour in young people such as leaving litter, which often blights the water environment. It is also vital to provide students with an early knowledge base on which they could build careers as environmental scientists in the future. Early engagement with the natural world also encourages young people to explore the great outdoors and makes them less apprehensive about getting into fishing.
Environmental education also complements the wide range of programmes on offer from the voluntary sector to use angling as a tool to help young people to learn about the wider consequences of pollution and encourage environmental stewardship.
At a time when the human race faces unprecedented environmental challenges, it would be perverse to drop requirements to give the next generation the foundations they need to build solutions to problems such as low flows in rivers, pollution, habitat damage and collapsing marine fish stocks. The Prime Minister promised that this would be the greenest government ever, but proposals such as this fly in the face of that claim. An understanding of the natural environment is also vital if we are to encourage young people to get into healthy, inspiring and adventurous outdoor activities such as fishing.
All this work depends on members and donors to make it happen. If you’re not a member, now’s the time to back us so that we can protect and improve your fishing. It only takes 5 minutes at www.anglingtrust.net or by phoning 0844 7700616 during office hours (press 1 for membership).
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