Connecting Children and Nature Network was first developed in 2012 by staff at Canterbury Christ Church University to bring together a wide range of people and organisations with an interest in connecting children and young people with the natural environment.

Artswork provided investment (2014-15) for the development of the network and to develop innovative activity to encourage children and young people to connect with their local natural environment and to use nature as an inspiration for their own creative development and learning.

Our activities have included:

Expert Lecture

by Tim Gill

“Sowing the Seeds: why reconnecting children with nature matters, and what we should be doing about it.”

Thursday 4 July 2013| 6pm - 7pm | Canterbury Campus, Old Sessions House

I do a lot of speaking engagements but few are as lively and stimulating as last night's.”
Tim Gill

Tim Gill is one of the UK’s leading thinkers on childhood. For over 15 years his research, writing and consultancy work has focused on children’s play and free time, and has had a real, positive impact on children’s everyday lives. His influential book No Fear: Growing up in a risk-averse society was published in 2007, and subsequently led to the award of an honorary doctorate from Edge Hill University.

He has written for the Guardian, Independent and trade and academic publications, and appears regularly on radio and television. Tim has advised political parties and think tanks across the political spectrum. He is also a Patron of the Forest School Association - the new national governing body for Forest School.

Tim blogs at his website:



“If you go down to the woods today…”

One day outdoor event Friday 5 July 2013 | 9.30am – 3.30pm |
Hosted by EarthCraftuk at their ancient woodland forest school site near Faversham

A one day outdoor event was organised to experience and explore the opportunities the natural environment provides for learning. Delegates were able to take part in two workshops led by expert practitioners. There was also plenty of time to share knowledge and ideas informally.  

Quotes from delegates

“Today has been brilliant.  I could feel myself growing.  I’ve never done that before!”

“I feel enlightened and inspired”

“It reminds me that I’m not alone in thinking this way that outdoor education is good.

“From today I’m going to strive to increase my setting’s outdoor experiences so that those children can benefit from nature like I have done today”



Project Wild Thing

In November 2013 more than one hundred people enjoyed a screening of Project Wild Thing.

This was followed by a discussion chaired by John Bennett (Chief Executive of Kent Wildlife Trust) and including Kate Phillips (Kent Countryside Management Partnerships, KCC), Clair Hobson (EarthCraftuk), Clair Stevens (Manor House Forest School Nursery) and Kathryn Barton (Kent Wildlife Trust).



Outdoor Art Project

This innovative Arts Award project encourages Children and Young People to connect with their local natural environment and to use nature as an inspiration for their own creative development and learning.

It involves delivering Arts Award Discover & Explore Advisor training to partner organisations involved in delivering outdoor education as well as to a group of trainee teachers from Canterbury Christ Church University.

The aim is to support the development of an outdoor or ‘wild arts’ programme which allows participating children to gain an Arts Award qualification.