National Trust - Nature’s Language.

Nature’s Language. Reconnecting children with the natural world around them.

Every year we need to find fresh ways to appeal to media and parents.

We’ve worked with the National Trust charity for nearly a decade, on perception-changing and fundraising campaigns that have helped demonstrate the impact of their places on people and established them as one of the nation’s top story-telling brands.

Connecting kids to nature

One such campaign is their 50 Things to do before you’re 11 ¾ initiative – 50 free and easy ideas to help kids connect with nature. The list isn’t about ‘teaching’ kids or just getting them to observe – it’s about helping them think, feel and relate to nature, doing things that really help them connect. Strengthening their connection with nature can strengthen the benefits to wellbeing, like increased happiness and self-esteem and reduced anxiety. Every year, we need to find fresh ways to appeal to media and parents.

Nature vs Internet

What do you think of when you hear the words: tweet, web, stream and cloud? Do you think of birds, spiders, rivers and skies?

Engine Mischief identified language for the natural world is being lost or overtaken. That’s worrying when language represents what’s important to a culture or society – it means our kids could be missing out on a connection to nature and the benefits that brings to nature and to them.

We worked with Dr Robbie Love, linguistics fellow at Leeds University, to compare data across three generations and show today just 1% of the word tweet related to birds, 7% of web to spiders and 36% of stream to ‘a little river’. Supporting YouGov research pinpointed 10 as the average age British kids lose nature meanings from their speech, but sometimes as young as six. A striking, unscripted video showed this vs the joy of them reconnecting with the natural world, to further illustrate the story and the benefits of ’50 Things’.

A talking point

We created a national (and international) talking point, with editorial across 14 national titles including The Guardian, Independent, Telegraph, Mail, BBC News, BBC Radio 4 and the Jeremey Vine show. 

Views across social media, becoming the Trust’s best-performing content on Twitter that month

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Editorial, with all four strategic key messages, receiving positive feedback

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