Millions of Brits confess they have never climbed a tree or played with conkers

Millions of Brits confess they have never climbed a tree or played with conkers

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MILLIONS of Brits have never climbed a tree, played with conkers or seen a sunflower, it has been revealed.

A survey of 2,000 adults found only a quarter can identify the types of plants and trees in their own garden.

Brits admitted they hadn't played conkers, and wouldn't recognise trees
Brits admitted they hadn’t played conkers, and wouldn’t recognise trees
Getty – Contributor

To the best of their knowledge, an eighth have never come across an oak tree, almost a quarter haven’t seen an apple tree, and only three in 10 can tell the difference between a birch and a beech tree.

When it comes to flowers, 19 per cent of Brits couldn’t recall seeing a sunflower, petunias are unrecognisable for 45 per cent and 37 per cent claim not to have seen a marigold.

Many adults missed out on childhood activities, with two thirds not having ever climbed a tree and almost a quarter never playing with conkers.

The study, which was commissioned by Honest Organic, also found 29 per cent ‘often’ walk past trees and plants on their way to work but have no idea what they are.

Jez Rose, behaviour expert, honeybee farmer and author, said: “The study shows how those living in just cities aren’t making the most of the beautiful nature around them.

“With a worrying number simply assuming there’s no nature around them to notice.

“Trees and plants not only help us survive but help areas look colourful and inviting besides from being surrounded by grey buildings.”

The research also found one in 10 have ‘never’ spent time in nature without being connected to technology.

And for more than a third it’s been a year or more since they took in the greenery without distraction, which has led to 10 per cent admitting they have a ‘nature blind spot’.

And seven in 10 haven’t been to a lake or a forest in the past month.

Things Brits have never done

1. Seen a lotus flower 73 per cent

2. Played in a tree house 71 per cent

3. Seen a common ash tree 64 per cent

4. Made mud pie 60 per cent

5. Seen succulents 56 per cent

6. Made a den in the garden 47 per cent

7. Swung on a tree swing 46 per cent

8. Seen petunias 45 per cent

9. Helped their parents water plants 40 per cent

10. Seen a silver birch tree 37 per cent

11. Seen a beech tree 37 per cent

12. Seen marigolds 37 per cent

13. Climbed trees 33 per cent

14. Seen a palm tree 33 per cent

15. Played with conkers 24 per cent

16. Seen an apple tree 23 per cent

17. Seen daisies 20 per cent

18. Seen sunflowers 19 per cent

19. Seen roses 18 per cent

20. Seen an oak tree 13 per cent

A huge 97 per cent of those studied were either overlooking or ignoring nature right in front of them.

And almost six in 10 were too focused on technology to even look up.

But over a third of those surveyed via OnePoll wish their garden and street had more plants, and they were more knowledgeable about trees.

Eight in 10 would like to see more nature in their cities, and 86 per cent of Londoners alone feel this way.

It was also found three in 10 actively take time out of their work day to enjoy green spaces once a week, but a sixth can’t recall seeing any nature on their daily commute.

Instead, one in five spend their journey to work listening to music on their phone or tablet, and a tenth scroll through social media.

In their spare time, only an eighth go outside to the park compared to four in 10 who choose to watch TV.


But in an attempt to learn more, 46 per cent have listened to a podcast or read a book about nature.

And many Brits are now donning their green thumbs by growing their own plants, fruit and vegetables.

Charlotte Kerr, senior brand manager for Honest Organic Great Britain, added: “As we continue to live busy lives, often immersed in technology, it seems we’ve forgotten to notice amazing areas of nature around us.


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