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Project Wild Thing movie campaigns to get kids off their high tech gadgets and outdoors

PUBLISHED: 10:42 23 October 2013 | UPDATED: 11:09 23 October 2013

Project Wild Thing

Project Wild Thing

Archant

The release of a documentary depicting David Bond's desperate struggle to lead his computer-crazed offspring back to nature will mark the launch of a campaign to get youngsters outdoors.

Ashley Jones, the producer of Project Wild Thing Ashley Jones, the producer of Project Wild Thing

Project Wild Thing takes a look at the fragile connection between children and nature through the eyes of its director David Bond.

Exasperated with his children’s obsession with technology and the advertisements they are constantly bombarded with, he appoints himself marketing director for nature and sets about developing a campaign and a logo.

The Hackney City Farm makes an appearance in the feature-length film, which is released in 60 cinemas nationwide on Friday, October 25, when the campaign, Project Wild Thing: Reconnecting Kids and Nature, will launch.

It is being supported by The Wild Network, a collaboration between charities, corporations and individuals, including the National Trust, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, NHS Sustainable Development Unit and Play England.

A pie chart in Project Wild Thing, demonstrating the little time kids spend outsideA pie chart in Project Wild Thing, demonstrating the little time kids spend outside

Producer Ashley Jones, who lives in Wick Lane, Hackney Wick, embarked on the project three years ago with Mr Bond after their children were born.

“We realised our kids didn’t go out much and we knew friends and family who spent more and more time indoors,” he said.

‘Not nostalgic’

“Someone said if you treat a dog the way some people treat their children, you would be seen to be a bad dog owner.”

He continued: “We wondered what the implications were, as when we were young, we’d drop our bags off and go out and play.

“It’s not a rose-tinted nostalgic thing. Everyone reckons their childhood was better than the one before, but once upon a time we had that freedom.”

The film delves into the question of what youngsters are missing when they are not close to nature

“It’s a connection to what we are. We are nature, so we need it,” said Mr Jones.

“This is the hippy bit, we are Stone Age people in the 21st century and our bodies haven’t evolved,

“It’s only in the last couple of generations we evolved to sit in front of a computer hunched over a desk. We would know what flowers came up at what time of year and the seasons.

“If children don’t have a connection with nature now, there’s a chance there won’t be any custodians of our environment in the future,” he warned.

“People won’t see the value of what we are losing. That’s the ultimate thing.”

A discussion will follow the 3.30pm film screening in the Picturehouse on Sunday, October 27.

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