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Today's children lack country nous

[Wednesday 22 December 2010]

Modern school children may be whizz-kids with computers and computer games – but many of them are seriously lacking in simple country knowledge.

One in five cannot tell the difference between a wasp and a bee, which could lead to a painful shock because wasps tend to sting readily but bees only when they are in mortal danger.

This is on of the results of a survey commissioned by the Arla Foods group, designed to persuade children to get closer to nature.

Other results were equally depressing: many could not identify the black and white magpie, one of Britain’s most individualistic birds, and others thought a heron was a flamingo, suggesting they spend more time watching nature programmes on television than out and about in the countryside.

Sadly, adults fare little better: some thought that trees which do not shed their leaves in winter are called “carnivores.”

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