Ecological Identity and Education for Sustainability

Nature’s responsiveness to the play drives of the child helps build the attachment to nature that in turn creates an ‘ecological identity’ – a deep identification with nature as part of the growing sense of self. 

When children intuitively know that they are part of nature and it is part of them, with little sense of separation from it, they feel at home in the outdoors, are able to be nurtured by nature, and experience a need to care for and protect it throughout their lives.

A key driver of the Early Childhood Outdoors meshwork’s work is to increase young children’s contact and interaction with the every day nature around them, deepening their relationship with both the physical and living natural world. 

Through a range of support and collaborations, we’ll research ecological identity and education for sustainable development, raise awareness and share action, working to foreground and embed these important ideas in practice across the UK.