This blog was originally posted at Identity Campaigning.

You may have heard about Natural England’s One Million Children campaign. This is recognition of the phenomenon that has been mentioned in recent posts- e.g. Richard Louv’s Nature deficit disorder.

What interests me as a practitioner is how identity campaigning could be used in this opportunity. From what I can see on Natural England’s website the campaign is very much targeted at getting children outdoors and then hoping this will influence them to become custodians of the outdoors. Whilst this is a laudable and highly welcome campaign, one could suggest that our experience of 40 years of environmental education in a context of rising materialism indicates that this hope might not be realised.

Could we engage with the people at the top of Natural England to suggest that the campaign should explicitly address the value of nature to the children? A campaign like this could be so much more powerful if coupled with the ‘deconstructing’ of advertising and materialistic concepts and the relation to them and harm to the environment which is suggested in Identity Campaigning (Part II top of page 33).