Children believe in dragons, not dragonflies

Research from UK holiday property rental company, holidaycottages.co.uk has revealed that one in seven children believes that they might come across fictional creatures from the Harry Potter series in the British countryside.

14 per cent of the UK’s 7-12-year-olds have said they believe in dragons and werewolves, creatures commonly spotted at Hogwarts, while more than one in ten (11 per cent) believe that Gilly Weed and Whomping Willow are real plants and trees.

In response holidaycottages.co.uk is urging families to remedy this and encourage children to explore the country’s wildlife ahead of the Easter holidays as part of its Nature Watch campaign to explore the great outdoors.

When asked to state whether certain species were real or fictional, almost half of the children surveyed either didn’t know or thought that common native trees and plants, such as Silver Birch, Holly, Bluebell and Honeysuckle, were imaginary species.

The holidaycottages.co.uk Nature Watch campaign is designed to encourage families to spend more time in the countryside this spring and summer. In an effort to raise children’s awareness and understanding of wildlife, nature and the importance of protecting their natural habitat, the leading holiday property rental company has developed a free wildlife activity pack available to download from the website and is also offering one family the chance to win £500 off of their next UK break.

“We take great pride in offering holidays to some of the UK’s most beautiful locations and want to encourage the nation’s children to enjoy the great outdoors with Nature Watch,” said James Morris, director at holidaycottages.co.uk, “I come from a generation that spent a great amount of its childhood playing outside, not cooped up in front of a television or computer screen. The fact that a third of today’s 7-12 year-olds don’t know or think that dragonflies, honeybees and daddy long legs’ are not real just shows us that we need to get back to that and celebrate our native wildlife more.”

holidaycottages.co.uk offers more than 1,300 family friendly holiday accommodation options across the UK and as part of its Nature Watch campaign is offering a free downloadable activity pack to help families explore the great outdoors together. Available to download at www.holidaycottages.co.uk/naturewatch, the activity pack includes a handy map for where to spot some of the UK’s best wildlife, fun facts, colouring in sheets and a wildlife diary. Young enthusiastic explorers who share their wildlife picture, photograph or short story have the chance to win a £500 voucher towards their next family holiday. Full details and T&Cs at www.holidaycottages.co.uk/blog/nature-watch.

For more information on other holiday cottage deals please visit www.holidaycottages.co.uk or call 01237 426 256.