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'The figure is surprising' - You won't believe how few children know what the Broads are

PUBLISHED: 16:37 25 September 2019 | UPDATED: 16:37 25 September 2019

A pupil from St William's Primary School enjoying the Broads National Park Picture: St William's Primary School

A pupil from St William's Primary School enjoying the Broads National Park Picture: St William's Primary School

St William's Primary School

Their waterscapes provide some of the most stunning and recognisable scenes the region has to offer, with their boating and fishing bringing in millions of pounds each year.

However, despite this, just two children in a sample of hundreds knew that the Broads National Park has anything to do with water - a study has shown.

A government review into the way these parks are run, the Glover Review, has been published this week, having been several months in the making.

As part of this, 623 school children in the Broads area were quizzed on what they knew about the Broads and what they offered.

But, the report claims, just two of these youngsters knew that a broad was in any way associated with water.

An afternoon on the Broads. Pictured is the Thurne Dyke Mill on the river Thurne. Picture: Ian BurtAn afternoon on the Broads. Pictured is the Thurne Dyke Mill on the river Thurne. Picture: Ian Burt

This is a statistic the Broads Authority insists it is working to address, particularly through its Water, Mills and Marshes community engagement project.

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Nick Sanderson, the BA's education officer, said: "We welcome Julian Glover's review and the recommendation that every schoolchild in England should get the opportunity to 'spend a night under the stars' in an idyllic landscape.
"The Broads Authority runs an extensive programme of outreach in schools and hundreds of events to connect children with nature, giving them hands-on learning experience in the Broads National Park.

"Our work provides children with life-enhancing experiences; the positive benefits of outdoor learning to both mental and physical health are enormous.

School children asking questions on a visit to Carlton Marshes. Picture: Broads AuthoritySchool children asking questions on a visit to Carlton Marshes. Picture: Broads Authority

"I would welcome the chance to carry out the review's recommendations and do more of this much-needed work."

One school that makes a point of promoting the Broads is St William's Primary in Norwich, which takes its year four children on residential visits and year twos on a day trip to Hickling Broad each year.

Matthew Watts, assistant headteacher, said: "I find the figure quite surprising as the Broads make up a huge part of our syllabus.

"Our national guidelines tell us we have to engage with local history and geography and the Broads play significant parts in both of these.

Broads Authority education officer Nick Sanderson with children at Whitlingham. Picture: Bill SmithBroads Authority education officer Nick Sanderson with children at Whitlingham. Picture: Bill Smith

"I do think it can sometimes be difficult to find out what activities on the Broads are available to schools though, so perhaps that is part of it."

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