Breaking down the barriers to Wild Time

Wild Time, time spent outdoors, roaming free, playing wild is vital for children.

Every day we see more and more evidence that shows how important it is for children to be at their most resourceful, creative, healthy and connected to the living world. Wild Time provides all of the vital tools to for children and young people to thrive in a world of rapid change. What’s more it’s not just kids that benefit, whole families, communities and schools are better when they are wilder.

The evidence also shows that most parents and teachers understand this and want more of it.

But here’s the rub, despite this mountain of evidence and awareness, action is low. Children spend less and less time outdoors, their freedom to roam within their community has dramatically reduced, schools find it harder to make it a part of their everyday rhythm and our children are less and less connected to their world around them.

So what is stopping us all from getting more Wild Time?

Over the last few years we have pulled together huge amounts of evidence that show that there are profound and systemic barriers in place that actively prevent us all from getting Wild Time. 

We have discovered 11 barriers to Wild Time, which we categorise into 4 groups:


  • Stranger danger
  • Risk-averse culture
  • Danger streets
  • Carlamity


  • Time poor parents
  • Nature Starved curriculum
  • Lack of free-range play


  • Vanishing green space
  • Play INC
  • Kidvertising


  • Rise of screen time
Advertising DANGER STREETS Fear, Awareness, barriers, Cars, Commercial, Commercial Gain, Computers, Corporate, Corporate Influence, Danger CARLAMITY Green Cross Code, Danger RISK AVERSE CULTURE Stranger, explanation, Fear RISE OF SCREEN TIME, Gaming, insight, Learning TIME POOR PARENTS Free-Time, Materialistic, Nature, Outdoor Learning, Outdoor Play, Parents, Parents STRANGER DANGER Fear, Phones, Play, Play NATURE-STARVED CURRICULUM Learning, Regulations, Risk, Roads, Safety, Schedules, Schools LACK OF FREE RANGE PLAY Freedom, Screens PLAY INC. Influence, Speed, Strangers, Streets, Tests, Time Poor, VANISHING GREEN SPACE Nature, wildtime, WildTime KIDVERTISING Childhood