In an exciting collaboration between Natural England and Aardman, the beloved animated character Shaun the Sheep has been unveiled as the new champion of the Countryside Code. This baa-rilliant campaign aims to inspire children and young people to embrace the wonders of nature while learning to respect, protect, and enjoy the countryside. Through fun-filled adventures at Mossy Bottom farm, Shaun and his friends will demonstrate the importance of caring for the environment, following signs, and sharing outdoor spaces with others.
Why the Countryside Code Matters
According to the Children's People and Nature Survey conducted by Natural England, an astounding 80% of children and young people agreed that taking care of the environment was important to them. Additionally, an overwhelming 83% expressed their desire to do more to protect nature and wildlife. Recognizing the deep connection children have with the environment, Natural England aims to ensure young people can fully appreciate the invaluable health and well-being benefits that nature offers, all while instilling a sense of respect for the great outdoors.
Shaun the Sheep: The Perfect Nature Ambassador
Marian Spain, Chief Executive of Natural England, believes Shaun the Sheep and his endearing friends are ideal role models for the next generation of explorers, showcasing how to respect, protect, and enjoy nature in various settings such as parks, towns, cities, the seaside, and the countryside. As 85% of children feel happy spending time outdoors, it is crucial that we empower them to enjoy nature responsibly while fostering a sense of reverence for the environment.
The Surge of Nature's Popularity
Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, more people have discovered the joys of immersing themselves in nature. Whether it's spotting rare birds across the National Nature Reserves or strolling through grasslands and saltmarshes along the newly named King Charles III England Coast Path, the countryside has provided solace and tranquillity for many. As a result, Natural England has refreshed the Countryside Code and updated guidance for land managers, ensuring everyone has access to essential information on how to safely and responsibly relish the great outdoors.
The Updated Countryside Code
Under the updated guidance, which now extends to all green spaces, waterways, and parks in cities, people are encouraged to adopt a "be nice, share the space and say hello" approach when encountering fellow users of the countryside. The code provides simple reminders to respect those working in rural areas, dispose of litter responsibly, avoid feeding livestock, refrain from lighting fires, and stay on marked footpaths to safeguard crops and wildlife.
Aardman's Role in the Campaign
Rachael Peacock, Senior Brand Manager at Aardman, expressed enthusiasm for collaborating with Natural England on this engaging and informative Countryside Code campaign. With Shaun residing at Mossy Bottom Farm, his connection to the countryside makes him a baa-rilliant and fun ambassador for nature. Aardman and Natural England have created a range of assets designed to educate children and young people about the code's messages, ensuring that the outdoors remains a welcoming space for everyone to enjoy. These assets will be available for download online and can be used in various promotional materials.
Join Shaun on His Countryside Adventures
Stay connected with Natural England's Instagram to follow Shaun's next countryside adventure. Discover how he embraces the Countryside Code, explores new landscapes, and encounters exciting wildlife. Let's embrace the great outdoors respectfully and nurture a love for nature in the hearts of our children.
Shaun the Sheep's partnership with Natural England in championing the Countryside Code offers a fantastic opportunity for children and young people to develop a deep appreciation for nature while understanding that we all have a responsibility.