The word is wild as Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Growing Up Wild project tours the county

Tony West, of Lowestoft, who was one of the contributors to Suffolk Wildlife Trust's Growing Up Wild

Tony West, of Lowestoft, who was one of the contributors to Suffolk Wildlife Trust's Growing Up Wild oral history project. Picture: SUFFOLK WILDLIFE TRUST - Credit: Archant

A campaign to create and share memories of growing up outside is set to be on tour throughout the autumn.

And project organisers from the Suffolk Wildlife Trust are hoping its innovative memory bank of recollections of outdoor childhood play over bygone decades will inspire today's young people and families to connect closely with the county's wealth of wild spaces.

The trust's Growing Up Wild in Suffolk project has gathered almost 100 stories of exploring and playing in the Suffolk countryside from winters and summers gone-by – and now a project exhibition will visit venues across the county.

Launched in May 2016, the project, which is designed to capture the recollections of outside play, also paints a picture of a landscape that the Trust is working hard to protect and restore.

Trust officer Sara Holman, who with Tracey Housley, has been leading the project said it is hoped that the memory bank will inspire children, families and adults to explore, learn and play outside.

'We know that contact with nature is good for children; it makes them happier, healthier and more creative. However, there is a discrepancy between this awareness and what children are actually experiencing.'

Ms Holman added: 'Growing Up Wild records and celebrates stories of childhoods spent in nature, providing an opportunity to increase the contact of a new generation of children with the natural world and put the wild back into childhood.'

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Tracey Housley said: 'We hope the range of stories show-cased in the exhibition will help bridge the disconnect that has been seen from a national level. We want children to explore the natural world where they live, to make nature part of their everyday lives and to develop a personal connection with nature from an early age; a connection that stays and grows with them as they move into adulthood.'

Growing Up Wild has been supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund with further support from Essex & Suffolk Water's Branch Out Fund.

The Growing Up Wild exhibition continues until Sunday, October 8 at the trust's Carlton Marshes reserve, near Lowestoft, and visits Lowestoft Library from October 10 to October 15,