Surveys of young people in several countries report generally low levels of factual knowledge relating to environmental issues, and research suggests that the single most important influence in promoting environmental awareness and concern is childhood experience in the ‘outside environment' (Rickinson, 2002). But this does not necessarily lead to pro-environmental behaviours, these often seem to be the result of early contact with enthusistic and knowledgeable adults who act as role models. We know that even very young children are capable of sophisticated thinking in relation to environmental issues (Palmer, 1999) and that the earlier the ideas are introduced the greater the impact may be (Vrdlovcova, 2005, Helden, 2003).
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