Knot interested: only one in five young Brits can tie a knot and half say that they can't climb trees

Knot interested: only one in five young Brits can tie a knot and half say that they can't climb trees Research has unveiled that modern day youngsters are disconnected from the great outdoors, with many unable to build a camp fire (78%), put up a tent (79%) or even tie their shoe laces (45%). When asked if they cared about the environment, more than a third (37%) said no and, incredibly, half of those (52%) said that it’s because ‘in the future we’ll be able to live in space’. The figures show that while young people are able to search for clips on YouTube (37%) they’d struggle to search for the local post office by reading a map (81%), and while they may be able to work a DVD player (67%) a huge 87% said they wouldn’t know how to repair a bicycle puncture. The research indicates that today’s youths have lost their sense of adventure and lack skills, which older generations take for granted. Nine out of ten youngsters (91%) are unable to recognise different types of butterfly and 43% cannot remember seeing the stars in the last month. The lack of interest in the great outdoors is a worry for many parents, with more than seven in ten (77%) saying their child spends too much time watching TV or playing video games. Four fifths (80%) even said they feel they need to do more to encourage their children to learn traditional skills, but the statistics show that not enough is being done to make a difference Top ten things children aged 5 to 13 CAN DO: 1 Work a DVD player (67%) 2 Log onto the internet (58%) 3 Play computer games on games console (wii, Xbox or similar) 50% 4 Make a phone call 46% 5 Use a handheld games console (Nintendo DSi, PSP or similar) 45% 6 Use an iPhone (or smartphone) 42% 7 Work Sky Plus 41% 8 Send a text message 38% 9 Search for clips on YouTube 37% 10 Use an iPad (or tablet computer) 31% Top ten things children aged 5 to 13 CAN'T DO: 1 Recognise three types of butterfly 91% 2 Repair a puncture 87% 3 Tie a reef knot 83% 4 Read a map 81% 5 Build a camp fire 78% / Put up a tent 78.5% 6 Spot a blackbird, sparrow or robin 71% 7 Make papier mâché 72% 8 Make a cup of tea 65% 9 Build a den 63% 10 Climb a tree 59% Survival expert and founder of Woodlore, Ray Mears, comments: “The latest figures are really shocking and I can’t believe our young people are so ill-equipped when it comes to practical skills. “When I was growing up, I was told ‘You don’t need equipment, you need knowledge to survive in the wild’ and this is something that I truly believe. Simple skills like putting up a tent can teach you important lessons that can’t be learnt without doing them yourself. You learn how to work in a team and communicate with your peers; how to work under pressure and use logic and, most importantly, how to look after yourself and know your strengths." Clare McDougall, npower’s head of education and community, comments: “npower’s Climate Cops SOS aims to educate young people across the country to give them basic life skills. We really believe that if young people spend more time outdoors they will learn to love and respect the environment and they’ll want to preserve it for future generations. “These figures show that there has never been a better time to teach our young people some great new skills. We’ll be looking for entries which use creative thinking to get their peers to enjoy activities outside, whether that’s by setting up after school clubs or implementing a project to teach their friends about nature. We hope that by getting involved, they will learn more about themselves and their environment.” Research conducted by npower. For more information, visit