A lost generation is seemingly what we have in our teenagers. More focused on tablets, iPhones, TVs and computer games. I, for one, want to make sure this doesn’t happen to my children and would rather they had a childhood of mud and the great outdoors. At least give them the opportunities to explore the wilderness that is readily available to them.
It was a lot easier in my day as this tech was not available and we had to entertain ourselves with whatever was around us. Easier perhaps for some but the same environment is available to our children today; there are just more distractions and it’s up to us, as parents, to make sure we offer the next generation a chance to be involved and care about nature. At the end of the day if we don’t, who will take care of our countryside for years to come?
This topic has come up a many times in the past but became more relevant to me last week while on a family fishing trip in Scotland.
Growing up I was lucky enough to have grown up on a river bank. We didn’t own an estate or have free access to fishing, however as part of my family’s history, actually on both my maternal and paternal sides, we all went fishing in Scotland. Pictures of me in nappies rummaging around rocks on the Findhorn was my childhood and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
If you know the River Findhorn, you will know just how beautiful it is and this is where I got my extreme passion for not only fly fishing but the great outdoors.
This has already become an obvious part of my son’s life as he loves being outside and loves being by the river with the dogs. Adding to this, he learnt how to say fish as one of his first few words, which made me cry with laughter.
It was last week on the Findhorn that I shared a moment which I will be remember until the day I die and one that made me think; not only how lucky I am, but how much I hope my son will appreciate why we do, what we do.
Surrounded by family and friends, Archie and I caught our first salmon together on the river that I grew up on. This moment meant everything to me and I’m not to ashamed to say that had to hold back the tears.
With Arch on my back we caught and landed a 4lb salmon. Not the biggest salmon I have ever caught but there was just so much more to this moment than catching a salmon, which is hard enough in itself.
Arch leant over my shoulder while I was returning the salmon and shouted “fish, fish!” He watched me carefully land and return a wild Scottish salmon, which he may not understand at his age but he’s seen it and will hopefully realise later in life how important it is to appreciate our wildlife.
What is more concerning than our children being stuck in front of TVs, is the decline in our salmon population and the continual threat to our way of life by people that simply do not understand it. A choice few are highlighting these threats and hoping to make a difference and make the necessary changes to government policies which will hopefully allow our future generations to enjoy this amazing and historical species.
All these things together mean the world to me and I cannot stress enough how much I hope my children understand and appreciate what I have learnt to love in our countryside and its wildlife.