Film highlights kids' need for nature

School kids on Quail Island (Thomas Mead)
School kids on Quail Island (Thomas Mead)

Christchurch school kids were treated to a not-so-typical school day today -- taking a trip to Quail Island with a UK filmmaker who's concerned kids aren't getting their hands dirty enough.

Filmmaker David Bond has produced a documentary called Project Wild Thing about connecting kids with nature.

He's been invited to New Zealand by the Department of Conservation (DOC) and New Zealand Recreation.

Local 'Enviro School' school kids took a trip with DOC, Mr Bond and 'Big Boy' -- a tuatara -- over to the island in Lyttelton Harbour this morning to learn about why nature is so important.

"DOC is very aware that nowadays 87 percent of us live in towns," DOC's threatened species ambassador Nicola Toki says.

"We really want to encourage kids, and families and teachers to take kids out, to experience nature the way we're supposed to."

Filmmaker David Bond chatting to school kids (Thomas Mead)

The idea behind the film is about showing why nature is so good for children.

"I was worried that we are very good at selling children films, Disney, Nintendo and Sony," Mr Bond says.

"The science is out there that shows that emotionally and physically children develop much better if they spend time in the natural world."

The film explores why, if we know it's so good for them, children are not in the outdoors more.

"I'm in New Zealand because, believe it or not, you've got the some of the same problems over here that we have in the UK," Mr Bond says.

Despite the fact New Zealanders have an incredible environment, he says Kiwis have issues with child obesity, depression and ADHD.

The film is being screened tonight at Christchurch Art Gallery and tickets can be bought here.