Teachers, parents and educators from across the Horsham district attended a screening of a wildlife documentary on Tuesday July 15.
The 90-seat cinema in The Capitol, Horsham was sold out for the showing of Project Wild Thing, with proceeds going to the Wild Network.
In attendance were representatives from Little Barn Owls Nursery and Farm School in Horsham, Little Russetts Nursery in Slinfold, Little Monkeys Day Nursery in Horsham, Southwater School, Littlehaven School, St Mary’s Nursery in Horsham and Pennthorpe School in Rudgwick.
Film maker David Bond, who took part in a question and answer session after the film, said: “The Horsham screening arranged by Little Barn Owls Nursery was a great event for the Wild Network.
“There are obviously lots of great people and organisations in West Sussex who are working tirelessly to reconnect children with the natural world.
“This is a battle that’s really worth fighting - children in both rural and urban communities spend only a fraction of the time outdoors compared with children 30 years ago.”
The event was organised by Hayley Peacock, director of Little Barn Owls Nursery and Farm School.
She said: “I think it’s really worth celebrating such an event when any competition between private nurseries and schools is put aside and we see such support for a genuinely important issue to be spread, such as the importance of children having positive outdoor experiences.
“This is the first time I have seen teachers, nursery educators and parents from so many organisations come together to support an event with such an important message that affects our future generation.”
Kylie McGregor from Pennthorpe School said: “Children having quality outdoor experiences and combating the rising amount of screen time they are exposed to is such an important issue in childhood.
“We have brought along 16 teachers because so many of us are passionate about outdoor learning and are looking for more inspiration.
“I am also very interested in the effects of so much time on iPads and computer games can have on children, so I was drawn to the screening for that reason too.”
Natalie Collingwood, a mother who attended the screening, said: “I found David and his film mesmerising and hugely inspirational.
“I am buying a DVD so that my friends and family can view the film!”