Aardman’s Shaun the Sheep has been revealed as the new champion of Natural England’s Countryside Code.
The new campaign will help encourage children and young people to ‘respect, protect and enjoy’ the countryside. From Mossy Bottom farm, Shaun and friends will follow the Countryside Code and show children how to care for nature, follow signs and share the space with others.
It follows research from Natural England’s Children’s People and Nature Survey which revealed that 80% of children and young people agreed that looking after the environment was important to them, with 83% saying they wanted to do more to look after nature and wildlife.
As part of the campaign, Pawprint Family will be offering a challenge badge accompanied by a free downloadable activity pack and printable resources for use in schools, youth groups, home education and more. The company has also developed two wholesale products – a sew on badge and an enamel pin badge – to help broaden the reach of the project.
“Shaun the Sheep and his endearing friends are the perfect illustration for the next generation of explorers on how to respect, protect and enjoy nature, whether in parks in towns and cities, at the seaside or in the countryside,” commented Marian Spain, chief executive of Natural England. “We know that children care deeply about the environment, and that 85% of children feel happy spending time outdoors – so it’s really important that we help young people enjoy the invaluable health and wellbeing benefits that nature offers, while giving it the respect it deserves.”
Rachael Peacock, senior brand manager at Aardman, continued: “It’s great to be working with Natural England on this engaging and informative Countryside Code campaign as part of Shaun the Sheep’s One Farm initiative where we are positioning Shaun as a fun environmental ambassador; we have one farm, let’s flock together to look after it.
“Living on Mossy Bottom Farm, Shaun’s connection to the countryside makes him a baa-rilliant and fun ambassador for nature, and we look forward to encouraging families to enjoy the outdoors respectfully.”