When our older boys were small, we lived in Ankara for a few years. Our lifestyle became urban, and I began to worry that our children were missing out on the experience of being in the British countryside I so loved and missed. Even then, I had heard that, unless children are immersed in the natural world before the age of 12, it will never be a real part of their soul; it will be harder to get them to care about the environment. This is the message conveyed by the article below, with research to support the argument.
When we returned to Britain, I worked hard to get the boys - then aged 6, 5 and 2 - out into the countryside, and they didn't like it much at first. They would pick their way across fields complaining about the sheep poo. But this week, as I watched the middle two in particular - now aged 13 and 10 - walk the coastal paths of Pembrokeshire, enjoying the scenery and the wildlife, I know that my efforts were not in vain. They do love it. They feel it. They care about it. Children need to spend more time outdoors.
How to Raise an Environmentalist