August 9, 2011

City Kids Spend Less Than 2 Days Per Year in the Great British Outdoors

LONDON, August 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

Children living in cities spend on average less than 2 days a year in
the great British countryside compared to an average of 17 days a year
watching TV, according to new research commissioned by Weetabix. The
research, taken from a poll of 1,000 parents living with their children in
UK cities, shows that children living in the cities of the South most
frequently escape to visit the countryside. Contrastingly children in the
Midlands do so less, with 1 in ten children living in Midlands' conurbations
such as Birmingham having never left the cities to visit the UK countryside.

Rural living and livelihoods hold little appeal according to the poll
with only 6 per cent of city children expressing any interest in becoming
farmers. Cereal producer Weetabix has worked with Children's community
charities to give city children a full farm day experience and an insight
into the Great British outdoors and the world of farming. All of Weetabix
wheat is grown by selected farmers within a 50 mile radius of its mills in
Burton Latimer. These 'Weetabix farms' have been selected because the high
standards of their farms and the quality of their wheat ensures the best
taste for Weetabix cereal. The local sourcing approach also means lower
impact on the environment.

Yesterday, the children travelled out of London to a farm in
Bedfordshire to take part in harvest. Harvest marks the peak of activity in
the farming calendar where farmers work from sunrise to late into the night
when conditions permit. The young children were given a taster of the
outdoor lifestyle. Naturally they started their day with a bowl of Weetabix
to prepare them for the full day ahead. They saw the combine harvesters in
action before the grain was sorted, cleaned and packed. Fourth generation
Weetabix farmer Brian Shaw explained the processes that go into farming to
the children and how it has changed over time. "Today's modern farming
practices are so sophisticated. I think the children were impressed with the
power of the machinery and the staggering pace of harvest." He added that he
feels it is sad that so few children express an interest in becoming a
farmer and that the divide between rural and urban in the take up of the
career is so polarised.

Sally Abbott, Marketing Director of Weetabix, explained that many tens
of thousands of tonnes of wheat go in to making Weetabix each year, thanks
to the efforts of their 150 local farms selected for their quality. Abbott
added "it is great for children to experience things outside of their
everyday lives. For many children growing up in cities they have such a
limited understanding of the countryside, so to take such an active part on
a farm has been wonderful."

Notes to Editors

** All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGovPlc. Total
sample size was 1,000 adults with children between 5 and 14 living in UK
cities. Fieldwork was undertaken between 29th July - 2nd August 2011

When parents were asked how many hours a year does your child spend
outdoors in the British countryside 40% said less than 48 hours.

When parents were asked how many hours a week does your child spend
watching TV 31% said between 6 - 10 hours.

52% of children from cities in the South have visited the British
countryside more than 11 times.

9% of children from cities in the Midlands have never visited the
British countryside.

Weetabix Food Company is the trading name of Weetabix Limited.

(c)Weetabix Ltd 2011.

SOURCE Weetabix Food Company