London, July 9 : Children spend so little time outdoors, they are more likely to recognise fictitious 'Dr Who' monsters like the Daleks than real life animals such as a barn owl, according to a new survey.
Half of those questioned couldn't tell the difference between a bee and a wasp while only 53 per cent of youngsters managed to identify an oak leaf.
The online questionnaire for the National Trust showed that one in three children failed to identify a magpie and only 47 per cent correctly named a barn owl.
On the other hand, nine out of 10 were able to correctly name Doctor Who's enemies the Daleks and a similar number recognised Star Wars' Jedi grand master, Yoda.
"It's a sad modern phenomenon that has left many of us, and in particular the younger generations, disconnected from the natural world," the Telegraph quoted Nick Baker, the television naturalist, as saying.
"In an age where Nintendos and Playstations compete with tree climbing and pond dipping; the virtual world is winning.
"With more kids better able to identify a fictitious alien than our national tree, the Oak, something needs to be done," he added.
The survey is part of a National Trust campaign launched in London aimed at encouraging families to spend more time together outdoors.
"Natural beauty and wildlife are vital to us. We are part of nature; we need it, and we need the beauty, wonder and laughter it offers us," National Trust conservation adviser Matthew Oates said.
"The more distanced we become from nature, the more difficult it will be for us to survive on this planet," he added.
The online survey, which was conducted by OnePoll on behalf of The National Trust, involved a total of 1,651 children aged between 10 and 12 across the UK.