IT is concerning to hear that not all children are getting the sort of outdoor experiences many of us take for granted.

It seems particularly shocking in Scotland where a large part of our cultural identity is tied up in the mountains, forests, rivers and the seaside.

The impact on young people in terms of a poverty of experience is quite concerning because we know having access to outdoor environments is a very rich learning environment for all of us.

Read more: Poor pupils from Glasgow 'have never seen the sea'

Being on a beach can also be a very physical experience playing in the sand or with shells or being in the water and it can also be an emotional environment where you can experience the power of the wind and waves or the tranquility of a sunset.

To feel that some of our children have not had those experiences despite being so close to the sea is worrying and it demonstrates why it is so important for schools to have the funds to be able to provide those opportunities.

City environments can provide lots of spaces for children to enjoy with green areas and play parks, but there is a real benefit to coming to a more rugged outdoor landscape where there is less control and children have to be more aware of risk.

There is an awesomeness about uncontrolled environments in the outdoors which is very inspirational and can have an impact long beyond the experience itself.

The other major issue is the educational benefits of being in the outdoors. It is a wonderful thing in terms of personal experience, but it also helps in term of understanding a lot of science that pupils will go on to study in secondary school.

Read more: Poor pupils from Glasgow 'have never seen the sea'

Pupils will be learning geography, physics and chemistry and lots of these courses will include aspects of the physical world and to grasp these concepts is much harder if you haven’t experienced the world around you.

A lot of these experiences cost very little money, but too often we are relying on one or two members of school staff to understand the importance of children being outdoors and take the lead themselves rather than seeing this as absolutely fundamental to education.

Marguerite Hunter Blair is chief executive of Play Scotland