9aa8c423This is the second part of a late 2016 round up from Natural England of research on the benefits to be had from being in the natural environment …

Science learning in the outdoors to support primary–secondary transition
K Kerr – 2016
This article builds on and contributes to work in the area of science learning in the outdoors and transition issues for pupils as they move from primary to secondary school. It provides insight into how outdoor learning can be used as a vehicle to address transition issues. The article argues that a carefully designed programme of outdoor ‘shared learning days’ with pupils in both phases working together is a sound model to help address the recommendations arising from specific transition issues through the delivery of aligned outcomes and impact from learning science outdoors.

Increasing resilience in adolescents: the importance of social connectedness in adventure education programmes
D Scarf et al – Australasian Psychiatry, 2016
Adolescents who participated in an adventure education programme (AEP) had their resilience measured on the first and last day of a 10-day voyage. A control group of adolescents, who did not take part in the voyage, also had their resilience assessed at two time points, 10 days apart. Adolescents who participated in the AEP, but not those in the control group, displayed an increase in resilience. Further, the increase in resilience was related to the adolescents’ sense of belonging, and this effect held when controlling for perceived social support.

Characteristics of forest sites used by a Danish forest preschool
I Lerstrup, AD Refshauge – Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 2016
Outdoor stays in green settings are regarded as beneficial for pre-schoolers, but not much is known about the characteristics of the sites that are chosen and used by outdoor preschools, the so-called ‘forest sites’. This paper investigates the characteristics and use of forest sites in a Danish forest preschool and the activities and features in use during time for child-initiated activities. It is suggested that the results, may inspire design and management of green spaces and forest in relation to preschools

Charting a course to self-esteem: evidence from four independent studies showing elevated self –esteem following a 10 day vogage.
S Kafka et al
The following set of studies examined elevated self-esteem as a function of participation in a 10-day developmental voyage on the Spirit of New Zealand. Studies 1 and 2 revealed that participants who completed the voyage experienced elevated self-esteem. Study 3 replicated the findings reported in Studies 1 and 2 and ruled out the possibility that the effects reported were a function of normal increases in self-esteem. Study 4 replicated and further extended these results to reveal that self-esteem was still elevated 4-5 months following the last day of the voyage.

Wild and free: Unpredictability and spaciousness as predictors of creative performance
TJL van Rompay, T Jol – Journal of Environmental Psychology, 2016
This study looks at what extent nature imagery can enhance creative performance. Imagery presenting green settings varying in unpredictability and spaciousness was displayed before and during a creative drawing task in a high school classroom. Both unpredictability and spaciousness enhanced creative performance, images combining these two factors were particularly inspiring.

Iconic Fauna of Heritage Significance in India
R Sukumar – Indian Journal of History of Science, 2016
Animals can become iconic in human cultures for many reasons;  admiration for certain qualities, its presence in or association with our environment, utility to our endeavours, and even fear of the creature. Given the equal status to all forms of life in ancient Indian religions, it is not surprising that “iconic fauna of heritage significance” in the country include not just the largest or fiercest animals but also a number of birds and even insects. This essay traces the possible reasons for the iconic status and heritage significance of a representative set of animals.

Preservice Science Teachers’ Attitudes Toward Environment
I Koca et al. International Journal of Environmental and Science Education 2016.
The purpose of this study was to determine pre-service science teachers’ attitudes toward environment and to investigate whether their environmental attitudes differ in terms of gender and grade level. Pre-service science teachers displayed moderately favourable attitudes toward environment. Furthermore, a significant gender difference favouring female pre-service teachers was found. In addition, significant differences were found in favour of senior pre-service teachers.

The social value of conservation initiatives in the workplace
A Lacoeuilhe, AC Prévot, A Shwartz – Landscape and Urban Planning, 2017
In this study, we explored how top-down biodiversity-friendly initiatives at work can influence employees’ biodiversity-related knowledge, attitudes and behaviours, using a before-after survey. We showed that the influence of such initiatives in the workplace can have small but significant impacts on awareness and behaviour of employees in their private everyday life.

Recreational physical activity in natural environments and implications for health: A population based cross-sectional study in England
M.P. White et al Preventative Medicine 2016.
Building on evidence that natural environments (e.g. parks, woodlands, beaches) are key locations for physical activity, we estimated the total annual amount of adult recreational physical activity in England’s natural environments, and assessed implications for population health. Approximately 8.23 million adults (19.5% of the population) made at least one ‘active visit’ to natural environments in the previous week, resulting in 1.23 billion ‘active visits’ annually. An estimated 3.20 million of these also reported meeting recommended PA guidelines fully, or in part, through such visits. Active visits by this group were associated with an estimated 109,164 QALYs annually. Assuming the social value of a QALY to be £20,000, the annual value of these visits was approximately £2.18 billion.

The Contributions of Parks Commitment and Motivations to Well-Being
SE Mock et al- Journal of Park & Recreation Administration 2016
This research examined the degree to which commitment to parks and parks-focused motivations are linked to well-being, broadly defined. Multivariate analyses showed that the more park visitors valued informational complexity (i.e., the level of knowledge one has about parks), the greater their mental health. Further, greater position involvement (i.e., parks linked to identity) was associated with higher levels of life satisfaction

Californians’ Perceptions of the Influence of Parks and Recreation on Quality of Life
KS Bricker, WW Hendricks, CA Aschenbrenner – Journal of Park & Recreation Administration 2016
At the heart of parks and recreation is the underlying goal of improving the quality of life of individuals and contributing to healthy communities. Our study adapted a scale developed by Andereck and Nyaupane to investigate the influence of parks and recreation on quality of life for California residents, as a component of the state’s Outdoor Recreation Plan.

A complex landscape of inequity in access to urban parks: a literature review
Rigolon. Landscape and Urban Planning 2016
This article reviews the growing environmental justice literature documenting access to urban parks across socioeconomic and ethnic groups. The extensive public health and sustainability benefits of parks, combined with the long history of discrimination against people of colour in the United States and elsewhere, motivate an update of the literature on access to parks. Although a few reviews showed evidence of inequity in park provision, no previous review fully conceptualized and analysed different components of access to parks.

Urban gardens provide many ecosystem services to Barcelona residents 
European Commission
Urban gardeners in Barcelona, Spain, identified 20 ecosystem service benefits, from pollination to environmental learning, in a recent study. Cultural ecosystem services, mainly related to the opportunity for residents to interact with nature, were the most common and highly valued of the ecosystem services identified.

A valued relationship with nature and its influence on the use of gardens by older adults living in residential care
Reynolds. L, Journal of Housing for the Elderly. 2016
A qualitative study of participant observations with behaviour mapping, and individual and focus-group interviews,was used to understand value versus use of outdoor garden spaces. Individual and focus-group interviews were conducted with 32 residents from two facilities. Results revealed that views of nature are fundamental to resident well-being, that access to nature influences facility choice, and use of gardens is influenced by the way in which individuals prefer to enjoy nature.

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To be concluded