Here’s a recent round up from Natural England of recent evidence and reports, policy agenda developments, large scale delivery sector initiatives, resources and news items from the UK and abroad.  This supports the Strategic Research Network for People and Nature to develop better coherence and collaboration in research and to improve links between research, policy and practice in these areas.
Improving Wellbeing through Urban Nature – policy / practice guides
Eight Policy and Practice Guides which summarise the implications of findings from IWUN

  1. What policy makers need to know
  2. What planners and local government policy makers need to know
  3. What greenspace managers need to know
  4. What healthcare professionals need to know
  5. What voluntary and community groups need to know
  6. Supporting young people’s mental health – how urban nature can help
  7. Supporting people with mental health difficulties – now urban nature can help
  8. Supporting people’s mental wellbeing through urban nature – challenging inequalities

 

Do Experiences With Nature Promote Learning? Converging Evidence of a Cause-and-Effect Relationship
Kuo, Barnes & Jordan – Frontiers in Psychology
Do experiences with nature – from wilderness backpacking to plants in a preschool, to a wetland lesson on frogs—promote learning? Until recently, claims outstripped evidence on this question. Hundreds of studies now bear on this question, and converging evidence strongly suggests that experiences of nature boost academic learning, personal development, and environmental stewardship. This brief integrative review summarizes recent advances and the current state of our understanding.

 

Childhood Experience in Forest Recreation Practices: Evidence from Nine European Countries
FA Taye et al – Urban Forestry & Urban Greening

  • Childhood forest recreational experience has a strong impact on forest recreational practices at adulthood
  • Individuals who were frequent visitors during childhood are more likely to be frequent forest visitors in adulthood
  • Individuals living in rural areas are more likely to be frequent forest visitors
  • Living closer to forest sites increases the likelihood of forest visitation frequency
  • There is evident variation of forest visitation frequency between the European countries included in the study

 

Childhood nature experiences and adulthood environmental preferences.
Jensen & Olsen – Ecological Economics
Survey responses of 3686 individuals indicate that people who participated in nature-related activities at least once a week prior to age 11 were more likely to choose an initiative with good or high water quality even though these initiatives would be costlier to them than choices resulting in less water quality. These results are consistent with other research showing a positive association between childhood nature experiences and adult pro-environmental preferences.
Outdoor Learning has huge benefits for children and teachers so why isn’t it used in more schools
Article in The Conversation

 

Research hubs: the theory-practice nexus C Hedges, C Loynes, S Waite Regional Outdoor Learning research hubs have been designed and piloted. The impact that research conducted in these ways is evaluated to inform future practice.

 

Individual and environmental factors associated with green exercise in urban and suburban areas
Riitta Pyky et al – Health & Place
Objective qualities e.g. size and connectivity of the green areas were explored.
Short distance to a sufficiently large green area is important for green exercise.
High nature relatedness is strongly associated with green exercise.
Green areas may be essential in activation of adults with low leisure time physical activity

 

The Messy Challenge of Environmental Justice in the UK: Evolution, Status and Prospects.
Natural England Commissioned Report
The 25 Year Environment Plans recognises that “our environment underpins our wellbeing and prosperity” and that improvements in our natural environment seek to improve social justice and provide a “country that works for everyone”. This report reviews the Environmental Justice movement in the USA and in Europe. It reviews the evidence of environmental inequality in the UK and considers options for next steps to address the messy challenge of Environmental Justice in the UK.