RSPB_research_picture-504x257The 2nd Interdisciplinary Conference: “Getting Connected to Nature” will be held at the University of Derby, on 15 June.

Submissions are invited around the core themes of the conference:

• Improving links between research, policy and practice in this area

• Latest research and perspectives on:

– the benefits of a connection with nature

– getting connected to nature – engaging people

– measuring connection to nature

Keynote speakers will include Tony Juniper.

Here is a link to information about a recently published paper from the University of Derby on connection to nature and attainment. It is based on research carried out for the RSBP, and one of its conclusions is that children “connected to nature” achieve better Year 6 SAT results, have higher wellbeing, and exhibit more pro-nature behaviours.
Research leader Dr Miles Richardson,
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said:

“The results demonstrate that children who were more connected to nature had significantly higher English attainment. While there are a multitude of factors associated with a child’s English attainment, it is noteworthy that connection to nature is as important to children’s achievement in English as established factors such as life satisfaction and attendance at school. The analysis also found strong correlations between connection and pro-nature behaviours and pro-environmental behaviour. A positive correlation was also evident between children’s connection and days spent outdoors and days spent in nature over the past week, suggesting that the more time spent in nature is associated with a child’s connection to nature. The research provides evidence that connecting with nature should be part of every child’s life – it has the potential to aid nature’s revival while benefiting the child. To embed nature connection within our social norms, there is a need to be able to understand the benefits and set targets for levels of nature connection.”

We welcome this, of course, as another pebble on the cairn of evidence that being outside is good for you – whether or not you are faced with SATs. But when, exactly, did we forget we knew this? It’s not as it’s a sudden revelation. The cairn in question is mountain-high – except to those unwilling to see.