Here’s more news from Natural England by way of relevant evidence and reports, policy agenda developments, large scale delivery sector initiatives, resources and news items from the UK and abroad, with a focus on schools, education and learning. 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.

Freedom, joy and wonder as existential categories of childhood–reflections on experiences and memories of outdoor play
M Lund Fasting, J Høyem – Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning
This study conveys how young adults reflect upon their childhood experiences and memories of outdoor play, friluftsliv and outdoor places. Inspired by a phenomenological approach, we conducted walking interviews in nature areas where they used to play as children, revisiting the same informants and places as in a research project 14 years earlier. Today the respondents emphasise the experience of freedom encompassing joy, wonder and communication with surrounding nature and people, associating it with autonomy and self-determination. Joy, wonder and communication in someone’s experience are subjective existential categories often used to characterise friluftsliv in outdoor education. Personally meaningful to the young adults, these experiences have become important parts of who they are today.
Outdoor teaching as an alternative to Emergency Remote Teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic
TS Myhre, JM Dewaele – The European Educational Researcher
Two years after the onset of the pandemic, it is worth asking whether alternative approaches may have been chosen, or whether alternative teaching methods could have complemented Emergency Remote Teaching. We would like to argue that alternative approaches were indeed available. If educators had known about the use of the outdoors as an alternative learning arena, many students would have been able to attend school, not only for teaching but also to socialize with peers which would have benefited their mental health.
Helping factors in outdoor adventure education: An exploration of how they vary across intervention stages of group process during an expedition
V Gargano, NJ Harper – Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning
Despite the recognized positive effects attributed to outdoor adventure education programs, few studies have examined the mechanisms involved therein, particularly with regard to factors that influence group process. The purpose of this qualitative research was to examine an outdoor adventure education program utilizing Yalom’s helping factors in relationship to established groupwork intervention stages. Findings shared include the conditions and group stages that helping factors emerge and suggest the relevance of offering adventure-based programs in nature settings for effective groupwork.
Coding Manual for: Modeling Child-Nature Interaction in a Forest Preschool
T Weiss et al – preprint
The goal of this research was to begin to develop a model of child-nature interaction in a specific outdoor nature learning environment. To accomplish this, we systematically analyzed child-nature interaction through characterizing its essential features in the form of interaction patterns: the functional units of human interaction with the relevant physical characteristics that nature affords. This technical report provides the coding manual used to systematically code each participant’s behavioral interactions. By a coding manual, we mean a document that systematically explains the process used to formally code the video data. Our goal is to present this manual such that, as part of an ongoing iterative scientific process, it can be used and modified by others interested in investigating the development and significance of children’s interactions with the natural environment
Taking Off the Backpacks: The Transference of Outdoor Experiential Education to the Classroom
CM Bolick, J Glazier, C Stutts – Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership
This qualitative study reports the results of a multi-year investigation into the transference of the learning that occurs in the outdoor experiential education residency into teachers’ classroom communities. The experiential opportunities were designed to embolden the teachers to rethink community and to reinvent their teaching practice. The findings inform our understanding of the transference of outdoor experiential education as teachers took off their backpacks and returned to the K-12 classroom. Particularly evident in the data were the ways teachers’ own engagement in authentic community as part of the residency model influenced their efforts to create the same opportunities for their K-12 students and for themselves in their school communities. Our findings reveal images of possibility while also noting obstacles to transference
The Good Childhood Report
The Childrens Society
Our Good Childhood Report shows that modern life continues to erode the happiness of young people. Dissatisfied with school, friendships and how they look, children deserve drastic change.

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