This is the directory we’re building of all the evidence and thinking out there on the questions we’re asking: whether we’ve lost touch with the outdoors, why it matters, and what we can do about it.
Each section is listed in alphabetical order by the originating organisation, so should be easy to search.
If you’ve got something you think should be listed here, please email us
New! Stephen Moss (2012) Natural Childhood http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk//servlet/file/store5/item823323/version1/Natural%20Childhood%20Brochure.pdf
The report presents compelling evidence that we as a nation, and especially our children, are exhibiting the symptoms of a modern phenomenon known as ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’. We look at what this disorder is costing us, why it’s proving so difficult to reverse, and gather current thinking on what we must do to eliminate it, before opening up the question to the nation for consideration.
CABE Space (2010). Community Green: using local spaces to tackle inequality and improve health. http://www.cabe.org.uk/publications/community-green
An examination of the impact and quality of local green spaces on the health and well-being of people in six deprived and ethnically diverse areas.
CABE space (2010) Decent Parks? Decent Behaviour? The Link between quality of parks and user behaviour. http://www.cabe.org.uk/publications/decent-parks-decent-behaviour
A summary of evidence which supports the approach that good design and management is the key ingredient for safer parks.
Countryside Council for Wales (2010). Come Outside: reconnecting communities with their outdoors. http://www.ccw.gov.uk/idoc.ashx?docid=10958513-53f0-4d3d-ab3c-f83482763ec7&version=-1&lang=en
A short brochure introducing the CCW pilot project ‘Come Outside’ which aims to develop self-sustaining community–led involvement in outdoor activities.
Education & Lifelong Learning
Nicol R., Higgins P., Rossi H. and Mannion G. (2007). Outdoor Education in Scotland: A Summary of Recent Research. Scottish Natural Heritage. http://www.snh.org.uk/pdfs/publications/education/OCReportWithEndnotes.pdf
A summary of an extensive research programme on outdoor learning in Scotland which summarises information from seven different pieces of research in this area. It includes a review of the current state of outdoor education in Scotland and provides observations of the implications of the research reviewed.
What does the research say about Outdoor Learning?
A webpage from the English Outdoor Council which lists links to research and studies into the benefits, impacts and effects of outdoor learning.
Health, well-being and quality of life
Sowing the Seeds report by the London Sustainable Development Commission http://www.londonsdc.org/lsdc/research.aspx
Bell, S.,Hamilton,V., Montarzino, A., Rothnie,H., Travlou,P. and Alves,S. (2008). Greenspace and quality of life: a critical literature review. Greenspace Scotland, Stirling. http://www.greenspacescotland.org.uk/default.asp?page=464
A comprehensive and thorough review of the literature related to greenspace and its impacts on quality of life. Compiled for ‘Greenspace Scotland’ and funded by Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scotland and Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research. A very useful source of further references on this topic.
CABE Green Infrastructure Benefits www.cabe.org.uk/sustainable-places/green-infrastructure/benefits
A useful 2 page summary of the various benefits of ‘ green infrastructure’.
Faculty of Public Health (2010). Great Outdoors: How Our Natural Health Service Uses Green Space to Improve Well-Being: An Action Report. FPH, London. www.fph.org.uk/uploads/r_great_outdoors.pdf
Produced by the FPH in association with Natural England, this report outlines evidence that the natural environment can enhance our health and well-being and explains how town planners, health professionals, policy makers and people themselves can work together to create more green space and make better use of it. Contains case studies, policy recommendations and references.
Forest Research (2010). Benefits of Green Infrastructure. Report to Defra ad CLG. Forest Research, Farnham http://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/fr/INFD-8A9A2W
Available either as a summary report or in-depth technical report. This work provides a synthesis of the evidence on the positive benefits which green-infrastructure brings to society. Contains case studies, detailed examples and references.
Greenspace Scotland (2007). The links between greenspace and health: a critical literature review. Greenspace Scotland, Stirling.
Land Use Consultants (2004). Making the links: greenspace and quality of life.
Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report No. 060 (ROAME No. F03AB01). http://www.snh.org.uk/pdfs/publications/commissioned_reports/F03AB01.pdf
A report commissioned by SNH which examines the evidence from research and literature on the different impacts greenspace has on quality of life. Findings are presented under four main themes: environment, people, health and economy.
Liverpool City Council (2010). The Value of Parks and Greenspaces. Parks and Greenspaces Business Unit, Liverpool City Council. http://www.liverpool.gov.uk/Images/tcm21-187064.pdf
A summary of the specific value of parks to Liverpool – including supporting statistics and case studies.
Newton, J. (2007) Well-being and the Natural Environment: a brief review of the evidence. Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Discussion Paper.www.surrey.ac.uk/resolve/seminars/Julie%20Newton%20Paper.pdf
A review of literature on links between well-being and the natural environment which also uses the framework of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment to explore these links.
Pretty J., Griffin M., Peacock J., Hine R., Sellens M. and South N. (2005). A countryside for health and wellbeing; the physical and mental health benefits of green exercise. Countryside Recreation Network, Sheffield.
A report reviewing the evidence linking greenspace and the countryside with health and well-being. It includes a snapshot of practical initiatives in this area based on countryside recreation and contains advice on the policy implications of investment in ‘green exercise’.
Reid, S. and Curtis, J. (2010). Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2009: Sustainable Places and Greenspace. Scottish Centre for Social Research, Edinburgh. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2010/07/02134238/0
A survey of over 1500 residents of Scotland which identified what people think about their local greenspace and how they use it. It also asked questions relating to the perception of local greenspaces and the relationship between greenspace, health, well-being and social trust.
CABE Space (2010) Research Summary. Urban Green Nation: Building the evidence base. http://www.cabe.org.uk/publications/urban-green-nation
Summary and analysis of information gathered by CABE to try to fill the information gap as to the number, ownership and characteristics of green spaces in our urban areas.
Countryside Council for Wales and Forestry Commission Wales (2009). Welsh Outdoor Recreation Survey 2008. First Release Headline Results. Official Statistics Publication. http://www.ccw.gov.uk/enjoying-the-country/welshoutdoor-recreation-survey.aspx
Summary of the results of a telephone survey of over 6000 residents of Wales carried out in 2008 to identify participation in outdoor activity, motivations, barriers etc.
Countryside Council for Wales (2011). Enjoying the Outdoors this Year – New survey will find out if our habits have changed. http://www.ccw.gov.uk/about-ccw/newsroom/press-releases/enjoying-the-outdoors.aspx
Launch of a new survey of over 6 000 people by CCW to identify habits, motivations and aspirations related to the outdoors. The intention is to update a similar survey carried out by CCW and FCW in 2008
CPRE/ Natural England (2010). Green Belts: a greener future. A Report by Natural England and the Campaign to Protect Rural England.
A review of the state of green belt land in England and summary of its benefits and potential for greater significance in the future. The report also includes the identified opportunities for achieving this potential.
Futerra: Branding Biodiversity (2010): report highlighting the importance of communicating the joy of nature, not just the need.
Health Promotion International: Healthy nature healthy people: ‘contact with nature’ as an upstream health promotion intervention for populations (2005): report suggesting that contact with nature could be used as a health promotion intervention for populations. Improved contact with nature can also in turn, motivate individuals to care for the natural environment resulting in a mutually beneficial relationship.
International Journal of Clinical Practice: research review (2010): shows regular moderate exercise is effective defence against 24 serious illnesses.
Natural England: MENE Survey (2010):survey undertaken by Natural England which aims to monitor engagement with the natural environment. The survey reveals some interesting statistics on the who, where, when, what and why of visits to the natural environment, including an analysis of the commercial implications.
RSPB report: Natural Thinking (2007): the most comprehensive review currently available of the impacts of nature on physical and mental wellbeing.
RSPB report: Every Child Outdoors (2010): education-focused report, making the case that outdoor learning should be integral to the education system from research into behaviour, physical and mental wellbeing.
Journal of Environmental Psychology: Blue Space: The importance of water for preference, affect, and restorativeness ratings of natural and built scenes (2010): scientific research highlighing the restorative nature of blue space, whether in an outdoor or urban setting. Good news if you don’t have easy access to the countryside but live near a canal or water fountain.