Reports & case studies
Reports are, as much as possible, arranged in chronological order, most recent at the top
What are the essential ingredients for a positive connection to nature? Research with children and adults looking at: factors associated with proactively doing things to help nature; significance of ‘tuning in’, noticing or paying attention to nature; how these benefit wellbeing. National Trust (pdf), summary of key findings here, February 2020.
Moved by Nature in Finland
Fun, meaningful, and health-enhancing physical activities for school children The Moved by Nature Project took a group of 9-12-year-olds on 3 nature activity days over 3 different seasons. An analysis of the children’s views about what they most enjoyed found meaningful experiences in 3 areas: freedom, autonomy and adventure, inspiring learning experiences, and co-operation and connectedness with peers. LOtC, 3 July 2019. Details on the aims & objectives, funding etc of the project here, from Metsähallitus 2 July 2019 2 videos about the project can be found in the videos section below.
Nurturing Children and Strengthening Conservation through Connections to the Land Part 1: A Primer on Nature Play and Its Importance – exploring the essential characteristics of nature play, its benefits and barriers. Part 2: Restoring Nature Play – real actions to undertake including advice on creating nature play spaces and playscapes, creating understanding amongst stakeholders, developing & planning programmes, activities and more. The appendix includes a discussion on risk. Greenhearts (US), c2015 (pdf).
Nature Play & Learning Places
Creating and managing places where children engage with nature ‘Offers a set of guidelines for those who create, manage or promote development of nature areas in the everyday environments of children, youth, and families, especially in urban/suburban communities. The goal is to attract kids and families outdoors to interact directly with nature.’ Robin C. Moore, National Wildlife Federation and Natural Learning Initiative, 2014, on Green Schoolyard Network.
Access to Nature: Learning Papers
Reports on the experiences and self-evaluation of projects supported by Big Lottery Fund’s Changing Spaces grants, encouraging people who have little or no experience of the natural environment to benefit from the outdoors.
Seeing the wood for the trees – Woodlands as a tool for engaging people with the natural environment 2013
A natural curiosity – good quality outdoor experiences are a valuable part of children’s development 2013
Friending Fresh Air
Connecting Kids to Nature in the Digital Age. This report aims to arm parents with the information they need to understand how kids’ media habits can impact health, learning & social development, and how spending time outside can balance the drawbacks of screen time. It also provides tools to help families combine the best of both worlds— virtual & natural. National Wildlife Federation (US), 2013.
State of nature
In 2013 the UK’s wildlife organisations joined forces to undertake a health check of nature in the UK and its Overseas Territories. This report presents their findings, with statistics on native flora, fauna and habitats. RSPB, 2013.
Good from Woods case studies
‘The Good from Woods research project (Plymouth University) explored how people are benefiting, personally and socially, from woodland activities in southwest England. Initiatives that deliver woodland activities recorded how participants feel about their experiences in order to build an evidence base.’ 15 case studies from a range of work, in various outdoor settings, with children, young people and adults with learning difficulties. c2011-2013.
Connecting Kids & Nature: special reports
Some excellent reports into children & nature – and how it effects their wellbeing, health, learning and more.
Children and nature
‘Sets out the findings of a review into the evidential support for claims about the benefits for children of experiences with nature.’ Tim Gill of Rethinking Childhood, November 2011. Why does nature matter to children? What’s the evidence? Tim Gill explains his thinking, methods and learning from the above report.
Effective approaches to connect children with nature
‘Based on a review of relevant research and literature… insights from research findings on the most effective approaches for engaging with different age groups. Finally, the paper reviews the role of participative, active arts education as a tool for facilitating and effectively connecting children and nature.’ Department of Conservation, New Zealand, 2011.
Children in the Outdoors: A literature review
‘An in-depth look at the current themes within health, outdoors and children’s research and highlights how these relate to understanding the links between children’s use of outdoors spaces and health outcomes.’ Dr. Sarah-Anne Muñoz, Sustainable Development Research Centre (no longer exists), 2009.