Natural England commissioned this literature review in 2009 to inform its then developing programme of work to encourage more children to engage with the natural environment. It supported Natural England’s Strategic Outcome to inspire people to value and conserve the natural environment and specifically the development of Natural Connections and the One Million Children Outdoors initiatives. We hope that the experience from these initiatives along with the evidence provided in the review will be helpful to civil society and local community partnerships wishing to improve the opportunities for children to engage with the natural environment.
The review was designed to support, or challenge, a series of working assumptions about the relationship of children with the natural environment. It did this by reviewing existing literature to find empirical and anecdotal evidence; and by collecting information on a range of existing initiatives which encourage children to engage with the natural environment.