This report explores the data collected by the Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment (2009 – 2012) for information of relevance to advancing policy and practice in Outdoors for All.
Natural England is committed to increasing the number and range of people who can experience and benefit from the natural environment. Through our Outdoors for All programme Natural England is leading the Government’s ambition that ‘everyone should have fair access to a good quality natural environment’.
The Natural Environment White Paper (2011) aims to strengthen connections between people and nature. However it acknowledges that the opportunities to benefit from spending time in the natural environment are currently not open to everyone, which can contribute to health and other inequalities. Natural England has a responsibility to promote access, recreation and public well-being and to help Government deliver the ambitions set out in the White Paper.
Natural England is therefore championing Outdoors for All on behalf of Government and the natural environment, greenspace, volunteering and heritage sectors by working with partners to help improve the quality of everyone’s experience of natural places and to increase the number and diversity of people inspired by and enjoying the natural environment.
Natural England is working closely with a range of partners to help deliver projects which seek to ensure that people living in deprived areas, the elderly, those with physical disabilities or mental health illness, and people from black and minority ethnic communities all have opportunities to access high quality natural environments.
Natural England is keen to better understand the research needs and priorities to help improve engagement in the natural environment amongst these groups, and in this context was keen to use the data collected through the Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment (MENE) survey to add further insight.