Making The Case for Outdoor Learning

Research, reports, policy documents and news items in support of Outdoor Learning


The demand for Outdoor Learning programmes is increasing and strong cases are being made in support of the value of Outdoor Learning. All the following documents in this blog have a connection to the benefits of getting active, sharing an adventure, and enjoying the outdoors. This is dynamic and growing resource - please get in touch to suggest or share an entry.

You can find some key research papers here covering effective policy and practice in the sector. If you are looking to get involved in regional research, follow this link to find the research hub closest to you.


/ Categories: Personal, Active, Outdoor

Nature’s remedy: doctors in Shetland give ‘green prescriptions’

This is a project that looks to improve health and wellbeing using only what is freely available on our doorsteps, connecting people to nature in a bid to overcome growing mental health problems and the causes behind many long-term conditions.

Nature prescribing was first dreamed up by Karen MacKelvie, a community engagement officer for RSPB Shetland, who lives and works on the islands.

‘I also work as a counsellor at Women’s Aid, and I do therapy on the beaches and I know how restorative and helpful it can be,’ says Ms MacKelvie, at her traditional white stone house, overlooking a seemingly endless, shimmering, sea loch.

‘When we did the research, the evidence for nature working in health and wellbeing was overwhelming. It’s not just about exercise outdoors, which of course helps, but the connection is even more important.’

Ms MacKelvie’s idea quickly became reality in a pilot project last year – before being rolled out more widely after being deemed a success. The RSPB produced a leaflet now stocked in GP surgeries across the islands.

The philosophy behind the RSPB approach is not just about fresh air and exercise – it’s about developing a relationship with the nature and wildlife being experienced. Evidence from projects in the UK suggests a relationship between connection and engagement with nature and improved health and wellbeing.

Previous Article Bringing Children Closer to Nature - 2019
Next Article State of Nature Report 2019
11909 Rate this article:
No rating



Warwick Mill Business Centre, Warwick Bridge, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA4 8RR

+44 (0)1228 564580


What we collect and why

Name, Email Address, Phone Number (optional). Only if you provide it to us in order to contact you or to use our services.

Your Privacy

Who we share with

We will never sell your personal data to 3rd parties. We may share your personal data with our suppliers in order to provide our online and member services to you.

Copyright 2021 Institute for Outdoor Learning Terms Of Use Privacy Statement
Back To Top