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.


What Works briefing on natural environment based health interventions

2019 : Becca Lovell (1) , Ben Wheeler (1) , Kerryn Husk (2) , Kathryn Machray (3), and Mike Depledge1 (1)University of Exeter Medical School, (2)NIHR CLAHRC South West Peninsula, Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, (3)MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow

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A growing body of evidence suggests that the use of natural environment is associated with better health outcomes and may potentially be of value as a resource in tackling some of our most intractable health issues [2, 3]. There is increasing interest as to how the natural environment could be utilised as a health promotion tool, setting or context in which to address the increasing burden of health problems. Many types of natural environment - from the National Parks, with their protected environments with high levels of biodiversity and culturally important spaces, to urban greenspaces, close to large populations offering spaces for physical activity and stress relief - could have a role in public health promotion or as a therapeutic setting. 

Noticing Nature

The first report in the Everyone Need Nature Series

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A growing body of evidence points to the positive impacts of nature for people. Yet, while evidence is growing rapidly, this is prompting new questions about the essential ingredients of a positive and sustainable relationship with nature for individuals.

Good practice in social prescribing for mental health: the role of nature-based interventions (NECR228) - 2017

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The prevalence of mental ill-health is on the rise in the UK with an estimated one in four people experiencing a ‘significant’ mental health problem in any one year. With prescriptions at record levels and a huge demand for other therapies, health and social care commissioners are examining and commissioning different options.



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