Connecting with nature in 2020: who did, who didn’t, and why it matters. A review of recent evidence from the UK and insights from nature engagement practitioners in Cumbria.

LEMMEY, TANIA (2021) Connecting with nature in 2020: who did, who didn’t, and why it matters. A review of recent evidence from the UK and insights from nature engagement practitioners in Cumbria. Masters dissertation, University of Cumbria.

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Abstract

Psychological connection with nature is associated with mental wellbeing and taking nature conservation actions. Inequality of opportunity to develop nature connectedness across the UK population, worsened by coronavirus restrictions in 2020, is indicated in the literature. Local inequities in nature engagement, barriers experienced by individuals and strategies for inclusivity are less well evidenced. The University of Cumbria’s Back on Our Map (BOOM) project is working to restore biodiversity through community participation. Inclusivity in community nature engagement is explored through interviews with 14 practitioners from BOOM project partner organisations. The methodology is informed by interpretive and transformative research paradigms. Data is interpreted via inductive thematic analysis and in light of personal reflections, recent nature connection research and the pandemic context. Findings include successes in, barriers to and changes to nature engagement in 2020; examples are presented. The importance of partnership working to facilitate bespoke nature connection opportunities addressing the needs and preferences of under-represented groups is clear. Place-responsiveness and social context are also found to be influential in inclusive nature engagement; examples are presented. The recommendations may be informative for the Back on Our Map project, its legacy initiatives and wider work of the project partners with local communities and visitors. Further research could include studies co-created with the population groups most underserved in nature connection opportunities.

Item Type: Thesis/Dissertation (Masters)
Departments: Departments > Science, Natural Resources and Outdoor Studies > Forestry and Conservation
Depositing User: Christian Stretton
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2021 12:29
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2021 20:00
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/6147

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