• 30 days wild and the relationships between engagement with nature’s beauty, nature connectedness and well-being.

      Richardson, Miles; McEwan, Kirsten; University of Derby (Frontiers, 2018-09-03)
      Recent research suggests that engagement with natural beauty (EWNB) is key to the well-being benefits of nature connectedness. The Wildlife Trust’s 30 Days Wild campaign provides a large-scale intervention for improving public engagement with nature and its beauty. The effect of 30 Days Wild participation on levels of EWNB and the relationship between EWNB, nature connectedness and happiness was evaluated during the 2017 campaign. Of the 49,000 people who signed up to the campaign, 308 people fully completed measures of EWNB, nature connection, health, happiness, and conservation behaviors at baseline, post-30 days and post-2 months. There were sustained and significant increases for scores in nature connection, health, happiness, and conservation behaviors. In addition, 30 Days Wild was the first intervention found to increase EWNB. Further, the significant increase in EWNB mediated the relationship between the increases in nature connectedness and happiness. In a supplementary study to understand the well-being benefits further (n = 153), emotional regulation was found to mediate the relationship between nature connectedness and happiness, but EWNB and emotional regulation were not related. The links between nature’s beauty, nature connectedness and well-being are discussed within an account of affect-regulation.
    • 30 days wild: development and evaluation of a large-scale nature engagement campaign to improve well-being

      Richardson, Miles; Cormack, Adam; McRobert, Lucy; Underhill, Ralph; University of Derby; The Wildlife Trusts; PIRC (2016-02-18)
      There is a need to increase people’s engagement with and connection to nature, both for human well-being and the conservation of nature itself. In order to suggest ways for people to engage with nature and create a wider social context to normalise nature engagement, The Wildlife Trusts developed a mass engagement campaign, 30 Days Wild. The campaign asked people to engage with nature every day for a month. 12,400 people signed up for 30 Days Wild via an online sign-up with an estimated 18,500 taking part overall, resulting in an estimated 300,000 engagements with nature by participants. Samples of those taking part were found to have sustained increases in happiness, health, connection to nature and pro-nature behaviours. With the improvement in health being predicted by the improvement in happiness, this relationship was mediated by the change in connection to nature.
    • Beyond knowing nature: Contact, emotion, compassion, meaning, and beauty are pathways to nature connection

      Lumber, Ryan; Richardson, Miles; Sheffield, David; DeMontfort University; University of Derby (Public Library of Science (PLOS), 2017-05-09)
      Feeling connected to nature has been shown to be beneficial to wellbeing and pro-environmental behaviour. General nature contact and knowledge based activities are often used in an attempt to engage people with nature. However the specific routes to nature connectedness have not been examined systematically. Two online surveys (total n = 321) of engagement with, and value of, nature activities structured around the nine values of the Biophila Hypothesis were conducted. Contact, emotion, meaning, and compassion, with the latter mediated by engagement with natural beauty, were predictors of connection with nature, yet knowledge based activities were not. In a third study (n = 72), a walking intervention with activities operationalising the identified predictors, was found to significantly increase connection to nature when compared to walking in nature alone or walking in and engaging with the built environment. The findings indicate that contact, emotion, meaning, compassion, and beauty are pathways for improving nature connectedness. The pathways also provide alternative values and frames to the traditional knowledge and identification routes often used by organisations when engaging the public with nature.
    • Children’s well-being and nature connectedness: Exploring the impact of a ‘3-good-things’ writing task on nature connectedness and well-being.

      Harvey, Caroline; Sheffield, David; Richardson, Miles; University of Derby (2016-09-10)
      The health benefits of being connected to nature are well documented amongst both adults and children therefore simple interventions that lead to greater connectedness are valuable. The ‘3-good-things’ writing task is a positive psychology intervention which has been shown to increase happiness and decrease depression. Focusing the 3-good-things writing tasks on nature related good things has been found to increase nature connection in a sample of adults and the present research extends this to explore the impact of the intervention on nature connectedness in children. Children (n= 167) aged 9-11 completed measures of nature connection, mindfulness and life satisfaction at three time points, before and after the intervention, and again approximately eight weeks later. The intervention consisted of writing 3 good things about nature that they noticed every day for 5 days, whilst the control group wrote about 3 things they had noticed. Data will be analysed using factorial mixed design analysis. Relationships between the dependent variables will be explored using multiple regression.
    • The Impact of Children’s Connection to Nature: A Report for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)

      Richardson, Miles; Sheffield, David; Harvey, Caroline; Petronzi, Dominic; University of Derby (RSPB, 2016-02-16)
      Connecting with nature should be part of every child’s life as it has the potential to aid nature’s revival while benefiting the child. To embed nature connection within our social norms, there is a need to be able to understand the benefits and set targets for levels of nature connection. This report presents findings on the impact of connection to nature from a survey of 775 children, using the child as the unit of analysis, rather than aggregated data. The results demonstrated that children who were more connected to nature had significantly higher English attainment, although this wasn’t repeated for Mathematics. Further, the 1.5 Connection to Nature Index (CNI) level was found to be a significant threshold across other measures, with those children with a CNI of 1.5 or above having significantly higher health, life satisfaction, pro-environmental behaviours and pro-nature behaviours. The analysis found strong correlations between CNI and pro-nature behaviours and pro-environmental behavior. A positive correlation was also evident between CNI and days spent outdoors and days spent in nature over the past week, suggesting that the more time spent in nature is associated with child’s connection to nature. Finally, weak correlations were found between connection to nature, health and life satisfaction. When more refined attainment results for English were explored, (n = 512) further weak correlations were found between English attainment and attendance, English and life satisfaction, and between English attainment and connection to nature. There are a multitude of factors associated with a child’s English attainment, so, although the correlations are weak, it is noteworthy that connection to nature is as important to children’s achievement in English as life satisfaction and attendance at school.
    • The impact of walking environment and connectedness to nature, mindfulness and empathy: A comparison of natural and urban locations

      Birdsall, Kerry; Harvey, Caroline; University of Derby (2016-09-10)
      Immersion in nature has been demonstrated to improve health and well-being, and has also been found to increase measures of trait nature connectedness. However, the effect of such an environment on other personality traits remains in question. An experiment was conducted to examine the effect of urban and natural walking environments and time on measures of nature connectedness, mindfulness, cognitive empathy and affective empathy. Participants (N=44) conducted a thirty-minute walk on three consecutive days and measures of the dependent variables were taken pre and post intervention. A series of factorial mixed design ANOVAs were used to assess the impact of walking in urban and rural environments on the dependent variables. The results indicated that walking in a natural environment significantly increased nature connectedness, mindfulness and cognitive empathy over time but did not have a significant main effect on affective empathy. This research highlights the potential of interventions involving walking in natural environments for positive psychological outcomes in terms of the enhancement of desirable personality traits.
    • Nature: a new paradigm for well-being and ergonomics

      Richardson, Miles; Maspero, Marta; Golightly, David; Sheffield, David; Staples, Vicki; Lumber, Ryan; University of Derby; University of Nottingham (2016-03-22)
      Nature is presented as a new paradigm for ergonomics. As a discipline concerned with well-being, the importance of natural environments for wellness should be part of ergonomics knowledge and practice. This position is supported by providing a concise summary of the evidence of the value of the natural environment to well-being. Further, an emerging body of research has found relationships between well-being and a connection to nature, a concept that reveals the integrative character of human experience which can inform wider practice and epistemology in ergonomics. Practitioners are encouraged to bring nature into the workplace, so that ergonomics keeps pace with the move to nature-based solutions, but also as a necessity in the current ecological and social context.