14 January 2015

The Importance of Outdoor Visits in England

The annual report from the Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment (MENE) survey, the national survey on people and the natural environment, reveals that the English adult population made approximately 2.93 billion visits to natural environments between March 2013 to February 2014 – the highest number for 5 years.

The report includes information on; where we visit, what we do when we’re out there, who is spending money while visiting the natural environment,  what are they spending it on and how does our experience of the natural environment influence our attitudes and general wellbeing?

The report showed the proportion of people taking at least one visit to the outdoors in the previous week for health and exercise has increased significantly from 34%, to 45% in 2014. The report also found that the 42.3 million adults resident in England took a total of 2.93 billion visits to the natural environment, and the respondents consistently agreed that being outdoors made them feel ‘calm and relaxed’ and the proportion agreeing that a visit was ‘refreshing and revitalising’ was at its highest in the most recent survey of 2014.

The survey found that 58% of the population make one leisure visit or more to the outdoors every week and the latest survey report suggests that green spaces near home are an increasingly important part of modern life as it was shown that most visits tend to be taken close to where people live, with two-thirds within 2 miles of home. Most importantly, the report shows that the enthusiasm for spending time outdoors relaxing and unwinding, watching wildlife and enjoying the scenery as a way to keep healthy has markedly increased in the last 5 years. 

For more information visit www.gov.uk/government/news