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The barriers to disadvantaged children of visiting the natural environment. - BE0130

We know that:
• There is significant and growing evidence on the physical and mental health benefits of green spaces
• There is qualitative evidence on the well-being impacts from time spent in natural spaces, particularly for children.
• England’s green spaces have untapped potential to support social outcomes.

The key aim of this project is to produce a report on the barriers to children of visiting the natural environment, particularly focussed on the 1 in 9 children who we know do not visit green spaces.

The report should help us to understand the barriers that exist to these children visiting green spaces and the behaviours that influence decision making. This should encompass urban green spaces as well as rural landscapes, including parks, school playing fields, community gardens/allotments, paths, rivers, lakes, canals, woodland/forests, farmland and beaches. The research should focus on children themselves, as well as others whose behaviours could influence children’s access to green space.

The project should focus on children aged 0-4 and 5-11, considering these two groups separately.

The research should review existing evidence on barriers and behaviours and develop this to explore the most significant barriers and associated behaviours in more depth.

The objectives are:

• To undertake a review of the current relevant evidence base and determine possible priority barriers and associated behaviours. The project should review academic and other literature, and liaise appropriately with practitioners and other stakeholders.
• To use the evidence review to further investigate and develop understanding around barriers and behaviours, identifying possible interventions and key behaviour changes that would be necessary to overcome these challenges. This should focus particularly on where the most significant impact could be achieved, with options for groups of children, outdoor environments and key intermediaries that might form a focus for the Government’s policy development in this area.
• It is envisaged that the project will involve some new primary research with children and/or intermediaries whose behaviours influence children’s access to green space
• It is envisaged that the project may focus on three to five priority barriers but Defra is open to alternative proposals during the tendering process and the scoping phase.
• To make recommendations for further work in this area to meet the needs of policy and practitioners.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2017

To: 2017

Cost: £29,069
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Social Research