Debra has funded two new projects:
1. Barriers to children visiting green spaces (Childhood Gateway Project)
There is a substantial and growing body of evidence regarding the benefits of spending time in and connecting to nature. However, the evidence also suggests that a substantial minority of children do not spend any time in nature, with recent MENE data suggesting 1 in 9 may not have visited green/blue spaces in the last year. Defra has therefore commissioned the Childhood Gateway Project to explore why some children are not spending any time in natural environments, and what could be done in practice to change this. The project team is keen to review evidence relevant to these questions. In particular, evidence is sought on:
· Audience - Who are the children who are not spending time in and connecting with nature?
· Barriers - What are the reasons why this audience are not spending time in and connecting with nature?
· Competition - What are they doing instead?
· Interventions - What approaches are being used (and by whom) to try to get this audience to spend time in nature, and what can be learned from these interventions?
· Trends - How have patterns of children spending time in and connecting with nature changed over time, and why?
The project is not seeking to review evidence on the benefits of spending time in and connecting with nature. The project started at the end of February and will be completed in the middle of May. It would be very helpful if you could send any relevant evidence to the Childwise-led research team - Jenny Ehren (Jenny.Ehren@childwise.co.uk) and Simon Christmas (email@example.com) - by this Friday.
2. What works briefing on natural environment and health interventions
The aim of the project is to identify what works regarding the use of the natural environment as a setting or resource in health promotion, focusing on three topics:
· Urban people’s use of urban greenspaces
· Deprived and marginalised groups’ health related use of natural environments
· Children and young people’s natural environment based physical activity
Through a rapid review of evidence and current practice the project aims to assess:
· The effectiveness of interventions - in terms of either improving health, wellbeing, quality of life or health behaviours (e.g. physical activity), or increasing health related access to or use of natural environments
· The facilitators, barriers and challenges to successful delivery
The project began at the beginning of February and will be completed in the middle of April. It is being undertaken by Becca Lovell at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter Medical School. It would be helpful if you could send details of relevant evidence and current practice to Becca - focusing especially on project reports, case studies etc. that may be harder for her to get hold of - by Friday 24th March.
You've only got 3 days to do all this. I'd be helping, if only I knew what "blue space" was: "... MENE data suggesting 1 in 9 may not have visited green/blue spaces in the last year."
I should say that I think these MENE data are nonsense. It suggests that 11% of children never leave the house. There are clearly, as I've commented before, definitional issues here.