Government launches latest survey of the great outdoors

The Government has published the latest annual report from the Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment (MENE) survey.

Findings reveal that the English adult population made the highest number of visits to natural environments, approximately 2.93 billion, between March 2013 to February 2014.

The report also found that:

• 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% in 2009-2010 to 45% in 2013-2014

• Around a quarter of visits involved some form of expenditure – resulting in an estimated spend of £17 billion

• 96% of people ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ that having green spaces close to where they live is important

• 58% of the population make one leisure visit or more to the outdoors every week

The MENE survey shows how important outdoor recreation is to the economy and people’s health and wellbeing. This reinforces findings in the Sport and Recreation Alliance’s Reconomics report which sets out the economic impact of outdoor recreation.

Building on this, the Alliance is calling on Government departments join together to implement a national outdoor recreation strategy.

Emma Boggis, Chief Executive Sport and Recreation Alliance said:

“The nation’s natural assets are valuable and unique resources that can be used for our benefit but must be protected.

“Government departments have the opportunity to come together to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to access and benefit from the outdoors. We look forward to working with Government and the sport and recreation sector to make this a reality”.