The impact of our nature connection research has received national recognition at the prestigious Green Gown Awards 2021, which recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges across the world.
The University of Derby’s Nature Connectedness Research Group won the ‘Research with Impact – Institution’ award. This focussed on our ‘Pathways to Nature Connectedness’ which provide a design framework for improving the human-nature relationship, which has been used by The National Trust, 30 Days Wild by the Wildlife Trusts, and many others. The pathways also inform the Connecting People with Nature stream of the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund and the Green Influencers Scheme.
Judges thought the submission, linking the natural world and wellbeing, was a “fascinating, holistic, and timely project, combining social and environmental benefits. The impact has benefitted hundreds of thousands of people and is underpinned by strong research.”
I’m thrilled that our research into people’s relationship with nature won this award. A new relationship with nature is essential for a sustainable future, and I’m pleased we’ve been able to produce the new knowledge and tools that others can apply at scale. It is their openness to new ideas and creative application that has made this recognition of our research possible.
The celebrations didn’t stop there, as Lea Barbett, a PhD student I’ve been supervising at Derby, won the ‘Research with Impact – Student’ category. This was in recognition of a tool she developed – a Pro-nature Conversation Behaviour Scale – for measuring behaviours that specifically aim to support nature conversation and biodiversity, which is being used by researchers, conservation organisations and Natural England’s People and Nature Survey.
Commenting on the awards success, Professor Kathryn Mitchell DL, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Derby, said: “The research into Nature Connectedness being undertaken is having a wide-reaching impact on pro-nature behaviours both nationally and internationally. We are therefore delighted that this important work has been recognised with these Green Gown awards.”
For further information on the impactful research taking place at the University of Derby visit https://www.derby.ac.uk/research/