Nature Connections 2017

The Nature Connections conferences are now into their third year and this years event takes place at the University of Derby, Tuesday 27 June 2017. The headline theme this year is, ‘Beyond Contact with Nature to Connection’. Continue reading

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How to change human behaviour to improve the state of nature

Human behaviour is the cause of the major threats to biodiversity and there is a need to recognise that conservation is not only about understanding animals and plants, but about people and their behaviour. Nature conservation organisations know this and increasingly look to social and human sciences for solutions. It is a great time for people to supplement their knowledge of the natural world with an understanding of human behaviour, and how to change it.

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Why Our Connection with Nature Matters

Nature is good for us, but why? There’s plenty of evidence that exposure to nature is good for people’s health, well-being and happiness – with green spaces even promoting pro-social behaviours. However, less is known about why nature is good for us. Simply put, nature is good for us, because we are part of nature. We are human animals evolved to make sense of the natural world. This embeddedness in the natural world can often be forgotten and overlooked, mentally we can become disconnected from nature because we’re now deeply embedded in a human-made world. Emerging research is showing that knowing and feeling this connection with nature is also good for us, and it helps bring about the wider health benefits of exposure to nature. Knowing your place in nature brings meaning and joy! Continue reading

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Taking a trip into nature: What can LSD tell us about the brain and nature connection?

A connection with nature is comprised of an affective and experiential sense of belonging to the natural world and includes the extent to which nature is included within an individual’s view of self. This blog considers recent research in Current Biology on the impact of LSD on the brain, our sense of self and how our brains make meaning.

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Supporting a GCSE in Natural History

Recently there have been calls for a petition for a GCSE in Natural History, and today an alert for new research that informs and supports this proposal arrived in my inbox. The paper in Education Sciences explores how connection with nature and scientific knowledge influence pro environmental behaviour – ultimately an essential reason for a GCSE in Natural History.

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Nature: The Ultimate Network?

Today I attended a workshop at Defra about connecting people with the environment. The questions for the day were broadly who to target? The barriers and challenges? What works? How to scale up? A cultural change is required within a generation and towards the end of the day our table focussed on young adults; our research suggests they are more disconnected from nature than older generations. Further justification is that this group are likely to be influencing future generations; their children. This group is often termed Millennials. Continue reading

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3 Good Things in Nature – A simple way to improve connection with nature

A strong connection with nature lies at the heart of a healthy life and a healthy planet – but how do we increase people’s nature connection? That is my research focus and such increases need to be sustained and achieved as part of our everyday lives. The good news is that our recent paper shows how simply noting ‘3 good things in nature’ each day for a week leads to longer term increases in nature connection.

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