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People are spending more time outside in the natural environment than ever before

New national statistics published by Natural England show that more people than ever before are visiting and spending time in the natural environment.

The proportion of adults visiting nature at least once a week has increased from 54% in 2010 to 62% in 2018.

Natural England’s Monitoring of Engagement with the Natural Environment (MENE) report also found that this trend could be seen across population groups, including groups where levels of participation have historically been lower.

This year’s report also found:

  • People living in England’s most deprived areas visiting the natural environment at least once a week has increased from 38% in 2009/10 to 51% in 2017/18.
  • In 2017/18 health and exercise was the main motivation for spending time in the natural environment (reported for over half of all visits).
  • In 2017/18, 86% people were concerned about damage to the natural environment. Choosing to walk instead of taking the car is on the up (reported by 48% of people in 2017/18 compared with 40% in 2009/10) but other pro-environmental behaviours remain predominantly static (such as volunteering for environment or conservation causes which has remained at 5% over the last nine years).