Half of Scots pledge to head outdoors more often and help nature - NatureScot

A blue tit sitting on branch with snow in background ©Lorne Gill/NatureScot
A blue tit sitting on branch with snow in background ©Lorne Gill/NatureScot

Scots are now spending more time outdoors than they did before the pandemic, and more than half want to take positive action to help the nation’s wildlife.

NatureScot’s latest research into people’s relationship with the outdoors during the pandemic found 77% are heading outdoors at least once a week and 48% expect to visit more often. Additionally 45% indicated they had made their outdoor space more nature-friendly, 52% want to do more to help local wildlife in 2022 and almost 60% of 16-24 year olds are keen to volunteer in nature.

To help people enjoy the outdoors and take individual action to reverse nature loss and tackle climate change, NatureScot has launched its winter Make Space For Nature campaign. It provides ways to care for nature and encourage wildlife into gardens and local green spaces.

NatureScot Chief Executive Francesca Osowska said: “COP26 in Glasgow has driven home the urgency of the situation we’re all facing. We’ve already lost 25% of our wildlife in Scotland and as we look towards the biodiversity COP15 in China this year, it’s essential we maintain the momentum around restoring and protecting nature. These survey results are encouraging, but we can’t stand still, we all need to take action now. Our winter campaign asks everyone to Make Space For Nature in their lives – from feeding birds and providing water for wildlife, to volunteering time for nature. We know nature loss and climate change are inextricably linked. In appreciating the natural world and using nature-based solutions, we all have the power to tackle climate change, help wildlife and have a positive impact on our own physical and mental health.”

The report also found more people continue to feel nature had become more important to their health and wellbeing (58%), a consistent increase over the three surveys, with 61% now stating they felt closer to nature and 73% agreed their time outdoors helped them de-stress, relax and unwind.

Other positive results included the impact of working from home, with 64% of home workers expecting to increase their time spent outdoors, and a significant increase in members of the minority ethnic population spending more time outdoors (62%, up from 48% in 2020). There were also reductions in problems encountered outdoors, including a range of antisocial behaviours, with the exception of litter, which was still experienced by 48% of respondents.

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Posted On: 27/01/2022

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