This briefing provides an overview of evidence to support the engagement of people from ethnic minority backgrounds in nature and the outdoors. It is part of Natural England’s ‘Included outside’ publication series that is based on a review of a broad range of literature related to inclusive nature engagement conducted by an expert team from the University of Sheffield.
This briefing highlights that the common reasons which can limit opportunities for people from ethnic minority backgrounds to enjoy nature include experiences of unwelcome visibility and racism in natural environments, cultural variation in how people want to spend time outdoors, concerns about ‘fitting in’, and the free access of dogs in many greenspaces.
It then goes onto identify lessons from the evidence for supporting better access and meaningful inclusion. These include:
• the importance of representation in challenging assumptions about who engages in nature and how;
• increasing the diversity of ways in which people can spend time in nature spaces;
• accepting diverse perceptions and enjoyments of what is ‘nature’;
• building confidence in using different greenspace, including focusing on safety;
• ensuring dogs are kept on leads or that there are dog-free areas.
Three short case studies of interesting initiatives are then presented, as well as a range of readings and resources, for anyone seeking inspiration:
• Croydon “Destination Parks” Equalities Impact Assessment
• Dadima’s Countryside Walks and Talks (Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty)
• Blak Outside (Carole Wright)