This briefing provides an overview of evidence to support the engagement of older people 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 older people to enjoy nature include having to adjust to changes in living circumstances (such as a reduced social circle) and, for some, experiencing a loss of self-confidence and feeling ‘low’. Transport is also a key issue for this user group.
The briefing then goes onto identify lessons from the evidence for supporting better access and meaningful inclusion. These include:
• Prioritising nature near home;
• Providing a way for older people to be sociable in nature;
• Ensuring there is good site infrastructure in nature spaces and accessibility information is available in a number of formats.
Three short case studies of interesting initiatives are then presented, as well as a range of readings and resources, for anyone seeking inspiration:
• Wild at Heart;
• Stepping into Nature (Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty);