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Forest Row, United Kingdom

Park J.J.,University of Sussex | O'Brien L.,Social and Economic Research Group | Roe J.,Space Research Center | Ward Thompson C.,Space Research Center | Mitchell R.,University of Glasgow
Health and Place

UK policy interest in the health effects of the outdoors has grown rapidly in recent years. In parallel, the research community's effort to strengthen the evidence base for the relationships between the outdoors and health has also increased. However, little has been done to explore quantitative secondary public data sets conducted by government departments and agencies to improve the evidence base on understanding such links. This paper aims to provide an overview of potentially valuable secondary public data sets and to assess their relevance for adding to the existing evidence base on the health effects of the natural outdoors. The search identified 41 data sets dealing with the outdoors/outdoor use, health or both. Review results indicated that, due to their large scale, extensive coverage, and continuous or longitudinal nature, knowledge included in secondary public data sets could be a valuable addition to the current evidence base and provide useful baseline information for future studies. This paper also identifies some aspects of secondary public data which could be improved, establishing a stronger knowledge base for the health effects of the natural outdoors. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Morris J.,Social and Economic Research Group | O'Brien E.,Social and Economic Research Group
Urban Forestry and Urban Greening

This paper explores how under-represented groups can be encouraged to access woodlands for healthy exercise, drawing on the evaluation of five woodland-based health projects. These projects were part of a broad programme called 'Active England', organised by Sport England and funded through the Big Lottery. A review of academic and policy literature related to health and physical activity, access to greenspace and issues of social inclusion and exclusion is followed by an overview of the wider Active England Programme and an introduction to the five woodland projects. There follows a detailed description of the multi-method approach adopted in the evaluation, including on-site surveys, site catchment profiling, and a qualitative research phase involving shared activities, discussion groups and interviews with project users, non-users and project staff. The inclusion of qualitative research with non-project users was an important innovation of the evaluation, allowing the researchers to explore in detail some of the barriers to involvement experienced by particular groups. The key findings of the research are presented, highlighting aspects of projects that were more or less successful in reaching under-represented groups. The results indicate that staff or volunteer led activities and 'facilitated' (supported) access can be crucial in enabling some groups to overcome barriers to participation. Discussion of the findings and critical reflections on the research process are used to draw out key recommendations, with the aim of informing the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of greenspace and woodland projects for target groups. © 2011. Source

Morris J.,Social and Economic Research Group | O'Brien E.,Social and Economic Research Group | Ambrose-Oji B.,Social and Economic Research Group | Lawrence A.,Social and Economic Research Group | And 2 more authors.
Local Environment

This paper presents results from research that identified and analyzed barriers to accessing British woodlands and forests. This paper aims to contribute to an understanding of access and accessibility and to inform the design of policy and management interventions to encourage increased access by under-represented social groups. A brief review of policy and academic literature places the issue of inclusive woodland and forest access in the context of contemporary debates surrounding public health, well-being, diversity and the perceived role of public green space. There follows an analysis of quantitative and qualitative research findings, informing the presentation of a working typology of barriers. The typology is structured around the access needs of various social groups, allowing an analysis of the social distribution of barriers. The findings indicate the deep-seated psychological, emotional and socio-cultural nature of some barriers and highlight the need for carefully designed interventions that may lie outside the conventional remit of woodland management. This paper will be of particular interest to decision-makers and practitioners and to those involved in the design and delivery of policies, programmes and projects aimed at encouraging inclusive use of woodlands, forests and other types of green space. © 2011 Taylor & Francis. Source

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