How do people see nature? Perceptions of naturalness in designed urban green spaces.
This paper presents the results of surveys conducted to determine the perceptions of people to varying degrees of naturalness in designed urban green spaces in the UK. It was shown that there was a significant positive relationship between perceived naturalness and planting structure. Perceived naturalness was also positively related to the perceived plant and invertebrate biodiversity value, participants' aesthetic appreciation and the self-reported restorative effect of the planting. A negative relationship was recorded between perceived naturalness and perceived tidiness and care. It was also shown that participants perceived 'naturalness' as biodiverse, attractive and restorative, but not necessarily tidy. Perceived naturalness was also related to participants' educational qualifications, gender and nature-connectedness, with women and more nature-connected participants perceiving significantly greater levels of naturalness in the planting.