Children's perspectives on quality in local natural outdoor spaces: Research to co-create a quantitative measure for children and young people.

Published online
05 Aug 2023
Published by
Natural England
Content type

Publication language
UK & England


The aim of this research was to gain a better understanding of children's perspectives on what 'quality' means in their local natural environments. This was done by working creatively with children and young people (aged 8 to 15 years old) as co-researchers over a nine-month period. The five overarching factors that children identified as contributing to the 'quality' of an outdoor space included: the natural environment (variety in animals and plants); spaces to do the things you want (activities and play); the human/built environment (man-made aspects that enhance the natural setting); how they feel there (including freedom, safety and excitement); and accessibility (how easy it is to get there and spend time there without supervision). These insights were then used to co-create and test survey items with children and young people, allowing them to rate the quality of natural outdoor spaces within surveys such as Natural England's Children's People and Nature Survey.

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