Scientists want your view on watching nature through the window

Posted on 6th June 2023

Watching nature through the window might have many benefits – and researchers want you to share your view.

To take part, you can simply upload a picture of your view and answer a few questions about its importance to you.

The survey comes from the University of Exeter and The Wildlife Trusts as part of 30 Days Wild – the annual challenge which invites people of all ages to connect with nature every single day during the month of June.

The results of the survey could have implications for how nature is considered in the design of new houses, care homes and hospitals.

“Engaging with nature benefits people’s health and wellbeing,” said Dr Ben Phillips, from the Environment and Sustainability Institute on Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall.

“For example, views of nature have been linked to higher life satisfaction and reduced stress and anxiety.

“For many people, looking out of windows is their main form of daily interaction with nature.

“But little is known about how such views vary, and how different people perceive and value them.”

Dr Jo Garrett, from the European Centre for Environment and Human Health (ECEHH), said: “Views of nature might be particularly important for people who are less able to visit natural places outdoors, for example those who are elderly or have poor health.

“This comes at a time when there is a push by many nature conservation organisations towards engaging broader audiences.

“This study is an important step towards understanding the significance of views of nature from windows.”

Dom Higgins, head of health and education for The Wildlife Trusts, said: “We feel happier and healthier when we’re outside, listening to birds and surrounded by nature.

“For some people, such as those in care homes and hospitals, there may be reasons why they cannot experience being close to nature regularly.

“But limited mobility shouldn’t mean missing out on the benefits of the outdoors.

“The findings from this new study could help to improve how we design buildings and outside spaces, ensuring more people enjoy nature on a daily basis.

30 Days Wild challenges people to be creative and find inspiring ways to connect with the natural world, in a way that feels right for them – we encourage everyone to give it a go.”

The survey takes about 5-10 minutes to complete.

Participants can choose to enter a prize draw for a £100 gift voucher.

To complete the survey, please visit: https://exe.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_e4gCgYlHyij2PUa?Source=UOEpress

The study is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council as part of the “Renewing biodiversity through a people-in-nature approach (RENEW)” project.

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