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Feeling connected to nature has been shown to be beneficial to wellbeing and pro-environmental behaviour. General nature contact and knowledge based activities are often used in an attempt to engage people with nature. However the specific routes to nature connectedness have not been examined systematically. Two online surveys (total n = 321) of engagement with, and value of, nature activities structured around the nine values of the Biophila Hypothesis were conducted. Contact, emotion, meaning, and compassion, with the latter mediated by engagement with natural beauty, were predictors of connection with nature, yet knowledge based activities were not. In a third study (n = 72), a walking intervention with activities operationalising the identified predictors, was found to significantly increase connection to nature when compared to walking in nature alone or walking in and engaging with the built environment. The findings indicate that contact, emotion, meaning, compassion, and beauty are pathways for improving nature connectedness. The pathways also provide alternative values and frames to the traditional knowledge and identification routes often used by organisations when engaging the public with nature.
This study analyses a 53,000-word diary of a year engaging with nature through over 200 trips to a semirural landscape. Thematic analysis revealed two themes: the transition from observer to nature connectedness and the ways in which the natural environment was experienced once a connection was made. These themes are discussed in relation to theories that seek to explain the positive effect of nature and nature connectedness. The findings are important as they suggest that repeated engagement with local semirural countryside can lead to a mindful approach and psychological rewards that do not require travel into the wilderness. The work informs further research into outcomes and processes of nature-based interventions, such as trip frequency, duration, and diary keeping.
Abstract There is much to be gained from understanding the individual differences that predict our connection to nature, as those that are more connected tend to be more caring toward the environment and benefit from better well-being. Study 1 (n?=?137) found that reflective self-attention and mindful attention significantly predicted connection to nature, while anxious self-attention had a borderline significant negative association. With the introduction of personality measures, Study 2 (n?=?161) found that reflective self-attention and openness had a stronger relationship to nature connection than mindful attention. Study 3 (n?=?99) found reflective self-attention, rather than mindful attention, to be associated with an increase in connection to nature. A pre-reflective and intentional self-attention account of nature connectedness is proposed, with intentional self-reflection being a stronger factor than mindful attention. Key Words: Connectedness to nature?Self-attention?Mindfulness?Personality.