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Why is this National Indicator important?
Outdoor recreation is beneficial for health and well-being. It also provides opportunities for people to come into contact with, and increase their understanding of, the natural environment. Although outdoor recreation has multiple motivations, this indicator provides a useful measure of the numbers of people who gain benefit and enjoyment from nature and biodiversity and improve their understanding of the importance and functioning of the natural environment.
What will influence this National Indicator?
Accessibility of outdoor recreation space is an important influence, both in terms of its proximity to people's homes and in its connections, with easy access points and clear links between areas of green space (leading to 'green networks'). Another important influence is the way people feel in the green spaces: do they feel safe?
Education and awareness are also important. Education can increase people's perception of outdoor recreation as a valuable activity and their knowledge of the natural environment. Increasing awareness of available green spaces will help to stimulate their use.
What is the Government's role?
The Government will seek to increase accessibility, education and awareness. Scottish Natural Heritage has a responsibility for promoting understanding of the opportunities for outdoor recreation, including promotion of the Access Code. National Park Authorities have a key role in promoting outdoor recreation opportunities in their areas and are responsible for developing the core path networks in those areas. Elsewhere those functions are the responsibility of local authorities. SNH provides advice and support. The Scottish Biodiversity Strategy and Local Biodiversity Action Plans include actions intended to encourage participation and engagement.
How are we performing?
The Scottish Government has established a National Indicator to increase the proportion of adults making one or more visits to the outdoors per week. During 2010, 48% of adults are estimated to have visited the outdoors one or more times per week, compared to 46% in 2009. This data is taken from the Scottish Recreation Survey where respondents were asked how often on average they had made a visit to the outdoors for leisure and recreation in Scotland in the last 12 months.
View data on visits to the outdoors
Source: Scottish Recreation Survey
This evaluation is based on: any difference in the percentage within +/- 2 percentage points of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. An increase of 2 percentage points or more suggests the position is improving; whereas a decrease of 2 percentage points or more suggests the position is worsening. The threshold of 2 percentage points chosen is based on the data available at this time, and may need to be reviewed as more data points become available.
For more information see Scotland Performs Technical Note
For information on general methodological approach, please click here.
Who are our partners?
Scottish Natural Heritage
National Park Authorities
Related Strategic Objective(s)