Cumbria UK: An Outdoor Enthusiast's Paradise
As a Ph.D. student, I enjoy community-based research and examining place-based/land-based outdoor recreation and conservation/sustainability at the grass-roots level. I am studying how individuals who identify as women understand the use of space, what they see as barriers and benefits to their involvement in outdoor activity, and how outdoor spaces can be better utilized and improved to allow this demographic to partake in Outdoor Recreation and Environmental Sustainability projects. I had the opportunity to take part in research as an Honorary Research Fellow, in county Cumbria, UK. The purpose of this research is to gain a greater understanding of current levels of nature connectedness and barriers to accessing local greenspace within Cumbria. I, as the researcher, worked closely with local organizations and community groups to assess existing levels of nature connection and access to local greenspace. Using the principles of nature connectedness and collaborative co-production, the research investigated barriers and solutions to increasing connectivity with nature at a local level. The resulting research will put forward solutions for tackling local barriers and proposals for activities that would inspire and engage people to connect in a meaningful and relevant way with nature.