Using solicited research diaries to assess the restorative potential of exposure to inland blue space across time



Grace M, Dickie J, Brown C, Bartie P & Oliver DM (2024) Using solicited research diaries to assess the restorative potential of exposure to inland blue space across time. Landscape and Urban Planning, 241, p. 104904.

Inland blue spaces, or freshwater environments, have been shown to provide people with positive mental health and wellbeing outcomes. Most inland blue space research focusing on wellbeing outcomes has so far been cross-sectional, utilising questionnaires and interviews. Therefore, there is significant uncertainty regarding the potential for inland waterways to benefit human populations over longer-term time scales. Across a sixteen-month data collection period, this study recruited four distinct sample groups to complete diaries for periods of three-months, focusing on inland blue space experiences in Scotland. The aim of the study was to use solicited diary methods to establish whether restorative exposure outcomes gained from visiting blue spaces may vary across time. Results from the diary data show that visiting freshwater areas consistently led to positive restorative outcomes, with minimal variation in restorative outcomes observed across time. Participants recorded three principal categories of blue space experiences; routine visits, getting fresh air; and day trips, with each visit type providing a range of restorative benefits. The findings highlight the potential for inland blue spaces to act as versatile public health resources and the need to consider long-term strategies to ensure these environments benefit populations across time.

Inland waterways; Green Space; Mental Health; Restorative Outcomes Scale; Wellbeing

Landscape and Urban Planning: Volume 241

FundersNatural Environment Research Council
Publication date31/01/2024
Publication date online30/09/2023
Date accepted by journal25/09/2023
PublisherElsevier BV

People (3)


Dr Jennifer Dickie

Dr Jennifer Dickie

Senior Lecturer, Biological and Environmental Sciences

Miss Megan Grace

Miss Megan Grace

PhD Researcher, Biological and Environmental Sciences

Professor David Oliver

Professor David Oliver

Professor, Biological and Environmental Sciences