Research Report

Young people’s interaction with natural heritage through outdoor learning



Mannion G, Sankey K, Doyle L & Mattu L (2007) Young people’s interaction with natural heritage through outdoor learning. Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report, (ROAME No. F06AB03), 225. Inverness: Scottish Natural Heritage.

Funded jointly by Scottish Natural Heritage and Learning and Teaching Scotland, this research forms part of a two-year research and development programme entitled Outdoor Connections. A key aim of the programme is to research the current state of outdoor education in Scotland for 3–18-year-olds. Outdoor Connections, in turn, is seeking to understand how outdoor learning can be harnessed to address the aims of the current national curriculum development initiative: A Curriculum for Excellence (hereafter ACfE). The research comes at a time when formal outdoor learning is broadening its scope beyond adventure and field studies activities to include a wider range of activities across the whole curriculum thereby potentially connecting learners with their environment, their community, their society and themselves. The report analyses two sets of data. The first comes from a survey of schools’ and pre-school centres’ provision of formal outdoor learning. The second set of data comes from interviews with young people themselves (ages 3–16) about their outdoor experiences more generally. The report analyses these data to show how different types, durations and locations for outdoor learning provide different kinds of opportunities for interaction with nature and different learning outcomes.

natural heritage; outdoor learning; environmental education; Outdoor education; Education Activity programs; Environment and children

Title of seriesScottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report, (ROAME No. F06AB03)
Number in series225
Publication date31/12/2007
PublisherScottish Natural Heritage
Publisher URL…n-detail/?id=877
Place of publicationInverness

People (1)


Professor Gregory Mannion

Professor Gregory Mannion

Professor, Education