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National Indicator: Scotland's Outdoors

 Increase people's use of Scotland's outdoors

Indicator Measure
Proportion of adults making one or more visits to the outdoors per week

Current Status
48.6% of adults visited the outdoors at least once a week in 2015, a similar proportion to 2014 where 48.4% of adults visited the outdoors at least once a week.

2006 to 2015

Source: Scottish Recreation Survey (ScRS), Scottish Household Survey (SHS)
The data for this chart is available at the bottom of the page.

Last Update: 27 September 2016
Next Update: September 2017

Increase people's use of Scotland's outdoors

Why is this National Indicator important?
What will influence this National Indicator?
What is the Government's role?
How is Scotland performing?
What more do we know about this National Indicator?
Criteria for recent change
Further information
Who are our partners?
Related Strategic Objectives

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. Local Authorities and 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 their areas. Core paths will enable and encourage all members of the public to exercise their rights of access. There is increasing evidence of the link between greater physical activity - in the form of green exercise - and better physical & mental health. The Active Nation campaign aims to motivate and inspire people of all ages and abilities to become more physically active.

How is Scotland performing?

During 2015, 48.6% of adults are estimated to have visited the outdoors at least once a week, compared to 48.4% in 2014, and 44.0% in 2006, the baseline year.

This data is taken from the Scottish Household 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.

From 2006 to 2012 this data was taken from the Scottish Recreation Survey. Both surveys were conducted in 2012.

The data is available at the bottom of the page.

What more do we know about this National Indicator?

Adults who reported their health to be good or very good were much more likely to visit the outdoors once a week than adults who reported their health to be bad or very bad. Adults living in less deprived areas were also more likely to visit the outdoors weekly than those living in more deprived areas.

Adults aged 75+ were less likely to visit the outdoors at least once a week compared to younger age groups.

The data is available at the bottom of the page.

Criteria for recent change

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.

Further Information

For information on general methodological approach, please click here.

Scotland Performs Technical Note

Who are our partners?

Local Authorities

National Park Authorities

Scottish Natural Heritage

Related Strategic Objectives

Healthier

Greener

View National Indicator Data

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Title:Increase people's use of Scotland's outdoors
Description:Increase people's use of Scotland's outdoors
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