Visits to the natural environment
Last updated 17 May 2019 - see all updates
1. Main facts and figures
41.9% of people in England surveyed in 2015/16 said they had been to a green open space, or to the countryside or coast, in the previous 7 days
out of all ethnic groups, White people were the most likely to have visited the natural environment, and Asian people were least likely
over the previous 12 months, just under 60% of White people said they had visited the natural environment at least once a week, compared to about 40% of people from all other ethnic groups combined
The ethnic categories used in this data
The ethnic categories used are taken from the Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment (MENE) survey. These are:
For data analysed both by ethnicity and by socio-economic group or urban/rural location, the number of people surveyed (the ‘sample size’) was too small to draw any firm conclusions about specific or broad ethnic categories. Therefore, the data is broken down into the following 2 broad categories:
- White – White ethnic groups (including White British and White ethnic minorities)
- Other – all other ethnic minorities
2. By ethnicity (last 7 days)
Summary of Visits to the natural environment By ethnicity (last 7 days) Summary
3. By ethnicity and socio-economic group (last 7 days)
|Ethnicity||Higher and intermediate managerial||Supervisory and junior managerial||Skilled manual workers||Semi and unskilled manual workers|
Summary of Visits to the natural environment By ethnicity and socio-economic group (last 7 days) Summary
4. By ethnicity and type of location (last 7 days)
Summary of Visits to the natural environment By ethnicity and type of location (last 7 days) Summary
5. By ethnicity (last 12 months)
|Ethnicity||At least once a week||Less often||Never|
|All||55.8||not collected||not collected|
Summary of Visits to the natural environment By ethnicity (last 12 months) Summary
The survey involves weekly waves of interviewing on the TNS in-home Omnibus Survey, with respondents asked about visits taken in the 7 days preceding the interview.
In each wave, interviews are undertaken with a representative sample of the English adult population (aged 16 and over) with a sample of at least 800 achieved across at least 100 locations. In each year included in this analysis, between 45,000 and 49,000 people were interviewed, resulting in a total sample of just over 326,000 respondents.
The MENE weighting system is applied to the sample to provide estimates of the total volume of visits taken to the natural environment by the English adult population. Weighting provides results representative of the adult population and the visits they have taken over the study period.
Each month’s data is weighted on the basis of:
- age and sex (for example, males 16 to 24, females 85+)
- area of residence
- social grade
- presence of children in the household
- sex and working status (for example, male full-time)
- presence of a dog in the household
- urban/rural residence
Respondents are asked a range of questions about visits to the natural environment over the previous 7 days.
The socio-economic classifications used are:
- A: High managerial, administrative or professional
- B: Intermediate managerial, administrative or professional
- C1: Supervisory, clerical and junior managerial, administrative or professional
- C2: Skilled manual workers
- D: Semi and unskilled manual workers
- E: State pensioners, casual or lowest grade workers, unemployed with state benefits only
Social grade is a classification system based on occupation and it enables a household and all its members to be classified according to the occupation of the ‘household reference person’.
The household reference person is the person in whose name the dwelling is owned or rented or who is otherwise responsible for the accommodation.
MENE uses a sampling approach which involves the weekly selection of around 100 locations throughout England.
The survey methodology could under-represent those types of people less likely to be available when fieldwork is undertaken, including regular recreation participants who are generally less likely to be at home. To reduce this potential bias, interviewing is conducted at different times of day and on different days of the week.
Suppression rules and disclosure control
Results are not published for an ethnic group when they're based on fewer than 100 visits.
All percentages are given to 1 decimal place.
7. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
Purpose of data source
The Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment (MENE) survey provides trend data for how people use the natural environment in England. The data enables researchers and policymakers to:
- understand how people use, enjoy and are motivated to protect the natural environment
- monitor changes in use of the natural environment over time
- help link on-the-ground initiatives more closely to people's needs
- measure the impact of, and inform the development of, policy relating to the natural environment
8. Download the data
This file contains the following: ethnicity, NS-SEC (socio-economic group), value, denominator