A Guide to Nature

I am reblogging this from Miles Richardson’s Finding Nature blog. Miles is an applied psychologist researching nature connection. One recurrent theme of this research is that knowledge-based activity which focuses on “successful achievement” of, for instance, identification of birds, is not a good predictor of nature connection.

There is a place for knowledge – indeed, the attempt to identify, in my experience, is itself a form of pleasure and leads to a focused attention – but equally “not succeeding” (again in my experience) can lead to disappointment and a certain alienation from nature-based activity.

Anyway, here is a post with an intriguing literary idea…

Finding Nature

Nature is in decline and there is a need to promote a new relationship with the natural world. A closer relationship based on an emotional attachment where nature has meaning in our lives. Where we sense and appreciate nature’s everyday beauty. Where we develop a compassion for nature.

In Spring last year I was in a nature-based visitor center and was struck by the shelves full of guides to identifying nature. This promotes a certain type of relationship with the natural world. Yet, we know such knowledge of nature isn’t a pathway to connection and is a poor predictor of the pro-nature behaviours we desperately need. However knowledge based relationships with nature are the dominant relationships we promote. When designing a nature engagement experience (especially for children), many will ask about the learning outcomes. Why not learn to develop a closer bond with nature?

Nature connectedness describes an emotional relationship…

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