“Go on, get out, you've got this”: a qualitative study exploring engagement with a nature conservation intervention for older adults

Ciara M. O'Brien*, Kimberley J. Smith, Sarah Allison, Birgitta Gatersleben

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This qualitative study evaluated a co-designed nature conservation intervention for older adults living in a retirement village. It explored if and how the intervention could support autonomous motivation to engage with nature. Participants were invited to “spot, count and record things in nature” for 6 weeks, tailoring (i.e., personalizing) this nature activity to their motivations, needs and abilities, and using resources provided (e.g., logbook). Following the intervention, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 30 participants. These interviews highlighted the wide range of barriers to engaging with the natural environment among older adults, even if it is easily accessible. Findings revealed that co-designing an intervention, tailored to different motivations, needs and abilities, providing a sense of purpose and connection, and supporting discovery and learning, can inspire older adults to spend more time engaging with nature.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100208
Number of pages12
JournalWellbeing, Space and Society
Early online date20 Jun 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Jun 2024

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