Delivering formal outdoor learning in protected areas: A case study of Scottish Natural Heritage National Nature Reserves.

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Abstract

In most countries, protected area management agencies provide formal outdoor learningopportunities for a wide range of educational groups. For high-quality formal outdoorlearning programmes that provide a range of experiences to be effectively delivered,specific resources and infrastructure are needed.Using the case study of Scottish NaturalHeritage (SNH), this study sought to explore issues surrounding the planning anddelivery of outdoor learning programmes in outdoor settings. Semi-structured qualitativeinterviews with education officers employed by five Scottish heritage agencies wereundertaken. Based on the interview data, a set of criteria were developed that need tobe met to effectively deliver outdoor learning in protected areas such as SNH NationalNature Reserves (NNRs). The criteria can also be used to strategically identify andprioritise areas or sites for formal outdoor learning purposes. These criteria were thenapplied to SNH NNRs to identify and prioritise reserves for formal outdoor learning.The study identified a range of factors that need to be addressed in the planning anddelivery of formal outdoor learning programmes and a set of criteria that need to be metto effectively deliver formal outdoor learning programmes in outdoor settings such asprotected areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-22
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Research in Geographical and Environmental Education
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013

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