Sugden, Natalie (2019) Volunteering in the outdoors: The experience of becoming connected to nature. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Aim: The research presented within this thesis aims to gain a detailed understanding of the experience and the benefits of becoming connected to nature. Research focused on adult volunteers who attend a weekly gardening group in Huddersfield, overseen by a local charity called Support to Recovery (S2R).

Method: Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 10 volunteers from a weekly gardening group, which is overseen by S2R and aims to provide well-being support to individuals within the Kirklees area. Participants were asked about their involvement within the group, how they came to be involved and to discuss their experiences so far. These 10 interviews were transcribed and Template Analysis (King & Brooks, 2017) was utilised to extract Preliminary Codes, Themes and Clusters.

Findings: Overall, 15 Themes were identified and clustered into 6 Overarching Themes; Escape, Identity within a Community, Becoming one with Nature, Feeling good whilst in Nature, Psychological Relaxation and Learning new things.

The findings are discussed with reference to the relevant literature and theories, including more specific research and theories that relate to the current research findings for example, Escapism and Identity. Future implications for practice and research are outlined and suggestions for further research in the area of nature and well-being interventions are made.

FINAL THESIS - SUGDEN.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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