Young people and the outdoors
Enabling young people to engage with nature supports their development and can nurture in them a lifelong love of nature.
Participating in outdoor recreation is important as it can:
- help young people to develop new skills and confidence
- help young people to improve their physical and mental well-being
- improve the life chances of young people who are socially excluded
Engaging people in social and physical activity in the outdoors while they’re young may also generate a lasting interest or commitment into adult life.
Enjoying the outdoors
In 2011, we did some research to better understand how to increase young people’s awareness of and participation in the outdoors.
We wanted to explore young people’s views and attitudes towards enjoying the outdoors and get an idea of the types of outdoor activities they like doing. Our research involved a representative sample of young people in Scotland aged 11 to 17.
The research found that today’s teenagers have a very healthy appetite for the outdoors. They enjoy taking part in a variety of activities and are keen to try new ones. To find out more, read our research report below.
Learning through doing
In 2015/16, we funded 84 projects that together engaged almost 100,000 young people in outdoor recreation, learning, volunteering and citizen science activities. Many participants were from disadvantaged backgrounds or had other protected characteristics.
Find out more
- Young People - Learning Outdoors and Developing Skills. For information on outdoor learning for teachers and youth workers
- NatureScot and Youth Engagement to find out more about the programmes and projects we are involved with to increase access, engagement and environmental decision-making of young people in nature.
- Attracting young talent to NatureScot
- Podcast: Attracting young people to green jobs
- Video playlist: Early career advice for budding environmentalists
- Nature-based jobs and skills
- Working and volunteering with us
- Current vacancies