The ‘Walking the Walk’ Project was funded by the UK’s National Environment Research Council (NERC) as part of a programme to make environmental science more diverse, equitable and inclusive (DEI).
The project started from the premise that for many people working in Earth and environmental sciences, or engaging in environmental citizenship, their first spark of interest came from experiences in nature.
As a project team, we argued that lived experiences of the natural world can plant seeds of curiosity, potentially leading to a lifelong desire to know more about our Earth and the environment.
In this light, we observed that much of the “the UK countryside” is perceived as an overwhelmingly “white” space. This meant that for too many citizens seeds of curiosity are either not planted, or not given opportunities to take root and flourish. Unfortunately, these exclusionary conditions continue to dominate.
We adopted an engaged research approach to investigate these issues, working with minoritized grassroot community groups to identify and overcome barriers to make walking in nature more equitable, inclusive and accessible.
We conducted walks with minoritized grassroot community groups;
We are currently working on the analysis of the map of relevant publics and the interviews, whilst also producing a final report for NERC as our funders.
To find out more about the Walking the Walk Project, contact Marcus Badger.
For more about the work we have completed to date, select: Walking the Walk - together in nature.
On 22 November Professors Clare Warren, Mark Brandon and Richard Holliman, and Dr Barbara Kunz travelled to Manchester for an OU Graduation Ceremony.
An EEES researcher is leading a new Natural Environmental Research Council-funded project to improve our ability to predict climate change using cutting-edge analysis of fossilised algae molecules.