Nurturing connection with nature: the role of spending time in different types of nature

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Connection with nature has been associated with greater participation in a range of biodiversity conservation behaviours, and is increasingly being recognised as a potentially useful policy tool to address conservation outcomes. Yet, understanding of how connection with nature may be nurtured remains poorly understood. This research investigates the extent to which spending time in nature, and in different types of nature, predicted change in connection with nature (captured by the CN-12) over a 12-month period. Data were from a representative sample (based on age, gender, and metropolitan/regional residence) of the adult population in the state of Victoria, Australia, collected via an online survey. Results of analyses of variance and paired-samples t-tests suggested spending time in nature at least monthly was associated with higher connection with nature scores. Results from multiple linear regression and mediation analyses suggested that more time spent in nature (generally), and more time spent in protected areas, waterways, and urban parks (specifically), predicted small increases in connection with nature. These findings suggest that policies that encourage spending more time in nature, including in protected areas, waterways, and urban parks, could be useful for increasing connection with nature and, in turn, addressing biodiversity conservation outcomes. The findings of this research should be of interest to policymakers interested in addressing biodiversity conservation issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)630-642
Number of pages13
JournalEcosystems and People
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • biodiversity conservation behaviours
  • Connection with nature
  • conservation psychology
  • contact with nature
  • Cristina Quintas-Soriano
  • human-nature relationships
  • nature experiences

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