Report on benefits of outdoors debated in Scottish Parliament

Members of the Scottish Parliament are urging the public to go camping after the publication of a report by Liverpool John Moores University.

A debate tomorrow in the Scottish Parliament will hear John Mason, the member for Glasgow Shettleston, call on ‘citizens across Scotland’ to consider the benefits of camping breaks for both their own health and Scotland’s local economy.

And he thanks LJMU and Sheffield Hallam for “an insightful report” which concludes that camping and caravanning offers people a ‘congregation with nature’ which promotes happiness and wellbeing.

The Outjoyment Report – co-authored by Dr Kaye Richards, in the School of Psychology – was published in October 2022 and surveyed nearly 11,000 people on the attractions of ‘outdoor’ living.

The debate on Wednesday, March 15 at Holyrood stems from a motion supported by around 20 MSPs and states that “promoting camping is also important in cultivating, especially in children, an appreciation for the environment and a passion to protect it”. It also describes iit as a salve to short term letting – AirBnBs – which was having an adverse impact on communities.

Dr Richards said: “The debate is live-streamed and a great piece of profile for us and our work. It’s good to hear the Scots enthused by our recommendations. They have a strong outdoor learning push in Scotland at the moment so this notion of camping and tents speaks to this from a broader education policy campaign.” 

Her report, commissioned by the Camping and Caravanning Club, found that:

- 97% of campers said happiness was their top motivator for going camping.
- 48% of campers reported feeling happy almost every day, compared with 35% of non-campers; 
- 93% of people go camping to enjoy being in nature,
- 93% of campers value camping for the benefits it has for their health and wellbeing; 

Added Kaye, an outdoor therapy expert: “Camping connects people – to the outdoors, to nature, to each other, and most importantly to themselves.

“Positive emotions generated from outdoor enjoyment help to alleviate everyday stressors and promote feelings of life satisfaction. It is no surprise then, that the more people camp the more this can improve happiness and well-being.”

The debate will be screened on at 5pm.



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