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Environmental Values

Wildlife Gardening and Connectedness to Nature: Engaging the Unengaged

Amy Shaw, Kelly Miller and Geoff Wescott

Environmental Values 22 (2013): 483-502. doi: 10.3197/096327113X13690717320748


An often overlooked impact of urbanisation is a reduction in our ability to connect with nature in our daily lives. If people lose the ability to connect with nature we run the risk of creating a nature-disconnect, which is hypothesised to have an impact on our empathy for other species and our desire to help conservation efforts. Understanding how a sense of connection with nature can impact upon people's decisions to seek out nature in their daily lives is important if we wish to encourage the practice of wildlife gardening as a tool to enhance both urban biodiversity and connectedness to nature. This study targeted members of wildlife gardening programmes (n=261) and members of the general public (n=417) and provides empirical evidence that connectedness to nature is a primitive belief, but also shows that a strong sense of connection with nature is not a prerequisite for engaging in wildlife gardening.


Connectedness to nature, wildlife gardening, urban conservation, urban wildlife, biodiversity conservation

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Editorial: Some Reasons for Optimism Simon Hailwood

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