Let Nature Feed Your Senses - evaluation findings

About the project

Farms, city farms and nature reserves across England came together to offer sensory-rich visits that helped make the connections between food, farming and nature. Over 11,800 people had the opportunity to visit farms and nature reserves across England, many of whom didn’t have the opportunity to do so before. We welcomed groups from inner city schools, groups with learning disabilities and sensory impairments, and older people with dementia, to experience the plants and animals that help to feed us and the countryside that’s home to our nature and wildlife.

particpants in the let nature feed your senses project

Research and evaluation

The research has shown that the project has had a positive impact on the wellbeing of participants, has facilitated social inclusion, has improved visitor access to and connection with nature, and has increased understanding of farming and food production, all of which are likely to contribute to healthier lifestyles. These outcomes also support Government calls to connect people with the natural environment and food production, to engage in nature and outside learning, to improve health and promote wellbeing.

LEAF and the Sensory Trust commissioned the University of Essex to provide an independent academic evaluation of the extent to which the Let Nature Feed Your Senses project achieved the first three of its six outcomes.

Download the full report
Download the executive summary

Over four and a half years the project generated a mass of evaluation and feedback. As a result of this deeper level of investigation we produced the following evidence reports that bring together our learning;

Evidence Report: The impact of sensory farm visits on older people with dementia

Evidence Report: The impact of sensory farm visits on people with mental health challenges

Evidence Report: The impact of sensory farm visits on people with learning difficulties

Feedback from group leaders on evidence reports

Inclusive approaches to evaluation

Sensory Trust promotes an inclusive and engaging approach to monitoring and evaluation. Our clear, inclusive design techniques and creative approaches ensure methodologies are accessible and enjoyable to all, as well as ensuring the collection procedures are as easy and appealing as possible. This includes, for example, using Widgit symbols and stickers for those who find reading and writing difficult or are cautious about surveys and forms, including people with learning difficulties, older people with dementia and families with younger children.

 

Let nature feed your senses logo

Links

Creative Spaces evaluation -Measuring the benefits of the outdoors for people living with dementia

Community engagement guidance (pdf 299k) - How to Involve local people in development decisions ensuring that the eventual designs are appropriate, enjoyable, well used, and cared for by the community

Sensory engagement - projects, ideas and examples of how to connect with nature through the senses