This research was commissioned to provide an understanding of outdoor visits and engagement with nature in Scotland during the initial period of coronavirus lockdown, i.e. between 23 March and 28 May 2020 when a 'stay at home' message was central, with only essential travel to be undertaken, limits on the daily number of outdoor visits for exercise and time to be spent only with other household members.

The research findings are based on 1,008 online interviews undertaken with a representative sample of Scottish adults between 29 May and 5 June 2020. 

Key findings include:

  • Levels of participation in outdoor visits varied during the initial lockdown period, with around a
    third of the population (34%) taking daily visits for exercise and almost a fifth (19%) taking no
    visits at all
  • Compared to historical survey data, both daily and weekly participation levels were higher than might have been expected at the time of year.
  • The amount of time people spent outdoors for exercise also varied. Compared to the same period in 2019, 35% of the population spent more time outdoors than usual during lockdown while 43% spent less time outdoors than usual.
  • Those most likely to report spending more time outdoors included women, younger age groups, families and people in good health.

Read the full report