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Case Studies / DEFRA

Widening and diversifying access to the countryside

The Brief

To increase and diversify use of the countryside among people from ethnic minority backgrounds, disabled people and young people.

Our approach

The approach combined:

– A comprehensive literature review
– Interviews with experts on diversity and leisure
– Focus groups with ‘under-represented’ users: ethnic minority, disabled and young people
– Escorted visits to the countryside


In total, we worked with some 300 people for this piece of strategic research.


The project shaped DEFRA’s Diversity Strategy and enhanced its capacity to attract and retain more diverse visitors. 


The results were published and disseminated through national roadshows. The latter helped improve awareness and understanding of barriers to access, and increase the motivation to accommodate the needs of under-represented groups, among countryside practitioners.

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Jacqui Stearn

Diversity Review Programme Manager


“Your understanding of socially excluded groups has provided us with a solid knowledge base on the attitudes, preferences, barriers and needs of BAME, disabled and young people in relation to the countryside and green outdoor spaces. You have contributed very positively to our Diversity Review and helped increase the capacity of practitioners to attract and work with a more diverse profile of visitors.”

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Let's make this happen.