LTL has built up a comprehensive library of research into the benefits of outdoor learning and play for children. We have compiled a sample list on this site which we hope you will find useful. Some of this research also helps build a substantiated case for increased outdoor learning and play in education.

The following research is specifically focused on investigating the impact of the design and use of school grounds on children’s education and development.

  • Children spend less time playing in natural places, such as woodlands, countryside and heaths than they did in previous generations. Less than 10% play in such places compared to 40% of adults when they were young.
    Natural England, 2009. Read the research.

  • When planned and implemented well, learning outside the classroom contributed significantly to raising standards and improving pupils’ personal, social and emotional development.
    Ofsted, 2008. Read the research.

  • Children undertaking outdoor activities in nature appear to improve symptoms of ADHD by 30% compared to urban outdoor activities and threefold compared to the indoor environment.
    RSPB, 2007. Read the research.

  • “…children are disappearing from the outdoors at a rate that would make the top of any conservationist’s list of endangered species if they were any other member of the animal kingdom…” Gill (2005)
    Sustainable Development Research Centre, 2009. Read the research.

  • The hidden curriculum of the secondary school grounds is recognised by most, if not all secondary school managers, but often in the context of the impression given to potential parents and the community rather than the way the quality of design and management might effect student attitudes.
    Sussex University/Learning through Landscapes, 2005. Read the research.

  • Of the 700 schools grounds improvements were seen to have had a positive impact on overall attitudes to learning; academic achievement; behaviour; social interaction; self-esteem; and a significant reduction in bullying.
    Learning through Landscapes, 2003. Read the research.




Learning through Landscapes

Ground Floor
F Block
Clarendon House
Monarch Way
Winchester SO22 5PW

01962 846258