Creative adventuring with families © Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination

The Eco-Capabilities Project

The overarching aim of this project is to explore how the wellbeing of children living in areas of high deprivation can be supported through working with artists in familiar outdoor places that they find difficult to engage with. It will contribute to contemporary academic and societal conversations about children’s disconnect from nature, their wellbeing (or lack thereof) and the role of the arts at the intersection between the two.

We take an innovative and novel approach to wellbeing, drawing on Sen’s capabilities work (1980) to explore wellbeing from the perspectives of children, in particular asking them to define what is important to them for living a good life through environmental sustainability, social justice and future economic wellbeing (what we term eco-capabilities). The research focuses on the nature-based interventions of our project partner, arts-based charity Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination (CCI), using a combined arts-based research and participatory methodological framework. It explores how and to what extent working with CCI artists can address disenfranchisement of Year 3 and 4 children in familiar, outdoor places that they find difficult to engage with and, thereby, support children’s wellbeing.

Eco-Capabilities is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AH/S006206/1).

Contact Information

For further information about the Eco-Capabilities project, please contact:

Dr Nicola Walshe (Principal Investigator):


Zoe Moula (Research Fellow):