In our ‘Eco-capabilities’ study, artists, teachers, and more than a hundred children have come together to collaboratively explore ‘natural’ and outdoors spaces through the arts. Throughout the course of eight weeks, children are being invited to reflect on 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 benefits of being in green spaces, such as positive impact on happiness, vitality, life satisfaction and stress relief, have been demonstrated through a rapidly growing body of research. Further, there is suggestive evidence that lack of contact with undomesticated outdoor spaces in childhood is a predictor for adult depression (e.g. Snell et al., 2016). But what do children think nature is for? The artists in our study are exploring this question with children from primary schools and here we highlight some of their responses.