30 May 2022
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (30 May 2022) released a snapshot of results from the ‘Our Lives Outdoors’ CSO Pulse Survey. This publication explores the relationship that people have with the outdoors and natural spaces in Ireland. It covers the time the respondents spent and the activities they engaged in outdoors and in natural spaces. It also gives information on their concerns about, and involvement in, the protection of the environment. And finally, it investigates the time they spent and the activities they undertook in their gardens.
The Pulse Survey April-May 2022 - Our Lives Outdoors: Snapshot of Results is a Frontier Publication from the CSO and is based on the third online CSO Pulse Survey 'Our Lives Outdoors', which is part of the CSO ‘Take Part’ Campaign.
Commenting on the results, Sylvie Clappe, Statistician, said: “During the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting restrictions, many of us were forced to re-examine our relationship with the outdoors. For some, time spent in the blue and green natural spaces surrounding our homes was essential to our physical and mental well-being. However, others might have found it difficult to spend time outdoors. With this survey, we tried to capture attitudes towards nature and the environment and examine how people interact with the outdoor and natural spaces that surround them in Ireland.
We found that more than half of respondents (55%) reported spending more time outdoors than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in March 2020, and one in three took up new outdoor activities. The most popular activities taken up were hill walking (26%), hiking (24%), running (24%), cycling (22%), and sea swimming (21%).
Almost all respondents (98%) liked spending time outdoors. Of those who liked to spend time outdoors, more than eight in ten reported spending this time outside to get fresh air (87%) or to enjoy nature (85%). When thinking about their recent visits to natural spaces over the past six months for recreational purposes, 97% of the respondents who liked to spend time outdoors felt healthier and 93% felt happier afterwards. More than 90% had access to a garden and 34% had started at least one new gardening activity listed in this survey1 since the start of the pandemic.
When it comes to environmental issues, almost 60% of the participants were concerned about climate change (58%) or pollution of freshwaters and marine waters (57%). When asked if there is still time to act on the environmental issues that pre-occupied them the most, more than half of the participants (52%) thought that, while there is still time to act, it is unlikely to happen. To protect the environment, more than 60% of respondents reported they had reduced the heating of their home in the winter, and more than half (53%) had reduced their use of water. In this section of the survey, almost 80% of participants answered ‘no’ when asked if there are enough green spaces and biodiversity in urban areas.”
The Pulse Survey May-April 2022 – Our Lives Outdoors: Snapshot of Results published today (30 May 2022) was launched by the CSO under the ‘Take Part’ Campaign. The survey was carried out online from Friday 22 April to Monday 09 May 2022. It was available to all people aged 18 years and older living in the Republic of Ireland. The survey received 9,346 responses. While results are calibrated to Irish population totals, the findings cannot be generalised to the entire Irish population, as the people who answered the questionnaire were not randomly chosen from the population. As the survey was online it will not represent views of those with no online activity. Outdoor activities are dependent on weather conditions. Some of the results presented in this publication will reflect this seasonal dependency. Further details on the methodology can be found in the Background Notes.
More information on CSO Pulse Surveys can be found here - Pulse Survey FAQ
1 In order to examine changes in gardening behaviours prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and now, respondents were asked about a range of gardening activities: Planting and/or maintaining bee-friendly plants; Adding log piles or other material that can be used as a home or shelter by wildlife; Growing your own vegetables/fruits; Providing food for wild animals; Using a water butt to water your own garden.
Sylvie Clappe (+353) 1 498 4042 or Nova Sharkey (+353) 1 498 4217
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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