A visit from the Sensing Nature project
25 January 2019
We had a great visit from Dr Sarah Bell from the Sensing Nature project. Dr Bell met with staff from WESC Foundation at the Discovery Garden and the outdoor setting at West Hill.
Sarah and the team behind the project have been exploring the diverse sensory experiences people with visual impairment have in and around nature. There have been some incredible developments in our horticulture spaces over the past two years; our students have enjoyed experiences such as outdoor science activities and forest school lessons. We plan to continue developing the sites and activities we can offer, and our discussions with Sarah have stimulated some really great ideas.
About the Sensing Nature project
Sensing Nature was a two-year research project aiming to answer this question:
How do people living with sight impairment experience nature during their lives?
It listened to participants with varying forms and severities of sight loss to understand how they encountered a sense of wellbeing (or otherwise) with different types of nature.
Roughly 285 million people are thought to live with sight impairment across the world. That number is increasing as populations begin to age and conditions such as diabetes become more common.
The overall aim of Sensing Nature has been to improve the way we understand and enable more positive, inclusive multisensory nature experiences amongst people living with sight impairment, regardless of their life stage.
Conducted by Dr Sarah Bell at the University of Exeter, the study was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and ran from November 2016 to November 2018.