CCI believes that creative time in nature should be an integral part of every child and young person’s life. 

We take children and young people’s views about the learning and well-being benefits of being creative outdoors seriously. Their knowledge and understanding is integral to our research and programme developments, shapes toolkits and resources, and is platformed nationally.

We worked with our academic partners in 2023 – Professor Nicola Walshe at UCL and Dr Zoe Moula at Kings College – to publish a briefing in the special well-being focused edition of The House, the magazine for Parliament. 

Policy infographic
  • Mental health support doesn’t always have to be something that’s gone through referral processes, that relies on external agencies and huge amounts of funding.

    All primary-age children should participate in one session of arts-in-nature activities per week to support their mental health and wellbeing, connect them with nature, and positively impact their broader engagement with learning in school. To achieve this, practice should be incorporated into initial teacher education for all primary teachers.

Written in consultation with teachers and headteachers, stakeholders and policymakers, this draws together the latest research, sets it alongside the current policy context and makes a series of policy recommendations. Read the full briefing here.

New resources have been created with artist writers Gabby Arenge and Emily Dowdeswell to support the process of orientating and involving people in reflections on how our work relates to their practice. The voices of those we work with - children and young people, artists and communities - are foregrounded in these unique publications. These resources include: A Call for Spaces of Liberated Learning; Being Together Differently; and A Companionship Compass.

Artscapers speak at Westminster
Artscapers speak to the all-party Parliamentary Committee

We value highly our local, national and international networks, and continue to create ways to work together to stay strong and optimistic. We regularly host experiences to stimulate and provoke thinking and often contribute to other events. Colleagues from around the world joined a recent online storytelling event for example, sharing ways that spaces for liberated learning are enabled by their work with young people in countries such as Ecuador, USA and Germany.

Where possible young artscapers speak for themselves. Most recently groups of 7 - 9 year olds advocated for greater creative freedom in their learning during two All Party Parliamentary Group meetings at Westminster, and in 2022 Cambridge-based artscapers shared their thoughts on play, nature, and public space at an exhibition for developers, architects and city planners. 

By bringing the story of artscaping to wider audiences, and communicating its impact through a range of channels, new partnerships are being created and existing collaborations strengthened.  Working alongside education, research and mental health partners through our work with Fullscope, we are actively advocating for the value of building preventative models to mitigate mental health inequality.

  • You can be with yourself, find a nice quiet spot and just relax.

    Artscaper speaking at Westminster, May 2022

  • Learning isn’t sitting in the classroom learning your 12 x 12, learning is discovery, finding out new things.

    Artscaper speaking at Westminster, May 2022

  • Outside the sky is open, there are trees, and if you have all of these senses on … it’s so much more memorable, you are much more likely to remember and enjoy your experience.

    Artscaper speaking at Westminster, May 2022

  • You don’t need set rules, just a framework … a loose structure to build on, you can then build around the structure.

    Artscaper speaking at Westminster, May 2022

Artscapers from Mayfield Primary visit APPG at Westminster, 2022