National government

What does the public value about the environment?

Citizen Engagement on the Environment
NatCen, National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE), Kris de Meyer, Kings College London, Natural History Consortium, Incredible Oceans, Marine Biological Association and the Behavioural Insights Team
18 months

The UK faces a range of environmental challenges that require action to ensure the Government’s aims, set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan, are met. The project included a rapid review of the evidence about public perspectives and attitudes to the environment, six wider community engagement events and a series of public dialogue workshops. 

The project aimed to support Defra to better understand people’s values and priorities for the environment. The project developed options for taking these values and priorities into account in environmental policymaking. The final report can be found here. A shorter briefing summarising the findings can be found here

The findings from the rapid evidence review and the first three of the wider community engagement events fed into the overarching questions asked at the dialogue workshops. The findings and conclusions from these workshops were tested in three final community engagement events - although these had to be moved online as a result of the first national lockdown due to the COVID pandemic. The report drawing together all of this work can be found here.  

Involve was responsible for designing and delivering the dialogue workshops. These took place between January and April 2020 in London, Hull,  and Chesterfield. A fourth workshop was planned in Kendal, but the lockdown meant this had to be cancelled. A final workshop, involving a group of participants from each of the previous workshops plus a range of policy makers from DEFRA and its agencies finished this stage of the work. This last workshop gave the participants a chance to engage with, strengthen and challenge our emerging findings from the previous workshops.

We also developed a short guide for policy-makers interested in options for engaging the public in future environmental policy decisions

The report from the evaluation of the project can be found here

All of the documents posted here have been published by Defra (Defra Project Code BE0141) and are available from the Department’s Science and Research Projects Database.

Picture credit: Photo by Brian Sumner on Unsplash