People enjoy the natural environment in many different ways. These include visiting the countryside, enjoying green spaces in towns and cities, watching wildlife and volunteering to help protect the natural environment.
The Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment (MENE) survey, funded by Natural England, with support from Defra and the Forestry Commission, provides trend data on how people use the natural environment in England.
MENE collects information about visits to the natural environment. This includes the type of destination, the duration of the visit, mode of transport, distance travelled, expenditure, main activities and motivations and barriers to visiting.
The survey also collects information about other ways that people engage with the natural environment, such as watching wildlife and volunteering.
Please see the MENE comparability guide: (153kb) for information about how MENE compares with other outdoor recreation, sport, leisure and tourism and arts, culture and heritage surveys.
Fieldwork started in March 2009 with around 800 respondents interviewed every week across England using an in-home interview format. Every year at least 45,000 interviews are undertaken.
The survey uses a quota sampling method to ensure that results are representative of the English adult population (16 years and over). The MENE Technical Report contains details of the survey methodology, weighting, and estimates of margins of error. Please see frequently asked questions about the data: (233kb).
Forthcoming MENE statistical releases can be found in the reporting schedule: (216kb).
Using data from the MENE survey, Natural England is supporting the delivery of public health by local government through a key indicator on green space use.
PHOF Indicator 1.16 relates to the percentage of people using outdoor places for health/exercise reasons. The baseline period relates to March 2009 to February 2012, while the latest findings from March 2012 to February 2013 have now also been made available. Data is published for England, English Regions, and English Upper Tier Local Authorities.
Please see the Department of Health's interactive web tool for the complete indicator set and results across England.
The MENE On-line Cross-tabulation Viewer allows access to all survey data. With this tool, the survey data can be cross-tabulated, with the data pre-analysed by the required weights.
The complete datasets and metadata from the first four years of survey fieldwork are available from Natural England’s publication catalogue. These files were updated in January 2014 to include additional weights and guidance notes for use with Upper-Tier Local Authority level analysis.
The Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 brought all ‘official statistics’ under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. For further information about how MENE complies with the provisions of the Act, see MENE: compliance with the Statistics & Registration Services Act 2007: (221kb).
In relation to its remit for promoting public understanding, conservation and enjoyment of the natural environment, Natural England and partners will use the findings to:
A review of the MENE survey was commissioned to examine the current value and extent of the use of MENE. It provides excellent examples of how MENE informs policy, supports national and local decision making, and supports research and scientific studies, projects and reports.
The Pre-release Access (PRA) order 2008 limits the circulation of official statistics prior to publication. Prior access is limited to a strict maximum of 24 hours and anyone granted access must not disclose any of the statistics, or indicate their size or trend.
A list of the individuals who received pre-release access to the year four data can be found in the MENE pre-release access list 2012-13: (139kb).
This list of frequently asked questions: (190kb) (FAQs) has been compiled to improve transparency around the running and reporting of the MENE survey.
If you cannot find what you are looking for please email MENE@naturalengland.org.uk.
Any queries about the reuse of survey data, the commissioning of bespoke analysis or the possibility of adding questions to the survey programme should be directed to MENE@naturalengland.org.uk.