Headline messages for providers – how to break down barriers

The overarching insight from this research is that participants had a genuine desire to increase their access to the natural environment.  The following checklist is designed as an aide memoire for providers and is presented through the marketing framework of the four ‘P’s:   Price, Product, Place, Promotion

Of particular note is the extent to which lack of car ownership is both a barrier in itself, and acts to exacerbate other common barriers, such as lack of time, lack of funds, and fear of exposure with no shelter.

“People want to access green space more often. The main barriers are know how and confidence” (Transform Research 2014; annex a).

Price – “the cost of access”

  • Costs of access are not just £’s but can be fear of exposure and lack of shelter, lack of equipment, lack of time, lack of confidence.

Product – “activities within green spaces”

  • Structured activities that increase confidence were highlighted as examples of good practice.
  • Health is a motivator but more so is seeing animals and a sense of achieving something.
  • The desire to increase access should be created when communicating about a service or activity.
  • The narrative can assume prior experience of the green spaces such as happy childhood memories.

Place – “woodlands, parks, moors”

  • Woodlands are associated with exploring and climbing and adventures.
  • Parks are associated with children playing, dogs, sport and play equipment.
  • Public transport and shelter should be carefully considered in service design.

Promotion – “using the correct language”

  •  When there are low costs involved and no/ little equipment requirements – this should be emphasised. It shouldn’t be assumed that not mentioning something will communicate it is not needed. Low confidence can mean the reader will err to the opposite, and assume that it is not for them.
  • If there is shelter and toilets, say so.
  • Use trusted sources and testimonials.
  • The words physical activity, paths and natural environment are not as positive as green space, woodland, fun and social.



  • Set clear SMART objectives- ”specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timebound,” that focus on the desired behaviour change as well as numbers and targets.
  • Capture people’s experiences pre and post intervention as well as quantitative data.
  • Be independent, where possible have someone else evaluate your service.
  • Refer to NICE Guidance on behaviour change.








Have your say

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *