Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment (MENE)

The MENE survey provides trend data for how people experience the natural environment in England.

Overview of MENE

Since 2009, Natural England in partnership with Defra, has undertaken the Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment (MENE) survey. The main focus of the survey is capturing time spent in the natural environment. It also seeks to capture other ways of engaging with the natural environment such as time spent in the garden and volunteering, and pro-environmental behaviors such as recycling. The data enables users to:

  • Understand how people use, enjoy and are motivated to protect the natural environment
  • Monitor changes in use of the natural environment over time, at a range of different spatial scales and for key groups within the population.

Storymap, thematic reports & Nature Connection Index (NCI)

To celebrate a decade of MENE, a visual storymap is available detailing what we have learnt from the survey.

The Nature Connection Index (NCI) data is collected via The Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment series. The purpose of NCI is to gather evidence on the relative importance of contact with nature and nature connection, the characteristics of experiences in natural environments that are most likely to support nature connection and delivery of outcomes, and the role of childhood experiences in developing nature connection into adulthood.

Thematic reports and Nature Connection Index data

This latest report summarises analysis of the NCI data to explore the relationships between nature contact, nature connectedness, wellbeing and pro-environmental behaviours.

Report on nature connectedness among adults and children in England (March 2020)

The Upper Tier Local Authority dashboard

The Upper Tier Local Authority dashboard has been developed allowing users to easily access visit behaviour and trends in the last 10 years of their area. The raw data has been provided for each upper tier local authority for those wishing to undertake more advanced analysis.

Upper Tier Local Authority Dashboard

Contact information

MENE concluded in 2019 and has been superseded by The People and Nature Survey for England, for queries relating to MENE please email

Additional information is available in the MENE web page on Natural England’s website archive.

Adult’s engagement with the natural environment

The adults MENE survey is representative of adult population (16 years and over) residing in England. This report summarises the headline findings from the tenth year of the MENE survey, including comparisons with previous survey years.

Previous years reports

The complete datasets and metadata from the first 10 years of survey fieldwork are available from Natural England’s publication catalogue. These files were updated in September 2019 and also include additional weights and guidance notes.

The MENE online cross-tabulation viewer provides access to survey data for the period 2009-2016. Using this tool, the survey data can be cross-tabulated to pre-analyse the data by the required weights.

The UK Statistics Authority designated the adults MENE Reports as National Statistics in January 2014, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Statistics

Statistics on Engagement with the Natural Environment (Natural England)

Children’s engagement with the natural environment

The children report presents the findings of the MENE survey in relation to children (aged under 16) and young people (aged 16-24) for the year from March 2017 to February 2019. Comparisons with adults over 25 years old are also included as appropriate. Trend analysis of survey data for the six year period from 2013/14 to 2018/19 has been highlighted in this report where change over time have been statistically significant.

The MENE Children’s Reports are official statistics, produced in accordance with the Code of Practice for Statistics and its key principles of Trustworthiness, Quality and Value. Pre-release access has been granted to the MENE Children’s report, allowing a limited number of ‘eligible people’ access for a strict 24 hour period before the statistics are published. The pre-release access list for the MENE Children’s Report published on 5 March 2019 comprises the following:

  • Defra officers

    • Press officers x 3

    • Campaign and Partnership Manager, External communications and stakeholder engagement

  • Natural England officers

    • Principal Advisers, Children and Nature Programme x 2

Technical notes and guidance

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 MENE technical report providing full details of the survey methodology and the survey questionnaire for both adults and children, plus sampling information, question frequencies, weighting, and estimates of margins of error.

If you want further information please go to the weighting guidance.

Updates to this page

Published 13 August 2014
Last updated 12 May 2022 + show all updates
  1. Contact information updated.

  2. Broken link amended and fixed.

  3. Minor addition of text and link to latest report added.

  4. Changes to MENE collection page.

  5. Annual publication.

  6. Latest publication of the Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment: Children's Report.

  7. MENE Children's Report 2017-2018 removed from collection documents as not published yet.

  8. Publication of the eight and ninth year of the MENE Children's Report.

  9. Amendments to body text.

  10. Amendments to body text.

  11. Annual update but this year contains data for 2016 to 2018.

  12. Annual publication.

  13. Updated pre-release access list.

  14. Updated MENE pre-release access list.

  15. First published.