Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment: survey purpose and results

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

The Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment (MENE) survey is funded by Natural England, with support from Defra.

The survey relates to engagement with the natural environment. By natural environment we mean all green, blue and open spaces in and around towns and cities as well as the wider countryside and coastline.

  • The main focus of the survey is people’s experiences of nature, including time spent on visits to the outdoors in the natural environment, away from home. By visits we mean discretionary time, ranging from a few minutes out of the home to an all day trip. Visits may include time spent close to home or further afield, potentially while on holiday in England. Routine shopping trips or time spent in a person’s own garden are not included in the definition of a visit in MENE.

The data collected also includes other ways people engage with the natural environment. This includes activities such as time spent in private and communal gardens, watching nature programmes on television and undertaking pro-environmental activities such as recycling.

National Statistics

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

Pre-release access list

The pre-release access order 2008 restricts who can see official statistics before they’re published. The pre-release access list for MENE National Statistics accredited products was revised in May 2017 removing all pre-release access.

Survey method

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. See the MENE technical report for details of the survey methodology including questions, frequencies, weighting, and estimates of margins of error.

How the survey is used

Natural England and its partners use the findings of the MENE survey to:

  • inform their work, and that of other interested parties, to link it more closely to need

  • evaluate the impact and effectiveness of this work

  • measure the impact of policy intervention


  • Natural England is working with Defra to review MENE, to ensure that the survey builds on what we have learnt so far and asks the right questions to help meet future evidence and policy needs. Regular review is a key requirement of the Code of Practice for Statistics and we welcome engagement with users to ensure MENE meets their needs. If you would like to contribute to this review please email

Previous surveys

Reports and data are available for:

Further information

Contact the responsible officer, Rose O’Neill, by email: for queries about the:

  • reuse of survey data
  • commissioning of bespoke analysis
  • possibility of adding questions to the survey programme

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

Results, publications and data

Reports for the results of the MENE survey are available to view using the links at the bottom of this page.

MENE survey data

SPSS, .csv and Excel data files

The complete datasets and metadata from the first 9 years of survey fieldwork are available from Natural England’s publication catalogue. These files were updated in September 2018 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.

MENE reports

The 2018 headline report includes results from the 2016-17 and 2017-18 survey years. Published alongside the headline reports, are a Technical Report providing full details of the survey methodology, sampling, grossing and weighting and estimates of confidence intervals, and summary data tables in Excel.

Results, publications and data

  1. Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment: Headline reports and technical reports 2016-2017 to 2017-2018
  2. Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment: 2015 to 2016
  3. Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment: 2014 to 2015
  4. Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment: 2013 to 2014
  5. Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment: 2012 to 2013
  6. Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment: 2011 to 2012
  7. Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment: 2010 to 2011
  8. Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment: 2009 to 2010
  9. Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment pilot study: visits to the natural environment by children
Published 13 August 2014
Last updated 18 January 2019 + show all updates
  1. MENE Children's Report 2017-2018 removed from collection documents as not published yet.
  2. Publication of the eight and ninth year of the MENE Children's Report.
  3. Amendments to body text.
  4. Amendments to body text.
  5. Annual update but this year contains data for 2016 to 2018.
  6. Annual publication.
  7. Updated pre-release access list.
  8. Updated MENE pre-release access list.
  9. First published.