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.
The UK Statistics Authority designated the MENE Headline and Technical 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
Accredited National Statistics are identified by the National Statistics quality mark.
Although not designated as National Statistics, the pre 2014 MENE Headline and Technical Reports and 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 list
The Pre-release Access to Official Statistics Order 2008 restricts who can see official statistics before they’re published. The pre-release access list for MENE Headline and Technical Reports was revised in May 2017 removing all pre-release access.
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
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 MENE@naturalengland.org.uk
Reports and data are available for:
Contact the responsible officer, Rose O’Neill, by email: MENE@naturalengland.org.uk 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.
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.