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 and the Forestry Commission.

The survey collects information about the ways that people engage with the natural environment such as visiting the countryside, enjoying green spaces in towns and cities, watching wildlife and volunteering to help protect the natural environment.

The data collected about how people use the natural environment, includes the:

  • type of destination
  • duration
  • mode of transport
  • distance travelled
  • expenditure
  • main activities
  • motivations
  • barriers to visiting

The comparability table explains how MENE compares with other outdoor recreation, sport, leisure and tourism and arts, culture and heritage surveys.

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 using the questionnaire script and questionnaire frequency table.

See the MENE technical report for details of the survey methodology, weighting, and estimates of margins of error. This MENE introduction provides more information about the survey.

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

The review of the MENE survey provides examples of how MENE:

  • informs policy
  • supports national and local decision making
  • supports research and scientific studies, projects and reports

Previous surveys

Reports and data are available for:

Further information

Contact the responsible statistician, Stephen Herbert, 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

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

Raw data

The complete datasets and metadata from the first 7 years of survey fieldwork are available from Natural England’s publication catalogue. These files were updated in May 2017 and also include additional weights and guidance notes for use with upper-tier local authority level analysis.

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.

National Statistics

In September 2014, the UK Statistics Authority completed their assessment of MENE and designated the output as National Statistics. Designation means that the UK Statistics Authority are satisfied that Natural England are fulfilling all of its obligations to the Code of Practice for Official Statistics, and are therefore producing these statistics to the highest standard possible.

Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF) indicator 1.16 results

Data from the MENE survey on green space use is included in the PHOF indicator 1.16 results. This provides information on the percentage of people using outdoor places for health or exercise reasons.

The baseline period relates to March 2009 to February 2012, while the latest findings from March 2015 to February 2016 have now also been made available. Data is published for England, English regions, and English upper tier local authorities.

This data helps inform local government public health expenditure.

See the Department of Health’s interactive results tool for the complete indicator set and results across England.

MENE reports

An annual report is published at the end of each year of the MENE survey. In addition, quarterly reports were published every 3 months from 2010 to 2016 to provide the latest results from the current year of the survey. Quarterly reporting was discontinued in March 2016.

  1. Coming soon
  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 15 August 2018 + show all updates
  1. Annual publication.
  2. Updated pre-release access list.
  3. Updated MENE pre-release access list.
  4. First published.