This indicator measures the proportion of adults making one or more visits to the outdoors per week


The figures for this indicator come from the Scottish Household Survey (SHS) which is a National Statistics product produced by the Scottish Government. Data for this indicator is published in the Scottish Household Survey Annual Report, which can be found here. An interactive data explorer for the SHS can be found here.

The participants in the survey are asked how often they have visited the outdoors for leisure and recreation during the last 12 months. The indicator is the percentage of those who responded with frequencies of at least once per week, based on the number responding to the question throughout the year.

Prior to 2013 the figures for this indicator came from the Scottish Recreation Survey (ScRS). Data was provided from questions included in a consumer omnibus survey (Scottish Opinion Survey) run by TNS under a contract to Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). The wording and response option were the same in both surveys, making the results broadly comparable. 2012 was the last year that the ScRS was run. In 2012 figures were provided from both surveys, which returned the same result


Adults are people resident in Scotland aged 16 and over.

Outdoors is defined as "open spaces in the countryside as well as in towns and cities such as woodland, parks, farmland, paths, beaches etc".

Visits are defined as "trips could either have been from home or while you were away from home on holiday, provided the holiday was in Scotland. They might include everyday activities like walking the dog as well as other activities like mountain biking or kayaking."

Criteria for Change

  • Any difference in the percentage within +/- 2 percentage points of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change.
  • An increase of 2 percentage points or more suggests the position is improving;
  • A decrease of 2 percentage points or more suggests the position is worsening.

The threshold of 2 percentage points chosen is based on the data currently, and may be reviewed as more data points become available.

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