Following the publication of the Blagrave report in 2015, highlighting the need for better join-up between academics and practitioners and better co-ordination of research activity in the sector, the Institute is supporting the establishment of regional research hubs through 2017 and funding a research co-ordinator role.
Pilot regional hubs will draw together research that has been carried out and is ongoing as well as identifying the current and future research needs of practitioners in Outdoor Learning. The intention is to support high quality, frequent and progressive Outdoor Learning (OL) for children and young people, by enabling a more integrated approach to research and practice at a local level. Working with a range of partners we hope to provide a more unified voice for Outdoor Learning to influence policy and practice, and to establish a broader platform on which to seek further funding to extend the research evidence base.
The initial pilot hubs are in the North West contact Chris Loynes at the University of Cumbria, South West contact Sue Waite at Plymouth University and Scotland contact Natalie White at East Ayrshire. If these pilot hubs are successful, it is likely that research hubs will extend to other areas of the UK.