Nicola Parkin

PhD Student

About me

I have spent the last fifteen years working in early years and primary education in Derbyshire. During that time, I became increasingly interested in taking children out of the classroom to learn in natural settings, and I specialised in providing child led outdoor learning sessions. As an educator, I'm convinced that children benefit from spending time outdoors, so I am delighted to be part of a multidisciplinary team evaluating the impact of WWT's Generation Wild project.

In my free time, I enjoy hillwalking, wild swimming and attempting to grow my own vegetables. I'm looking forward to exploring the countryside and coastline of South Wales, and of course visiting all the WWT’s sites.

My project

I started my PhD in Cardiff University School of Psychology in October 2021, and I've been busy getting to know the city and university, and observing initial Generation Wild school visits. I'm looking forward to spending the next three years working closely with children, schools and WWT staff. I want to understand more about the factors that contribute to individual children's connection with nature, and what WWT can do to overcome perceived barriers to accessing natural spaces. I hope my research will yield some answers about how spending time in nature impacts children’s wellbeing, and affects children's attitudes and beliefs about their own impact on the environment.

Experience and interests

  • Early years and primary education
  • Outdoor education
  • Children’s nature connection
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