By working with a diverse group of community members, this project is hoping to put public involvement at the heart of BlueHealth.

It will be collecting stories and pictures about blue spaces to help identify and reflect on the meanings people attach to the places they visit, or have visited in the past.

The Health and Environment Public Engagement group (HEPE for short) is a collection of people with an interest in the connections between environment and health. The group regularly works with academics at the University of Exeter to ensure research considers the public perspective, from design right through to completion and dissemination.

Working with a qualitative researcher, this study will see HEPE members discuss their experiences and understanding of how people’s health relates to natural environments. They will look at where people go, what they do and how they feel, and also think about what places mean to individuals in the context of their own lives.

A report of this work will be written and published online, alongside some of the stories and images produced through the project. HEPE hope it will provide a slightly different perspective, exploring the emotional and personal attachments that influence people’s interactions with blue spaces.

In 2016, HEPE also worked with BlueHealth researchers to develop the BlueHealth survey. They looked at how easy the questions were to understand and to answer, at how acceptable people might find them, and what sort of impact the visual presentation of the survey might have on the way people respond.