Studies show that women spend less time physically active outdoors than men and that this difference begins when women are teenagers. This difference is down to a variety of reasons from worries about hygiene, societal pressures and gender stereotyping to fear of crime and lack of opportunity.

This is a situation that everyone would like to see change. Getting active in nature is an amazing boost for physical and mental well-being and Scotland’s outdoor spaces provide a huge array of opportunities to get out and get healthy.

#GirlsGetOot is the message that Young Scot and Scottish Natural Heritage are getting across this year through a campaign that includes series of animated films and links the wider Year of Young People and Our Natural Health Service campaigns.

Cumbernauld Living Landscape has always encouraged people of both sexes to get outdoors and use our parks, woodlands and nature reserves. This year we’ve been working with a variety of groups including young mums and toddlers, families, older women, and teenagers to help them overcome any barriers that they feel prevent them from spending time out amongst nature.

This isn’t always easy, many of the issues which women perceive are valid and deep-seated. Getting past them requires real effort, from everyone involved and from society as a whole.

But the effort is worth it. The benefits of spending time outdoors are real and are increasingly being seen as key to long term health and well-being. The outdoors are for everyone, it’s free to access and easy to get involved.

You can see the films for yourself on the Young Scot website and you can find out what we’ve been doing, and how you can get involved with us yourself,  via the Cumbernauld Living Landscape Facebook page or our website.

Paul Barclay, Community Networks Officer


Paul Barclay