Facilitation of experiences in natural environments
Abstract: There are many and varied benefits associated with experiences in natural environments. This thesis examines the practices and perspectives of people who professionally facilitate and thus enable such experiences. The practices, perspectives, experiences, natural environments and their associated benefits are conceptualised as cultural ecosystem services through a framework, which is theoretically contextualized through the human ecological triangle. Four professional facilitators have been interviewed through semi structured phenomenological interviews. The analysis has been operationalized by utilizing a mixed deductive and inductive coding approach. Results show that the interviewees’ practices and culturally conditioned perspectives are continually producing and reproducing each other. Facilitation - to enable and explore each participant’s own experience - is central. The practices examined stand on three legs; the knowledge of the facilitator, the opportunities provided by environmental spaces that invite human-environment interaction, and the participants’ own subjective experiences. The facilitators’ practices relate people to themselves, each other, and the natural world.
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