Being exposed to wildlife in the context of the practicalities of the need to conserve natural resources does not affect our behaviour as addictive consumers of natural resources

Factors which influence' responsible' environmental behaviour
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Increasingly, humans around the world demonstrate not only heightened understanding of the planet’s environmental crisis. They also support the protection of nature and the conservation of resources as a result of watching televised nature programmes and visiting environmental centres .

However, most fail to make choices that benefit the environment or at least minimize negative environmental impacts, in their domestic surroundings. Researchers are striving to understand this disconnect between environmental attitudes, awareness, and behaviour. Some of their efforts have been devoted to the identification and study of factors that may affect pro-environment behaviour. Many variables encourage or stifle environmentally-responsible behaviour. These factors range from financial and time constraints to values and belief systems . One understudied factor that may affect individuals’ engagement in environmentally-responsible behaviour is attachment to a particular place.

Over the years, social psychologists have devoted much time and effort into research which asks a simple question: what is the best way to predict a person's behaviour. Underlying this question is the debate, is the main determinant of behaviour the person (dispositional effect) or the situation a person finds them self to be in (situational effect). The strength of the situational effect was suggested long ago by Mischel (1968). He stated there is a very weak correlation between any personality measure and behaviour. Mischel concluded that situations drive behaviour and not personality.

Despite being formulated 25 years ago Government campaigns aimed at behaviour change often only address certain variables: knowledge of issues and knowledge of action. These are grouped to support the intention to act. It is evident that there are more contributors to behaviour than those stated and these are grouped together in ‘situational factors’, such as social pressures and opportunities to choose different actions. In other words situational factors are the contexts of individual’s lives. It is suggested that spending time at CAT may provide a new context for individual’s behaviour, which even for a short period could have an effect. It has been suggested that the successful habit-change interventions involve disrupting the contextual factors that automatically cue habit performance. They state that such a disruption could be moving, changing jobs, or having a baby. Research conducted by Newton, Franklin, Middleton and Marsden (2009) into the creation of sustainable communities found that situated learning or experiential learning ‘was an enlightened way of reviewing skills... notably this is because of the dual priority that the situated learning places on the individual learner, and the social context in which the learning takes place. An environmental centre has the potential to disrupt one’s ‘life context’ and provides new social circles in which to relate, if only for a short time, and thus a different social norm. It provides affective and cognitive experiences, allowing for the opportunity for those skills to be developed, through situated learning. So far the evidence is that only a few people's behaviour changes and it does not last long.

The important question is: What is the impact of visiting an environmental centre compared with responding to a simple list of campaign issues, such as the following lists compiled by Green Living, most of which cannot be addressed by changes in day-to-day domestic behaviour?.

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) Slimbridge