#LetNatureNurture this May

Naturally Healthy Month

Posted on: 11 May 2017

Getting out into the natural world is good fun and great for our health.  Our Naturally Healthy month campaign, run by the Local Nature Partnership in conjunction with Active Devon and Somerset County Council, is about inspiring us all to get outside and enjoy Devon’s amazing natural environment.  You don’t have to go far, you don’t have to own a mountain bike, and there are lots of things you can do that are totally free.

The month boasts a range of events and activities aimed at all ages, and the focus for the second week was on the positive benefits to the mind, as well as the body, to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week.

#LetNatureNurture was the theme used to promote what organisations were doing to take part in Naturally Healthy Month, to encourage more people to access the great outdoors; break down barriers and build confidence so everyone can get naturally active.

Activities include rockpool safaris, guided botanical walks, digging with dogs and landscape detectives.  For more information on events visit the website.

Now in her seventies, Jean likes nothing more than a stroll with chums in the beautiful Tamar Valley. The walks keep her fit and are a good laugh, and she often takes her husband along too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJean says:  “When my husband I retired to Cornwall in 2003, we walked around a lot getting to know the area.  We’ve always enjoyed walking and would cover up six miles in one outing.

“But as the years went on we started experiencing various health problems making long walks impossible. For instance, I had a habit of breaking bones whenever I fell which put me out of action for weeks. I had to build up my stamina all over again. Also, high blood pressure made me dizzy at times. You could say I was a ‘walking disaster’.

“Then I heard that a new walking group in the Tamar Valley was being set up for people who had been ill or who wanted to make new friends. It sounded like just what I was looking for and I went along to the very first one. That was six years ago and I haven’t looked back since.”

Jean joins the ‘Walk & Talk’ group each Wednesday when participants walk for around two hours in the beautiful Tamar Valley covering between 3½ and 4 miles.

“We’ve all got fitter and healthier as the years have gone by and walk faster than we ever did before. My blood pressure is now under control,  I’m more flexible and rarely have a problem with dizziness. There are many other benefits: companionship, exercise, fresh air, stunning views and varied scenery.

“It must be daunting to join an existing walking group but everyone knows just how it feels to be a newcomer. We do our best to make new people feel at home by walking alongside them and finding out a bit about each other; we then introduce them to others with similar interests. Some of those living alone say the walks are the highlight of their week and many have gone on to make lasting friendships.”

Contact: Becki Lumbis. Call 01822 835030 or email rlumbis@tamarvalley.org.uk

Posted in: Health and Wellbeing