Making the most of Devon’s Natural Health Service

Posted on: 5 June 2015

A week-long celebration of the health benefits of Devon’s great outdoors has been hailed a success by organisers.

May half-term (23 – 31 May) saw the launch of the first ever Devon Naturally Healthy Week to encourage everyone to get out and enjoy the vast range of outdoor activities that Devon has to offer.

The week was co-ordinated through Devon’s Local Nature Partnership – a partnership of organisations with an interest in securing the benefits of our natural environment. Activities ranged from bird watching to sea kayaking; at locations from the local park and urban canal side, to Devon’s many beaches, lakes or rivers.

Councillor Andrea Davis (2nd from right) sets off for an Exmoor walk.

Councillor Andrea Davis (2nd from right) sets off for an Exmoor walk.

Councillor Andrea Davis, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, took part in a Walking for Health walk on Exmoor, to celebrate the week.

She said: “Devon’s first naturally healthy week has proved to be a huge success, with a wide range of organisations – large and small – getting involved.

“Over the seven days, countless activities were staged across the county; targeted at everyone from young families with babies and toddlers to senior citizens; but what they all had in common was that they gave people the chance to enjoy Devon’s exceptional environment. The event was a roaring success that we hope inspired people of all ages to become more active and engaged with Devon’s wonderful setting.”

Activities throughout the week ranged from Bug Hotel Building at Dawlish Warren, to an Urban Wildlife Safari in Barnstaple.

Special week-long festivities to mark the event were held at Torbay’s Geopark, a programme of activities at Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary; wildlife walks, junk modelling and badge making in local parks; and a host of sports including tennis. Libraries and other venues across Devon displayed posters to encourage people to make the most of their natural health service through a range of images.

To mark Naturally Healthy Week, The Passmore Edwards Centre in Newton Abbot held an event where children planted sunflowers in the courtyard, and took part in crafts, colouring and origami in the children’s library.

The children took away seedlings to grow at home and have been asked to send in photographs to show how big they grow.

There will also be a ‘hall of fame’ in the children’s library at the end of August displaying the tallest and largest, along with a replica 9 foot sunflower in the children’s library, covered with butterflies made by the children.

Posted in: Health and Wellbeing