Exmouth residents can make a healthy new start to 2022 by getting outdoors and enjoying nature thanks to the launch of three new Green Health Route guides.
Each guide details two nature walks of different lengths, starting from the front door of the five surgeries in Exmouth: Imperial, Haldon, Claremont, Rolle and Raleigh.
The Green Health Route guides have been developed by Doctor Tom Wright in partnership with the Wild East Devon team for the Wild Exmouth project.
Dr Tom Wright, GP Trainee at Imperial Medical Practice, said:
“Why not make one of your new year’s resolutions to get active outdoors in nature? We know that it is beneficial for both our physical and mental health. A recent study has shown that visiting nature once a week is associated with better health. Just spending time in nature can help manage anxiety and depression and improve emotional wellbeing. Connecting with nature also makes us more likely to take care of the environment. Combine this with being more physically active and we see improvements in all areas of our health including weight management, heart health and blood sugar control. Walking is a great way to do this as it’s free and easy to access.
These ‘Green Health Routes’ show that it is possible to get active in nature from the front door of the GP surgery, even in urban areas like Exmouth. We have great natural spaces on our doorstep here in Devon and if we utilise them properly, we can see the benefits for both our own health and that of the environment.”
Cllr Geoff Jung, East Devon District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Coast, Country and Environment, said: “One lesson we have learned from the Covid19 pandemic is the value of fresh air and exercise. We have fabulous walks in and around Exmouth and I do encourage everyone to put their best foot forward for 2022, get outside and enjoy these great walks.”
Cllr Nick Hookway, East Devon District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Culture, Sport, Leisure and Tourism, and Ward Councillor for Exmouth Littleham Ward, said:
"This is a great idea to encourage Exmouth residents to get out and do something positive for their health by enjoying the wonderful scenery that we have around Exmouth."
Cllr Tony Woodward, Member Champion for Mental Health and Ward Councillor for Exmouth Halsdon Ward, said: “I congratulate Dr Tom Wright and the Wild East Devon Team for creating this opportunity to support the health and wellbeing of local residents.”
The guides have been produced as part of the three-year Wild Exmouth community nature project. The guides are available at any of the following Exmouth surgeries, or download them from East Devon District Council’s website.
The new guides have been designed by local graphic designer Beci Boxall and include easy to follow walking maps with instructions on wildlife to look out for, viewpoints and places of historical significance. The guides outline distance, calories, step count and time for each activity.