As we head into a second lockdown, most of us are yet again restricted on what we can and cannot do. But fear not, our circular walks, located across Lancashire and North Yorkshire, are just the thing to keep you healthy this winter.
Walking is a tonic for the soul
During these difficult times we need to make sure we take care of ourselves; mentally and physically. Gentle walking is easy, free, and requires no complex training programmes. Often overlooked in favour of more vigorous sports and activities walking can help us to control our weight, build stamina, burn calories, and keep our heart and lungs healthy. According to the NHS even a 10-minute brisk walk can benefit our health.
At this time our mental wellbeing is also extremely important. Mental wellbeing relates to how we feel about ourselves; our ability to function well as an individual, feel connected to our loved ones, our ability to cope with life’s ups and downs, feeling valued, having a sense of purpose, and more.
Walking and other activities can improve our self-esteem and make us feel good about ourselves, and even short bursts of exercise are enough to boost energy levels and mood. It can also help to reduce stress and anxiety, making us feel calmer and more content.
Our last blog post covered the effects of rivers, trees, woodlands, and wildlife on our mental health. By exercising outdoors in wooded areas, parks, and near rivers it’s possible to combine both of these mood boosting activities, which at the moment could prove more valuable than ever.
Thanks to Ribble Life Together, our multiyear project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, we have created a range of circular walks, and free of change guides, for you to enjoy. Each walk is between 2.2 miles to 8.5 miles (3.5km to 13.7km) long which means that there are opportunities for everyone, regardless of fitness level, location, or age group.
A total of fifteen walks will be created, with twelve already available on the Ribble Life Together website. The locations range from Stainforth in the Yorkshire Dales to Lytham and the Ribble Estuary.
The walks have been designed to take in some of the most beautiful areas of the Ribble catchment. With a focus on river features, most of the walk routes will be designed to pass our physical works such as areas where Ribble Rivers Trust have planted woodlands or carried out habitat schemes. All of the walks also feature local landmarks, and give information on the areas social, industrial & cultural heritage.
Each walk will have an accompanying digital walk guide, and interpretation panels containing further information about the area and wildlife. The digital walk guides are downloadable through our Ribble Life app, which is available on both Apple and Android, and contains additional photos, videos and audio recordings.
Other ways to get involved
At Ribble Rivers Trust we’re passionate about people enjoying their rivers. By teaching people about rivers, and by inspiring a love of nature and the outdoors, we hope to share our passion for rivers and their protection. You can help us by exploring our websites and social media pages and spreading our messages.
Our Lancashire Woodland Connect campaign is also helping to bring trees and woodlands to everyone. By planting over half a million trees in the next ten years we will not only lock up carbon, create new habitats for insects, fish, birds, and mammals, connect up existing habitats, and reduce flood risk to vulnerable communities: we will also help make Lancashire a greener, cleaner place to live for all the counties residents.
You can support our Lancashire Woodland Connect project by donating a tree for just £15.00, which you can dedicate in your name, or the name of a friend or loved one. Our supporter scheme also helps raise money for rivers and woodlands, with flexible monthly donations, you can become a supporter of the Ribble Rivers Trust and help us to improve our wonderful Ribble landscape for wildlife and people.