Residents in the Warwick district can now step outside and connect with their community at ten different health walks.
The Clarendon Park Walkers recently became the tenth Walking for Health scheme established in Warwick District.
Walking for Health is England’s largest network of health walks, helping people across the country lead a more active lifestyle and to meet local people in their area.
Warwick District Council has been facilitating the creation of walks across the district’s towns and villages in partnership with local GP surgeries, and has so far delivered ten walks.
The walks vary in length and duration but all encourage the active participation of local residents regardless of their age or ability.
The Clarendon Park Walkers is supported and hosted by the Clarendon Lodge Medical Centre and was created by local resident Mick Hurrell and Dominic Shepherd, an NHS Social Prescriber working with local GPs in Leamington.
Walk Leader Mick Hurrell said: “As a walk leader my mission is to get everyone to be more active more often. Setting up the walk – to enjoy nature in a shared, inclusive, social setting – provides a great entry-level activity.
“It’s part of a nationwide movement, conceived to give everyone an opportunity to start their own personal journey to increased mobility, fitness, health and mental well-being.
“The three parks that run alongside the River Leam – Jephson Gardens, Pump Room Gardens and Victoria Park – define Leamington’s green heart. They are a wonderful public amenity and change constantly with the seasons. With so many paths through them, there’s an excellent variety of routes we can follow – so we’ll never get bored, whatever the weather.”
Councillor Judy Falp, Portfolio Holder for Health & Community Protection, says: “Walking for Health is a fantastic initiative that helps to increase people’s fitness, reduce social isolation and provide a greater feeling of community. We are proud to say we now have ten walks across the district that are improving the wellbeing of our residents.”
Clarendon Lodge GP Hussain Al-Zubaidi added: “At Clarendon Lodge Medical Practice we are always look for ways to promote healthy living. Physical activity has been shown time and again to be far superior than any medication we have, so having a weekly walk from the practice brings down many of the boundaries that stop patients from starting to get active.
“Walking not only gets people active and outside but brings people together and we are extremely grateful for everyone’s efforts on this.
"I hope in time it will act as a spring board for patients to take up other activities.”
The ten available walks are:
~ Clarendon Park Walkers – Clarendon Lodge Medical Centre, Leamington Spa
~ Sydni Stroll for Beginners – SYDNI Community Centre
~ Shrubland Strollers – Brunswick Hub, Leamington Spa
~ Priory Pools Park – Warwick
~ Chase Meadow Meet and Walk
~ Chase Meadow Rendezvous and Ramble
~ Hampton Magna Walk and Talk
~ Castle Medical Centre – Kenilworth
~ Abbey Fields – Kenilworth
~ Whitnash Medical Centre
For more information, visit www.warwickdc.gov.uk/walkingforhealth or pick up a Walking for Health leaflet at a GP surgery.