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Get out for Herts Year of Physical Activity

PUBLISHED: 14:11 19 February 2018

Volunteers hedge planting

Volunteers hedge planting

cms

Sian Price, of the Countryside Management Service, outlines six ways we can all get more from our wilder spaces during the Hertfordshire Year of Physical Activity

ThE inaugural Hertfordshire Year of Physical Activity aims to put Herts on the map as the UK’s most active county. Throughout 2018, the campaign will support people to exercise more, pick up an old hobby again or enjoy something new.

Jane Parker, HYPA co-ordinator, outlined how it could bring people together across the community: ‘We would encourage everyone to get involved in this fantastic opportunity and would love to hear from anyone interested in running an activity during one of the 12 themed months.’

There are so many benefits to stepping up your rate of activity – you feel fitter and stronger, you have more energy to exercise and you’ll be rewarded by a good night’s sleep at the end of it. A truism is to feel great you should move more, which is why Countryside Management Service (CMS) has compiled an array of opportunities to help us all get more active in 2018 and enjoy the great outdoors.

There are more than 60 Health Walks on offer every week taking in our wilder placesThere are more than 60 Health Walks on offer every week taking in our wilder places

Join a Hertfordshire Health Walk

With around 60 walks per week to choose from, and more than 300 volunteers leading short, free and regular walks across Hertfordshire, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The walks are sociable and graded to suit all abilities. It’s easy to get involved, all you have to do is turn up! We asked Health Walkers how they benefit from taking part – 72 per cent said they feel healthier and 60 per cent feel more sociable. Find your local walk online at hertfordshire.gov.uk/healthwalks or call 01992 588433.

Give something back

Rights of way volunteers help maintain public accessRights of way volunteers help maintain public access

There are plenty of opportunities to keep active while doing your bit for the community. As a CMS rights of way volunteer you could survey the county’s urban and rural path network by bike or on foot, helping to keep it open and accessible for all. You could combine it with a regular walk or cycle route or explore a new patch, team up with others or go it alone. Email CMS at northeast.cms@hertfordshire.gov.uk for more information.

Walk & learn

If you have a hunger for knowledge, why not join a themed walk from the CMS Walks and More programme. There are a range of routes to suit all abilities and many have a theme so you can find out about the local history of an area, get tips on taking great photos or spot bats, birds and butterflies depending on the season. Check out upcoming events online at hertfordshire.gov.uk/walksandmore

Venture further afield

Find out what Herts’ green spaces have to offer by visiting the ParksHerts.co.uk website. Bookmark the website on your computer or phone and pencil in a visit. There are 50 Green Flag awarded green spaces in the county, all with excellent facilities and lots of activities on offer.

Get hands on

Join the CMS conservation volunteers to try something new and perhaps learn a new skill. These work parties are a great way to get out, get active and make a real difference to the countryside and rights of way in the county.

There are regular weekly sessions on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and weekends. You can join a ‘friends of’ group working on a greenspace near you or travel around a few sites in your area of the county. You’ll discover hidden gems, learn about habitats and wildlife and make friends.

Visit the CMS website for more information, hertfordshire.gov.uk/cms

Stride & seek

If your regular walking route is becoming repetitive, add a little intrigue by taking an ID chart out with you to learn about the wildlife on the route, from birds and fungi to trees and wildflowers. Visit wildlifewatch.org.uk and download ‘spotting sheets’ to print out and take with you.

Keep up to date

What are you waiting for? Sign up to the Walking in Hertfordshire e-bulletin online at hertfordshire.gov.uk/updateme to never miss an opportunity to get involved.

Twitter user? Follow @HertsHealthWalk and @HertsYOPA18

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