Green and Healthy Marston

Jacqueline Cutting's picture

Thanks to a grant from Big Lottery's 'Awards for All' and the generosity of several other donors, The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare has coordinated the setting up of a Green Health Route in Marston, a suburb of Oxford, to encourage local people to get outside and use and enjoy their green space.

Over the past year, we have worked with two of the local primary schools and a care home. CSH has involved members of the EcoCouncils at the two schools, taking the children on walks along the route and supporting them to design their own walking route leaflets encouraging more people to go outside and enjoy the local green space. Examples of both the photographs and text that the children have created can be found here http://nhsforest.org/marston-green-health-route .

We have also worked with Oxford City Council to recruit and train volunteer walk leaders to run organised walks along the Green Health Route.

Most recently, CSH staff have interviewed residents at a local care home, who were kind enough to share their reminiscences of their childhood nature walks. Using their ideas and some photos of local wildlife, we have produced a series of flashcards to be used at the care home and elsewhere. These will enable all of the residents to experience and enjoy Marston's outdoor gems, even if some of the elderly people are less able actually to travel to the green spaces. You can take a look yourself by clicking the link above and scrolling to the Flora and Fauna file at the bottom of the page.

More people in Marston can now enjoy their local green spaces and the multiple health and social benefits of taking exercise outdoors and of reconnecting with nature even when they may be less able to visit green spaces. CSH are very grateful to the Big Lottery's ‘Awards for All’ programme for their support of this work.

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