Connecting Actively to Nature

Connecting Actively to Nature (CAN)

CAN is an exciting programme that supports and inspires inactive people aged over 55, in Devon, Torbay and Plymouth, to connect actively to nature.

This includes people with multiple barriers to activity such as: health conditions, poor fitness, isolation, too busy to get outdoors, or considering activity is “not for them”.

Feeling Happier and Healthier

The programme encourages people to get outdoors, amongst our beautiful surroundings and discover the combined health and wellbeing benefits of a more active lifestyle.

Being outside in the fresh air can give you an enormous boost, improve your mood and reduce anxiety. Combine this with including small regular bouts of physical activity, can make a difference to your health.

CAN projects have been designed so they are all in nature and support participants that may not get there on their own.

“Feeling connected to nature is good for you. Being physically active is very good for you. Being Naturally Active is EVEN better.”

CAN Activities

There are many ways you can connect to nature and activities are designed to cater for different desires and motivations. Just a few of the exciting activities you could try include: walking, gardening, visiting local parks, wild swimming, education in nature, Tai Chi and forest walks.

Our activity groups are designed to suit the ability of someone taking their first steps into activity and leading a healthier lifestyle. The groups, offered across the County, are very sociable, providing an opportunity to meet other people like you in your community.

To find out what CAN activities are available in your local area please email

CAN Partners and Projects

CAN is a Devon Local Nature Partnership programme, supported by Sport England and managed by Active Devon. Working closely and collaboratively with a wide range of DLNP partners, organisations, groups and individuals we help to establish new opportunities or develop existing ones.

CAN projects are also key to supporting Social Prescribing (referrals to local, non-clinical services), being adopted by many GPs, nurses and other primary care professionals.

If you think your organisation could be part of this great initiative and help reach even more inactive people aged 55+ across Devon, Torbay and Plymouth then we’d love to hear from you.

Your involvement could include anything from promoting and signposting CAN activities, organising your own CAN activity to planning and delivering a new funded 12-week outdoor based physical activity project. Please get in touch by emailing

Evidence and Insight

There is a much evidence around the health and wellbeing benefits of connecting with nature, and spending time outdoors. For example, in DEFRA’S’ (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) ‘Evidence Statement’ they found strong evidence linking improved mental health, wellbeing and physical health, to use of green spaces and exposure to the natural world. You’ll find the DEFRA report and lots more on Natural Devon’s website.

Would You Like to Volunteer and Become a CAN Ambassador? 

If you are a keen, passionate, friendly person and would enjoy helping others in your community to get healthy and active, then becoming a CAN Ambassador might be for you! As a CAN Ambassador you will help to welcome people and support them through the early phase of trying an activity outdoors. Does this sound interesting? Visit our CAN Ambassador page or get in touch with us at

“At Active Devon we passionately believe that being active is important as ever. However, safety is paramount. Please see government guidelines on how to stay safe. #StayActiveStaySafe.”