Naturally Healthy October

Naturally Healthy October is All About Getting Outside and Connecting with Nature

Devon’s Prescription for a Healthy and Happy Lifestyle

Devon’s Naturally Healthy month is back, and this year the campaign will be running throughout October.

Naturally Healthy October is all about getting outside and enjoying Devon’s amazing natural environment and feeling happier and healthier for it. Activities could include walking, cycling, gardening, wild swimming or bird watching. There is something for everyone!

More than ever we are recognising the importance of being active outdoors and connecting to nature.

Due to Coronavirus the campaign this year will run a little differently. Naturally Healthy events and activities need to be COVID safe, and we will also be encouraging people to get out individually and follow the latest government guidance on COVID -19.

“The global pandemic has had a huge impact on all of our lives with many people suffering enormously,” said Dr James Szymankiewicz, North Devon GP and member of the Devon Local Nature Partnership.

“As well as those directly affected by COVID -19 there are also large numbers of people whose mental health has been affected as they try to cope with not only the health, but the social and financial impacts as well.”

“We have seen during this time how much we all value getting outside, for many of us the hour a day of exercise during lockdown was the highlight of our day.

“Never has it been more important to look after ourselves and our communities.”

The initiative is led by the Devon Local Nature Partnership through Active Devon* and Devon County Council. It brings together a wide range of partners from health, wellbeing, community and environment sectors.

“Naturally Healthy October encourages us to connect with nature in lots of different ways. That could be in your back garden, local park, the beach or moors, valleys and waterways.” said Tom Mack from Active Devon.

“We are really lucky in Devon to have so much green and blue space to explore. So whether it’s going for a walk or jog in the woods or at the beach, stretching in the garden, having a picnic in the park, or taking pictures on your daily dog walk, just take a moment whilst you move more to soak up everything that nature has to offer.”

During October Active Devon and Devon County Council, on behalf of the Devon Local Nature Partnership, will be sharing lots more information about being Naturally Healthy.

A Naturally Healthy photo competition will be open to people of all ages residing in Devon. The competition offers the opportunity to explore the local natural environment, take some amazing photographs and submit them for a chance to win great prizes. To find out more, including how to enter please click here.

“There is something special about simply experiencing natural environments first-hand,” said Dr James Szymankiewicz

“Not only does it bring us pleasure, the evidence is growing that it is important for our physical and mental wellbeing.”

“Even if you are not able to be active, just being in a natural environment is good for you. I would encourage everyone to invest a few moments of each day this month connecting with and appreciating nature. I promise you will be healthier and happier for it!”

To find out how to get involved visit: www.activedevon.org/naturally-healthy/ or www.naturaldevon.org.uk/priorities-and-projects/naturally-healthy/.

Plus, keep an eye on social media @activedevon and @Devon_LNP.