Our 6-week Walking with Nature campaign which started in February during Scotland’s second nationwide lockdown is up against 10 other deserving projects in the Health and Wellbeing Award category of the Nature of Scotland Awards.
Read what walkers thought about the campaign that got them caring for the spaces where they walk.
Rona Gibb, Senior Manager at Paths for All is delighted about this award recognition. She said:
It's fantastic that our 6-week Walking with Nature campaign has been shortlisted in the Health and Wellbeing Award category of the 10th Nature of Scotland Awards.
Walking offers many physical, social, and mental health and wellbeing benefits. Our campaign aimed to encourage people to use their lockdown walks to notice the wildlife on their doorstep and care for it.
We encouraged people to explore bird song and forests. To try micro volunteering and undertake small acts of kindness such as moving a branch blocking a path or saying a friendly ‘hello’ to a passer-by when out walking.
We have also incorporated many of these nature connection activities across our work programmes, such as our Scottish Health Walk Network, Dementia Friendly Health Walks, work in care homes and workplace Step Count Challenge because of the positive feedback from people who said it made them feel good about themselves and appreciate the places where they walk.
Even staff got in on the act with a paid hour to try some of the activities during their working day. Walking for Health Development Officer, Nicole Bell went litter picking in her hometown of Dunfermline and reported:
One bag of litter down in a local park which backs onto a supermarket. Very satisfying!
Community Paths Development Officer, Richard Armstrong shared his personal story with SAMH during Mental Health Awareness Week of how nature helps his wellbeing.
Capturing photos of the signs of spring was hugely popular during our Spring Step Count Challenge. Unsurprisingly, nature activities will feature again in our forthcoming 4-week Autumn Step Count Challenge starting on Monday the 25th of October.
Our Dementia Friendly Walking project is working with care homes in Perth and Kinross and as part of the Go4Gold care home physical activity challenge residents were asked to design Walking with Nature posters.
They also have been piloting Walking with Nature packs that contain binoculars, sweep nets and identification guides giving purpose to activities in each homes’ garden. Future developments include creating nature tables, using nature-based crafts and having more indoor plants.
Several Health Walks projects are also using our Walking with Nature packs to explore the nature that lives on their doorstep. Wildlife and seasonal sights are easy conversation topics to encourage more people to walk and talk together.
Designed to encourage kindness when outside walking on paths and to be kind to the places where we walk our Walking with Nature activities were so successful, they will continue to play a role across all our areas of work.
Find out what you can do for nature and for your own wellbeing when you connect with nature
Remember, nature is all around us, and you can connect with nature no matter where you are.