A trio of new walking routes setting off from medical surgeries in Exmouth are just what the doctor ordered.
The three new Green Health Route guides were launched this week, offering two different nature walks of different lengths, starting from the front door of the five surgeries in Exmouth: Imperial, Haldon, Claremont, Rolle and Raleigh.
The Green Health Route guides have been developed by Doctor Tom Wright in partnership with the Wild East Devon team for the Wild Exmouth project.
Dr Tom Wright, GP trainee at Imperial Medical Practice, said being active outdoors, in nature, was ‘beneficial’ for physical and mental health.
He said: “A recent study has shown that visiting nature once a week is associated with better health.
“Just spending time in nature can help manage anxiety and depression and improve emotional wellbeing. Connecting with nature also makes us more likely to take care of the environment.
“Combine this with being more physically active and we see improvements in all areas of our health including weight management, heart health and blood sugar control.
“Walking is a great way to do this as it’s free and easy to access.”
Dr Wright added: “These Green Health Routes show that it is possible to get active in nature from the front door of the GP surgery, even in urban areas like Exmouth.
“We have great natural spaces on our doorstep here in Devon and if we utilise them properly, we can see the benefits for both our own health and that of the environment.”
The guides have been produced as part of the three-year Wild Exmouth community nature project.
They are available from Imperial, Haldon, Claremont, Rolle and Raleigh surgeries, all in Exmouth, or download them from East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) website.
The new guides have been designed by local graphic designer Beci Boxall and include easy-to-follow walking maps with instructions on wildlife to look out for, viewpoints and places of historical significance.
The guides outline distance, calories, step count and time for each activity.
Cllr Nick Hookway, EDDC portfolio holder for culture, sport, leisure and tourism, and member for Exmouth Littleham ward, said: “This is a great idea to encourage Exmouth residents to get out and do something positive for their health by enjoying the wonderful scenery that we have around Exmouth.”
Cllr Tony Woodward, member champion for mental health and ward representative for Exmouth Halsdon, said:
“I congratulate Dr Tom Wright and the Wild East Devon Team for creating this opportunity to support the health and wellbeing of local residents.”
Cllr Geoff Jung, EDDC portfolio holder for coast, country and environment, said: “One lesson we have learned from the Covid-19 pandemic is the value of fresh air and exercise.
“We have fabulous walks in and around Exmouth and I do encourage everyone to put their best foot forward for 2022, get outside and enjoy these great walks.”
- Find out more about the walk routes here.