Great for the mind - great for the body
It's proven that being active amongst nature is a highly effective way of improving mental wellbeing as well as physical health.
But for lots of people it’s not easy to get out there to benefit from exploring the woodlands and countryside. Fear of getting lost, personal safety, lack of skills, confidence levels, or simply not having anyone to go with are amongst the reasons for this.
We’re very passionate about helping people overcome these barriers and have been on a mission to introduce people to the joys of what's become known as ‘trail therapy’ through the activities we organise, such as our Thursday morning bRUNch Club. And it’s been a real pleasure to watch the fitness, confidence and wellbeing of many of our participants grow as a result, and for strong friendships to develop amongst them.
As a small team though, we know we’ve only been scratching the surface of the number of people who could benefit from this kind of activity.
So we’re thrilled that, with the help of a National Forest Society Grant, we're able to increase the number of #TrailTherapy running and walking activities we do across the National Forest area.
Below are details of our Summer 2023 programme of Trail Therapy Runs and Walks.
These activities are FREE to enter. Small donations to help us help more people in the community gain the benefits of trail therapy are appreciated, but not expected. The price of a coffee (around £3.50) really helps us, but please only what YOU can afford.
For other things we do go to our What's on page.
If you can't see what you are looking for below, please get in touch.
SUMMER 2023 PROGRAMME
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How fit do I need to be?
If you are joining an activity that has a walk option, you just need to be capable of walking the distance at a relaxed pace, be able to climb over any stiles on the route and be okay with ground that may be a little uneven or muddy in places.
For jogging activities, if you are able to complete parkun or equivalent distance (5k/3-miles) in 45--mins or less you should be fine. Although some activities are a bit further, we tend to walk any challenging hills and have plenty of stops to take in the surroundings and let everyone get their breath back.
The emphasis on all these activities is to enjoy some exercise in natural surroundings with a friendly and supportive atmosphere, rather than to push anyone to go faster than would be comfortable. Our leaders will always make sure nobody gets left behind.
Will I be able to keep up?
Yes, we never go faster than is comfortable for everyone in the group. We usually have at least 2 leaders, so if there is a need we can split into two groups to enable participants to walk/jog with others of a similar ability level.
What kit will I need?
Generally just clothing and footwear that is suitable for the activity (walk or jog) and the weather conditions. This should include a waterproof jacket to keep you warm if we have to stop for any reason, as well as to keep you dry if it rains.
We also recommend:
Grippy shoes (either off-road running shoes or walking boots if walking), especially if it is wet or there has been a lot of rain in the previous few days.
Carrying a drink if it is a warm day.
Having a snack in your pocket in case you have an energy dip.
A head-torch for evening events where it is dark, or gets dark during the activity.
Are there any age limits?
There are no upper age limits.
For jogging activities participants must be 12 or above but those under 18 must be accompanied and supervised by a parent or guardian throughout the activity.
For walking activities we allow younger people that are capable of walking the distance unaided, but they must be accompanied and supervised by a parent or guardian throughout the activity, and no more than 2 children per parent/guardian are allowed.
Can I bring my dog?
We can only take dogs by prior arrangement, and will often have to turn requests down. This is not because we don't like dogs (we love them!), it's simply because dogs can become a hazard, particularly if routes go close to farm animals, and they can cause stress to other participants who are nervous around dogs.
Can I run with a buggy?
Most of the routes aren't suitable for buggies due to encountering stiles and/or uneven ground. However, if you'd love to be able to participate with a buggy, please do let us know. If we find there is enough demand, we'll look at organising some buggy friendly activities going forwards.
Will you be doing any more activities as I can't make any of the dates above?
And, YES we plan to do more activities going forwards. The schedule for this summer is experimental to help us discover what days, times and locations suit people who would like to get involved. So, we'll use what we learn to help plan for the future.
Please let us have your thoughts and ideas on what you think would be popular.
MEET OUR TRAIL THERAPY LEADERS
Thanks to the support from the National Forest we're delighted to have been able to recruit 8 new volunteer leaders from within the local community to help us provide more Trail Therapy activities. To find out more about them click on the image.
BOOK YOUR PLACE
For more information on individual activities and to book a place click on the 'More info' button next to the one you are interested in.
Booking for later events will be open soon. Keep an eye on this page.