Getting out into the natural world is good fun and great for our health. The natural environment has huge potential for improving our health and wellbeing. Walking, cycling, swimming; just by being somewhere special and feeling happier and more connected to people can improve our health in lots of ways. In the woods, bird watching or stargazing, we can all benefit by experiencing and appreciating the wild beauty of what’s around us and where better than on Dartmoor?
The Dartmoor Naturally Healthy Project ran from 2014 - 2017 with support funding from Devon County Council (DCC) Public Health. As a short term (three year) project we wanted to develop ideas, undertake action research and leave a legacy.
Overall the three year project achieved against the original objectives:-
- there was a greater understanding of barriers and opportunities faced by the three major stakeholder groups (medical professionals, people who might benefit and by us as green infrastructure providers)
- A variety of routes to access 'natural wellbeing' and ways of delivering activities were piloted with clear measurements of efficacy
- A clear exit strategy with legacy was developed in the final 12 months of the project which established a self-perpetuating Naturally Healthy Group.
Full evaluation reports capturing the learning are provided in the links below.