Helping people to understand health benefits of nature and get involved!
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and Nestlé Waters are working in partnership for a third year to support the Get Better With Nature programme. The initiative aims to promote understanding of the value of nature and the benefits it can have on our health and wellbeing, as well as inspiring local communities to participate in protecting nature and promoting biodiversity.
Building on the success of previous years there are many exciting new elements to the project which include a Family Forests Schools Programme, Wildlife Youth Ranger Initiative and many Restoration and Biodiversity Projects. All activities will be designed to inspire and involve local businesses, schools and charities to encourage people to make the most of interacting with nature. Here are some of the things you can get involved in:
Walking is a great way to achieve one of the Five Steps to Wellbeing (see below). We challenge you to walk a mile along the Derwent this May Bank Holiday! Come along to one of our free guided walks or go it alone with our downloadable guide.
Family Forest School
Have fun in the forest! These free sessions at Miller's Dale are a great way to build confidence, make friends and have fun in the forest. Check out What's On for the next session.
Forest School for Schools:
We have been working with two local schools, Burbage Primary (a group of mixed year 1-6 children) and Fairfield infants ( two groups from year 2) to get their children outdoors engaging with nature.
We have run three Forest School sessions for each group and have done activities such as building bird boxes, planting trees, learning about the water cycle and lots more! The children told us “Forest school is amazing"
Perfect for pre-schoolers, this nature-based playgroup at the Pavilion Gardens in Buxton is full of fun! Free thanks to funding from Nestlé Waters, it’s very popular so booking is essential! Check out What’s On for the next session.
We are working with the Peak District National Park Authority to help run their Junior Ranger group that is based at Miller’s Dale.
Junior Rangers are aged 11 – 18 and work alongside the National Park Rangers, The Learning and Discovery Team and our Health and Wellbeing Officer to help look after and learn about some of our reserves along the Wye Valley.
We have been spending time outdoors, carrying out practical conservation work, building new bird boxes, surveying the wildlife already on site and so much more.
The Junior Ranger programme operates across Europe and is affiliated to the Europarcs Federation. For more information on how to join in with the fun visit their website.
Our Health and Wellbeing Officer has been working with community groups from Buxton to get locals out in to the local countryside. Being outdoors has been shown to have many beneficial effects upon our physical and mental wellbeing so we have been running health walk sessions to help locals make the most of these benefits. If you are a member of a group that you think would benefit from some guided health walks then please do contact us.
The YMCA Derby have been helping us to help wildlife across Buxton. Working with other groups such as the Serpentine Community Farm and Buxton Primary as well as on our own reserves and the Nestlé Waters Swallows Road site, we have been clearing scrub, rebuilding walls, building bird hides and lots more! The YMCA group have done some amazing work and have got a lot back out of it themselves.
Community Day of Action:
Come and get involved in some hands-on action on 30th June when we are planning to have a big Community Day of Action in Buxton. The site is still to be confirmed so watch this space! It will be an opportunity for everyone who has worked with us on the project and anyone else who may wish to get involved to come along and help make a difference for wildlife. In other years we have worked in the local parks, planting bulbs, making meadows and such like. We can't wait to see what will happen this year!
5 Steps to wellbeing:
Many organisations including the NHS and Mind are promoting the Five Steps to Mental Wellbeing. According to research, the five things which can really help you on your path to mental wellbeing are:
1. Keeping active: find something that works for you, which you enjoy and can build into your daily life. Walking is a wonderful way to get outdoors in the fresh air and get more active. Why not go for a walk round one of our reserves?
2. Connecting with people: spend time building relationships as these bolster us and our mental wellbeing. Friends, family, colleagues and neighbours. Or why not start a new activity and make some new friends? Come along to one of our volunteering events or days of action?
3. Keeping learning: there is nothing quite like learning a new skill or developing a new interest for boosting self-esteem and confidence. If nature is something that interests you then our local groups run regular talks and we also run adult education sessions.
4. Being more mindful: taking note of the now rather than worrying about the past or future has been shown to positively change how you approach life in general. Spending time outdoors in nature and taking time to stop and absorb what is around you is a wonderful way to achieve this.
5. Giving to others: helping other people also helps yourself. It makes us feel good about ourselves to help others. It doesn't matter if it is small acts to help someone or more time committed volunteering, it all counts.
Get Better With Nature is a collaborative partnership and this stage has benefited from funding worth £27,000 from Nestlé Waters.
Sian Chapman, Corporate Communications and Head of Creating Shared Value at Nestlé Waters says “We are really excited to be working with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and the local community again. The programme looks to support understanding for the positive impact a healthy environment can have on us, whilst inviting all community members to get involved to help protect and enhance the natural world on our doorsteps”
To find out more visit www.getbetterwithnature.co.uk