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National Parks England tackles mental health

New research has come to light to suggest that around six million people in the UK are not managing to take a brisk walk once a month to maintain and benefit their health. As a result, a new partnership has been formed between National Parks England and Public Health England in the form of a Joint Accord.

Public Health Minsiter, Steve Brine who launched the partnership in the South Downs National Park this month, said ‘physical activity helps to prevent and manage over 20 chronic conditions…so I am delighted to help launch the Accord and I cannot think of a better place to get active than in the National Parks’.

An independent charitable organisation GROW in the South Downs National Park run by those with personal experience of mental health issues, says it aims to give those experiencing psychological or emotional distress a chance to recover through nature walks, practical conservation work, cooking wild food and arts activities.

Meanwhile GPs are working to evaluate the benefits to mental and emotional health and well-being of interacting with landscapes, wildlife and the recreational opportunities found in the National Park.

National Parks Minister, Lord Gardiner said ‘England’s National Parks are not only some of the most stunning landscapes…but this Accord is a great step forward and shows how we can harness our natural environment to keep our communities well and healthy’.

National Parks England will be joining our discussions at Healthy Cities this Monday, 9th October at The Crystal Building, London.

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