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    thoughts on “Naturally Healthy month – May 2018

    1. I would be interested to participate in future events. As a local Nordic Walking fitness instructor running Nordic Walking Devon I am keen to raise awareness about this increasingly popular activity and how individuals can benefit from exercising outside. In terms of the Devon Nature Partnerships questions posted on this site I have comments on the following.
      What vision priorities should we have?
      One could be to use the natural environment to help meet other wider national objectives such as improving the nations health, both phyical and mental.
      To encourage the use of the natural environment for fitness as well as leisure activities. To have positive policies to promote outside exercise. Nordic Walking along with green gym classes fits in with this.
      How to communicate with interested parties. E mail and social media is good for the younger generation. Whats on and where listing in local magazines are good.
      What prevents people enjoying the natural environment? Lack of transport. Haldon Forest isnt easy to get to without a car. Ill health or low levels of fitness can be a barrier. I run Nordic Walking fitness classes at Haldon, however only those who van walk approx 3 miles can participate. As a solution in the future I will be running a class called ‘Nordic Wellbeing’. This is an outdoor class aimed at the over 50’s will limited levels of fitness. The walks will be 0.5 to 1 mile and will be conbined with some gentle circuit training exercises outside. If funding could be found to help launch or subsidise such classes it would be helpful. I run classes at Haldon Forest, Killerton, University of Exeter and Dawlish Warren. in my experince people love exercising in beautiful places outdoors. Outdoor recreation is very much targeted at the young and well more could be done for the older generations. i.e. those who havent necessarily had a GP referal to exercise but have been recommended to exrcise to help alleviate X, Y, Z condition.
      How can we spread health benefits? Funding for special projects could highlight what’s possible. i.e specific activities for groups e.g. over 50’s who have been recommended to exercise by a doctor (but not had a GP referal). Case studies. Special events offering free taster sessions. I know a woman who is setteing up an activity group for women over 50. Offering free tasters for various activities. mostly outside.
      I am keen to get involved in any consulations you may have in the future. Good luck with the partnership. Please keep me posted. Kind regards. Fiona Swan

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    4. These ‘theme’ reports are excellent. Could I just say that the ‘Geology & Soils’ summary report could have included the Natural England ‘Soils 4 Profit’ results – an extensive survey of soil condition in the wider West Country.

      • Lewis, the Geology & Soils theme report has been updated to include reference to the Soils for Profit soil condition survey.

    5. Thank you for inviting me to the event. Actually it was Sarah Jennings who forwarded me the invitation- otherwise no GPs would have been there….!

      My main observation and point is please please please include general practice in all of your consultation/plans/whatever. We are at “the coal face” and with suitable collaboration could
      1- signpost many more people to your good work
      2- help reduce the need for medication and referral on to counselling/hospital
      3- measure the reduction in workload and improvement in wellbeing outcomes resulting from any work that you do
      4- help put a case for diverting funding from treatment to naturally healthy activities ( i.e. all your groups!)
      PLEASE do not exclude us. Is this exclusion some kind of Public Health plot against general practice? I hope not.

      I am very very keen to link up with you guys to break down the barriers and create a bridge between general practice and healthy living in our communities.

      I have dropped a day at my surgery to put more effort into developing this joined up working. I am currently not being paid for this but i feel so passionate about it. Fortunately my free day is Thursday so I would love to come and be included in your next meeting on 22nd January.

      Great workshop. I didn’t have time to stick up any post its as was involved in discussion with several others who attended.

      My feedback for a better workshop next time would be have more time for the interactive/feedback bit which is usually the most helpful. Better that than sticking stickies on a flip chart!
      I think I was the only person that was allowed to ask any question/make any point at the end which was a bit disappointing as I was looking froward to hearing what others thought.

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    8. I have gradually been sowing more and more bee & butterfly friendly flowers in my garden and now am the proud custodian of a bees’ nest. They are the white tailed bumble bee. The nest has been built in a black sack which had leaves in it left to rot! they are doing o.k. so far and I am getting much enjoyment from watching them.

      • Thank you Alison! Fantastic to hear that your garden is now home to some white tailed bumble bees!

        Be sure to sign our pollinators pledge and take some photos of the wonderful bees in your garden to be in with a chance of winning some great prizes in our pollinator photograph competition!

    9. Farmers are key to this. Here at the edge of Exmoor we do a great deal by managing and encouring our 3 old fashioned hay meadows. https://www.dropbox.com/s/ulbvep82f18hr6i/2016-07-05%2016.45.43.jpg?dl=0 This is one of them. Cut and baled now BUT with a chunk left so that insects and birds still have a food source. Full of precious and rare moths (dont forget moths are very important pollinators), butterflies and other insects plus numerous small mammals. We vary the cutting time between the fields so different species of grass and flowers have time to set seed. Farmers love and cherish our countryside just as much as everyone else.

      • Hi Lesley. We completely agree that farmers play a very important role in managing land to be suitable for pollinators and the meadow looks beautiful! We have included some links and resources at the side to provide landowners with advice as to how they can better manage their land for pollinators. Moths and butterflies both play important roles as pollinators and I’ve been taking a lot of photos of six-spot burnet moths all over black knapweed. Have you thought about entering our pollinator photograph competition? I’m sure there will be some great opportunities to take some brilliant photographs in those meadows! Don’t forget to sign the Pledge too!

    10. I have a message via Twitter that there is an Outdoor Learning conference in March 2017 but I can’t see it on this webpage or the DESWG page

    11. All power to you and your team Suzanne. Booking my place for Dieter Helm. The lectures and conference have been a huge success from my perspective.

    12. huge expectations on quality here – given a lot might respond using mobile phones – reads like a contract specification

      why not get the sites and then get a someone to grab the image to meet the spec?

      we have a works camera and cannot meet this min 8MP

      best of luck!

    13. We are hosting our first, and hopefully not the last.., Open Farm Sunday! 11th June 11-5pm! We want as many people as possible to enjoy this day on an organic beef and sheep farm and just explore the beautiful wildflowers meadows at their leisure.

      We have made it as family friendly as possible! With tractor rides, den building childrens activites and homemade teas and cakes!

      This is a free day out and a chance to see how some of the food reaches your table!

    14. We really enjoyed our day at your farm, everyone was helpful and informative. For your first open farm day, I would say that it was very relaxing for us visitors, with so many interesting things to look at. The map was very easy to use, well done to the artist.

    15. I took this photograph in October 2017. It is a rare RDB species that is only found in a few coastal regions. This one was attracted to a light on the south coast of Devon just outside Plymouth.

    16. When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now
      each time a comment is added I get several emails with the same comment.
      Is there any way you can remove people from that service?
      Thanks a lot!