Naturally Healthy opportunities

Volunteering Outdoors

There are loads of environmental volunteering opportunities across Devon.  Everyone welcome and no experience needed for most activities.






growing together devon Growing Together Devon is based in East Devon and uses gardening to support the well being of people and communities.  They work with organizations to set up gardening programs which provide exercise, companionship and access to the outdoors.

Gardening for Health, Totnes. Free weekly gardening open to everybody. Join in Mondays from 2-4.30pm at The Lamb Garden, Cistern Street, Totnes. Gardening for Health is a Totnes Trust led project.

Growing Devon Schools recognises that increasing numbers of schools, and teachers within Devon’s schools, would like to start growing projects but lack the skills, knowledge and confidence to do so.  By linking providers (including zoos, gardens, community groups, growers etc.) with their local schools, they aim to provide information about those skills and knowledge and inspire confidence.

Thrive uses gardening to bring about positive changes in the lives of people living with disabilities or ill health, or who are isolated, disadvantaged or vulnerable. 
Thrive currently works largely in the SE but does hold a database of around 900 garden projects in the UK.  Contact them for more details.

Wild Swimming and surfing

Devon is THE place in Britain to try Wild Swimming.  Whether you want to float gently down an estuary or win the Dart 10km swim, you will be able to find advice and kindred spirits via the links below:

The WAVE Project brings people together through surfing. Their evidence-based surf therapy programme is proven to help young people feel less anxious and more positive. They run beach school projects to help children feel more engaged in education.

Beach Clean Activities

Plastic Free Communities are springing up all over Devon, many of which organise regular beach cleans. This can be a great way to get active and help the environment at the same time.  The complete list can be viewed on the Surfers Against Sewage website.  Some of the most active groups near the coast are listed below.  Visit their websites to find out when the next organised beach cleans are scheduled:


Running  provides both mental and physical benefits – especially in Devon’s amazing countryside.

Dartmoor Training Co takes out informal running groups across the Dartmoor area and is aimed at people with mental  health issues from depression to Post Traumatic Stress Disorders, and/or physical barriers that may prevent them from participating in exercise related activities. To cover costs a very small charge is made.  See the website for more information.

Couch to 5km  is a running plan for total beginners.  For advice, the plan and inspirational case studies from people who have gone from the couch to completing a 5km run see the website.

Parkruns –  Every Saturday at 9am
Totally fantastic free weekly 5km runs for all abilities and ages – dogs allowed!  

Tamar Lakes Parkrun
Rock Park, Barnstaple, Parkrun
Bideford Parkrun
Killerton, Broadclyst, near Exeter, Parkrun
Exeter Quay & Riverside Valley Park Parkrun
Exmouth Parkrun
Parke Estate near Bovey Tracey Parkrun
Torbay Velopark Parkrun
Plymbridge Woods, Plymouth Parkrun

Devon Orienteering.  Adults and children welcome!  Orienteering means maps, forests and adventure.  You can run, jog or walk and it doesn’t matter how young, old or fit you are, you go at your own pace.  If you like excitement, fresh air and exploring the countryside, then Orienteering could be the sport for you.  Give it a go!


Breeze is the biggest programme ever to get more women into riding bikes for fun. It aims to help thousands more women feel confident and comfortable about going on a ride.



Cyclist on moor

See Cycle Devon or Explore Devon for more cycling ideas.

Travel Devon offers support for workplaces to get more people cycling. See or email for more information.

 Bikeability is the Start of your Journey film

Other Naturally Healthy opportunities

Aquafolium is a Devon based social enterprise which aims to reconnect people with nature through activities such as Forest Bathing and foraging.  See their website for more information or read a blog.

Forest Chi organises events, classes and workshops across Devon.  They create a space where people of all ages and from all walks of life can learn ways of connecting with nature.

Mindful-in-Nature, Sharpham Trust is supported by the Big Lottery Fund and is specifically designed to support mental health recovery, resilience and well-being for people aged 18+ living locally, combining mindfulness and nature connection.

Wild Ideas supports and deliver projects and learning to create healthier, greener communities and to bring people into contact with nature: in schools, in work and in our open spaces.

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