Natural England
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Walking for Health volunteers stepping up for the environment

The 1 June 2010 marked the start of National Volunteers Week, an annual event which celebrates the contribution made by the millions of volunteers who regularly contribute to society.

To coincide with this important national event Natural England is hosting Walking for Health’s Volunteer Activity Week , taking place from 1-7 June.

Natural England’s Walking for Health programme (WfH) encourages people to enjoy their local natural spaces and benefit their health by taking part in health walks led by trained volunteer walk leaders. Volunteers Walk Leaders are vital to the success of Walking for Health, with over 30,000 regular walkers around the country reaping the health benefits.

This year, we want to encourage and inspire even more people to volunteer for Walking for Health and other activities in the natural environment. As part of our Volunteer Activity Week, walking groups will be taking part in a range of volunteering activities so they can experience the full range benefits of environmental volunteering.

Natural England wants more people to get out into the natural environment to have fun and get active. Being active outdoors makes people feel good, helps them to live longer and connects them to their local area. We are working to strengthen the connections between people and the natural environment, wherever they live.

We are always on the lookout for new walkers and walk leaders For more information about how to join a walk or get involved as a volunteer walk leader, visit

In Focus:

Green fingered walkers take to the dunes

A group of East Lindsey-based walkers are on the starting blocks to celebrate Walking For Health’s Volunteer Activity Week (1-7 June) in style, as they get set to attempt a new type of ‘green’ exercise.

The Walking for Health group, ‘East Lindsey Active’ are to turn their hand to volunteering on Natural England’s Saltfleetby Theddlethorpe Dunes National Nature Reserve (NNR) on Wednesday 2 June. The group will be carrying out a range of voluntary activities, including maintaining public trails and surveying orchids across the reserve.

 Ruth Keeley, Natural England’s Walking for Health Adviser said: “Not only will this celebration of volunteer week benefit the reserve, it will also introduce the walkers to other forms of green exercise that they could become involved in. Green exercise isn’t just about walking – there are a number of ways that people’s health can be improved through engagement with the local natural environment.”

Roger Briggs, Natural England’s NNR Warden added: “Volunteers are absolutely vital to helping us to run the reserve for nature conservation and the enjoyment of all our visitors. Our volunteers really benefit from the contact they have with the natural world and I hope that this celebration encourages more people to get involved!”

The East Lindsey Active walking group is coordinated by East Lindsey District Council’s Physical Activity and Walks Officer, Bernice Wilson. Bernice is also an elite runner and has represented Great Britain at international level.

About volunteering

Read more about becoming a Walking for Health Volunteer Walk Leader.

Read more about Volunteers’ week.

Read more about volunteering for Natural England.

About Walking for Health

Natural England’s Walking for Health (WfH) is a national project which aims to encourage people, particularly those who take little exercise, to take regular short walks in their communities. It currently supports nearly 600 local health walk schemes, which give people the opportunity to become physically active whilst enjoying local natural spaces.

For more information about how to join a walk or get involved as a volunteer walk leader, visit

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