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Devon Naturally Healthy Week is launching during half term from Saturday 23 May to Sunday 31 May and is encouraging everyone to get out and enjoy the vast range of outdoor opportunities that Torbay and Devon has to offer.

The aim of the week is to promote activity ideas, such as bird watching to sea kayaking, in suggested locations from local parks and open spaces to stunning beaches, lakes and rivers.

Devon Naturally Healthy Week is co-ordinated by the Devon-wide Local Nature Partnership, an umbrella body which brings together everyone with an interest in securing the benefits of our natural environment.

Torbay’s Elected Mayor, Gordon Oliver, said: “Living in Torbay gives us a huge opportunity to make the most of our beaches, local parks and countryside - even walking to work enables us to enjoy outside space.

“Just being outside has huge emotional and physical health benefits for people, giving them sense of space, the chance to breathe fresh air and exercise.”

Dr Virginia Pearson, Devon’s Director of Public Health and member of the Local Nature Partnership Board said: “This week-long event is recognition of our diverse and wonderful surroundings, here in Devon, and benefits of getting outdoors.

“Not everyone wants or is able to go for a run or an energetic bike ride. However, playing with your children in the park, rockpooling on the beach or taking an invigorating rain-soaked walk along a river can give you a different perspective, boost your mental health and have a positive impact on our health and wellbeing.”

Places to visit and events to mark the week-long event include the English Riviera Geopark Festival and Paignton Geoplay Park in Paignton. English Riviera Global Geopark Festival events are listed on www.englishrivierageopark.org.uk and a Geopark Festival leaflet is also available to download.

The Seashore Centre in Goodrington is holding marine wildlife kayak tours and there is a triathlon at Torbay’s Velopark in Paignton. For further information on events visit www.englishriviera.co.uk

The week is also an opportunity to get out and explore South Devon Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty or the many other country parks, nature reserves and green spaces across the county. There are a number of half term activities taking place at the Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust (TCCT) sites including a letterbox trails at Occombe Farm visit www.countryside-trust.org.uk for further information.

In addition, the National Trust has a fun packed list of free activities for all ages to try. Woodland Trust Nature Detectives has information on 150 activities for the spring and summer holidays and also for runners and walkers.

For those who want to make a difference to others as well as to their own health, there are opportunities to volunteer outdoors, look after wildlife and get fit at the same time with organisations such as the TCCT, Living Coasts, Conservation Volunteers, Green Gyms, RSPB, Devon Wildlife Trust, and the National Trust.

For further details on events to mark the week or for anyone looking for inspiration to visit www.naturaldevon.org.uk/naturally-healthy-week-events/



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