Wildlife and Wellbeing Walk
Join us over Green Health Week and beyond for this free event.
Everyone is welcome.
These gentle nature and wellbeing sessions are part of our Wild Ways Well project, providing opportunities for people to spend time outdoors, experience the greenspaces in the local area and the natural world around them, and realise the many ways the natural world can be accessed and experienced, quickly and easily, with minimal cost, equipment or experience.
What is Wild Ways Well
Wild Ways Well is a health and wellbeing project operating in Livingston’s Howden and Ladywell areas. It is run by TCV (The Conservation Volunteers) in partnership with Ladywell Neighbourhood Network and St John’s Hospital and funded by NHS Lothian Charity and the National Lottery Community Fund. It aims to demonstrate what most of us already know instinctively – spending time outdoors, amongst nature, makes people feel better about themselves and their lives.
It can be especially helpful for issues such as depression, anxiety, low confidence and social isolation, but it can help anyone to live a happier, healthier life. Mental health issues can affect anyone and we should all take steps to look after our mental health as part of our daily routine.
As part of Wild Ways Well, you can take part in free sessions to help you get out into your local greenspaces to experience all the amazing things that can be found right on your doorstep. Whilst out amongst the trees and parks you will get a chance to slow down, relax, enjoy being in the company of other like-minded people, and participate in a variety of environmental and conservation related activities.
Wild Ways Well is structured around the Five Ways to Wellbeing, a proven framework for promoting good mental health in use by organisations all over the world, including the NHS and the major UK mental health charities. The Five Ways to Wellbeing are a simple way of thinking about our mental health, they suggest five easy actions – Be Active, Take Notice, Connect, Keep Learning and Give – which we can all take to improve our happiness in our daily lives.
Wild Ways Well takes the Five Ways and adapts them to an outdoor environment.
Example activities might include learning about trees, plants and wildlife; practising traditional outdoor skills; taking part in conservation activities like wildflower planting or invasive species removal; getting creative with photography, drawing, sculpting or storytelling; taking part in citizen science activities like wildlife recording – and simply enjoying being outdoors in natural spaces with good company.
Wild Ways Well is not a replacement for more formal forms of therapy or medication but instead should be seen as a complement to a healthy lifestyle that could benefit anyone. You don’t need any special equipment or knowledge to join us, just a willingness to step outdoors and see where the path leads you.