Naturally Healthy May Ideas to Get Started and Connect Actively to Nature

With spring in the air, it’s a great time to be naturally healthy by connect actively to nature. There’s something for everyone.

May 2023 is Naturally Healthy month and wherever you live in the county there are lots of ways to connect to nature and get active. To help you get started take a look at the following ideas.

Visiting the Coastline to be Naturally Healthy

Devon has two coastlines with a huge number of opportunities to access the beautiful panoramic views. Travelling by bus is a great way to get to your destination. For example, go along the wide flat Sidmouth promenade (bus 157). Or visit the beautiful sandy stretch of Saunton beach (bus 21C). To help you plan your day we recommend you look at Travel Devon’s interactive bus map. The map is a great resource as it shows routes for the whole county.

Whilst you’re wandering the coastline, we suggest you have a look along the strandline. Here is where the tide deposits all different things, from seaweeds to shells, egg cases, and even sea glass. Or, maybe have a peer into one of the rockpools to see what you can spot. Why not take along a copy of Devon Wildlife Trust’s rock pool guide?

Cycle, Walk or Wheel Around the Countryside

Devon is a fantastic place to explore. The Tarka Trail in North Devon and Exe Estuary Trail in East Devon (both wading bird havens) are popular and more well known. However, there are also the lesser-known trails such as the Granite Way and Drake’s Trail. Plus, there are the off-road routes at Haldon Forest Park, Tamar Trails and at Princetown. For detailed information about each trail please have a look at the Explore Devon website.

What Can You Spot from Your Backdoor?

Our Devon towns and cities have lots of opportunities to visit green spaces. It could be a walk on your lunch break down to the river, or to your favourite bench for a quick cup of tea. In May all the wildflowers are bursting open, in hedge banks, areas left to grow wild, and even in cracks in the walls and pavements. Our dawn chorus is in full song and our trees have unfurled their leaves. If you want some help in finding out what to spot have a look at these short webinars the Devon Local Nature Partnership have created. They are beginner webinars with no scientific language to help everyone get started or have a refresher.

Connecting to Nature

Whilst you’re out and about we want you to connect to nature. Connecting to nature is all about using your senses to notice what is around you, such as hearing the dawn chorus, feeling the wind against your face, or seeing new flowers emerging from the ground. By valuing these experiences nature becomes more important to you and your feeling of belonging and wanting to conserve them. By being active in nature you are getting the benefits of being physically active and connecting to nature, a double whammy to your overall health!

During May, we will also be sharing on social media @activedevon @DevonLNP, ideas, and information on how to be ‘naturally healthy’. From getting outside for a bike ride, to bird watching and listening to bird song, to swimming in the sea and gardening, there are many ways to enjoy the benefits it can bring.

Why not tell us about your experiences by sharing your favourite photo of being ‘naturally healthy’ via social media using the hashtag #NaturallyHealthyMay.

Being Naturally Healthy Can Make a Difference

Dr Sarah Wollaston, Chair of NHS Devon said:

“We know that being more active is really good for our health, but it isn’t always easy to get started and to find the activity that suits us best. We are so fortunate in Devon to have wonderful natural spaces across coast and countryside. So, whatever your current level of activity, it is worth joining in for Naturally Healthy May to get outside in groups together or on your own. It will make a difference.”