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Cheshire's Natural Health Service

Cheshire's Natural Health Service uses the west of the county's green space assets to help tackle local health inequalities.

The initiative builds on the growing body of evidence that activities in the natural environment can have a significant impact on both keeping people healthy and in tackling some health conditions.


It's made up of a series of outdoor activities within some of Cheshire West & Chester's wonderful green space assets. These activities include:

 

  • Health Walks
  • Forest School and Forest School activities
  • Horticulture Therapy
  • Practical Conservation, including Green Gym
  • Mindful contact with nature

Over the next three years the project is working to get over 3,000 people involved, aiming to increase their physical activity by 40% and wellbeing by 20% (on average), delivering a 6:1 Social Return on Investment.


The sessions take place in carefully chosen green spaces close to where statistics show there are health inequalities. These include:

 

  • Whitby Park, Stanney Woods and Rivacre Valley in Ellesmere Port
  • Rilshaw Meadows and Weaver Parkway, Winsford
  • Grosvenor Park, Chester
  • Leftwich Meadows and Northwich Woodland, Northwich
  • Blacon Green Space/Countess of Chester Country Park
     

The partnership consists of Cheshire West & Chester Council Public Health, The Mersey Forest, Total Environment Health Rangers, Active Cheshire and other community partners. We're involving people most at risk of experiencing poor health.


Working in conjunction with the Natural Health Service Centre of Excellence which includes both the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University, all of our activities is academically evaluated. This will include a baseline and follow-on questionnaire and surveys, and will produce the much needed community based evidence to demonstrate the value of our 'Natural Health Service'.


To find out more, please contact Clare Olver on clare.olver@merseyforest.org.uk




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