10th March 2020

Stephen & Oona Hempenstall

In our Explore your Colne Valley Park first edition we introduced our 18 circular walks, spread across the valley. After reading about them, Oona and Stephen Hempenstall from Ickenham, decided to give them a try.
“We enjoy walking and wanted some new ideas of places to go, so we decided to try a selection over a few months.
It is great to visit different locations across the park and see the wildlife and changes in scenery along the way. It has been good fun following the maps and learning about local history on the route, especially with the family,” said Oona. These walks are a great way to get everyone outdoors and active this year.

“Stephen, really liked trying the pubs and cafes that are marked on the maps and made sure we picked a different place to try each time, which saved cooking, so I was delighted too!” said Oona.

Ryan Williams on behalf of the occupational therapy team for CNWL Mental health NHS Foundation Trust, told us why walking in the countryside is so important for all of us.
”Walking is a great way to improve your physical and mental wellbeing. It’s free, can help burn extra calories and has a low impact on your body. Going for a walk is especially good when you have a lot on your mind, as it has been shown to reduce stress, as well as reducing your blood pressure and heart rate. If you’re feeling low, exercise such as walking releases the feel-good endorphins, which can boost your mood and energy levels by as much as 65%.

Walking outdoors and in our green spaces is a good way to get away from our everyday stresses and gives you the opportunity to be ‘in the moment’. This is particularly important in our current society where we are consistently distracted by TV, work and social media.”
Our 18 circular walks are available to print under, on our website, see here.