How the Land Trust is improving people's health

23rd December 2019

The Land Trust is passionate about the positive change that our green spaces can have on the physical and mental wellbeing of our residents and communities.

We run a wide variety of health activities across our sites ranging from parkrun, Green Gym and Nordic walking to mindfulness sessions and laughter workshops.

Frickley Country Park was recognised at the Land Trust 2019 Awards, winning Health Site of the Year.

Following in the footsteps of Countess of Chester, Frickley established its very own parkrun in January 2019 with members of the site’s Friends Of group playing a key role in its organisation.

The event has proved extremely popular with over 300 participants enjoying the challenging hills and fantastic views at the launch event. It now averages over 100 participants a week.

Frickley hill parkrun

Land Trust Estates Manager, Ian Kendall, said:

“It’s been brilliant to see the success of parkrun at Frickley Country Park. I never fail to be amazed at people coming out in all weathers on a Saturday morning to get their exercise fix and try and beat their personal bests.”

The Land Trust’s annual health theme for 2018-19 was all about mental health and trying to make a real difference to people’s emotional wellbeing. This increased focus led to 4,000 people with mental health conditions being supported through activities on our sites.

Director of Portfolio management, Alan Carter, explains why this issue was such a priority for the Land Trust:

“Our Health for Life project at Countess of Chester Country Park was the catalyst behind our desire to do more. The results of Health for Life shone a light on how important spending time outdoors is on our emotional wellbeing.

“We recognised that there was a mental health crisis in this country and set out to do our bit to try and change things. It’s costing the NHS billions of pounds a year while thousands of working days are lost each year having a significant effect on our economy.

“For too long now someone suffering with depression might be prescribed a pill or signed off from work. While those causes of action are absolutely correct in some cases they often just tackle the symptom and not the underlying reason about why people might be struggling with their mental health in the first place.

“For many people spending time outdoors can make a significant change to their mental health and emotional wellbeing and we remain committed to doing as much as we can on our sites to help people who might be struggling.”

The results have undoubtedly been very positive with our Economic and Social Value model reporting that our work has a value of £1.2 million.


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Frickley parkrun

The Nordic walking here is great for getting you fit. We do a three mile route through the woodlands and you feel top of the world when you've finished.

Tom and Jean, Bentley Community Woodlands

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