The Walking and Wellbeing Award is aimed at anyone who already enjoys walking or wheeling; anyone who wants to walk or wheel more; and anyone who wants to learn more about how walking and wheeling can help themselves, their friends and family, the natural world and the planet.
There are four themes that you will choose from to personalise your award: Walking with Nature, Walking for Health; Active Travel; and Micro Volunteering. You will choose one theme to focus on and then will pick an additional theme to try in your final week. You can take part in the award as an individual, or as part of a group. Those that are participating as a group will be expected to work on the same theme, but do not have to complete all activities together.
The award will take you 4 weeks to complete (don’t worry if it takes you longer) and there are no fixed targets you have to meet. All we ask is that you set yourself some personal goals and work towards them while walking regularly. You will need to gather some simple evidence, and let us know what you have done during your time taking part. You don’t need to achieve the goals you set at the beginning – you just need to work towards them. You might even decide that the goals you set at the beginning were too easy, too hard, or just not right for you. It’s the journey you’ve been on while taking part that matters and that’s what we want to hear about.
The Four Themes
Walking with Nature
While taking part in this theme we ask you to take time to notice nature on your walks. By following the 5 pathways to nature connectedness (Contact, Beauty, Meaning, Emotion and Compassion) we hope that over your 4 weeks of Walking with Nature you will gain a greater connection to the natural world around you. Set yourself some simple goals for the next 4 weeks. These might be to listen for birds and wildlife more often; to take note of the changes in the seasons; to think about how being out in the natural world makes you feel.
Walking for Health
While taking part in this theme we ask you to consider the benefits that walking may have on your health. By going out on regular walks we hope that over your 4 weeks of Walking for Health you will notice the benefit to your health and wellbeing. Set yourself some simple goals for the next 4 weeks. These might be to increase how often you go for a walk or how far you go; to improve how quickly you walk; to work up to tackling harder terrain on your walks.
While taking part in this theme we ask you to travel more actively while undertaking regular everyday journeys such as: going to work, school or college; going to the shops; accessing services in your community such as libraries and health centres; travelling to sports and social activities. By choosing to travel more actively over the next 4 weeks we hope that you will consider the benefit to your local environment and to the global climate emergency – you might also notice a benefit in your wallet too. Set yourself some simple goals for the next 4 weeks. These might be to walk to school more often; to walk to the shops instead of hopping in the car; to walk to the bus stop rather than hopping in the car to work.
In this theme we ask you to give a little back to your local path networks and green spaces. People can get a huge amount out of volunteering, but for some it can seem like a huge commitment. Micro volunteering is doing things on a much smaller scale and at a pace that suits you. While you’re out on your walks have a look at what is wrong on your local path networks. Maybe there’s a litter problem; maybe the paths are a little bit overgrown; maybe signs and information boards are looking dirty – can you do something for five minutes that tackles the problem? Or how about doing some Citizen Science? Can you fill in a survey about the wildlife you see on your walks? Set yourself some simple goals for the next 4 weeks. These might be to trim some overhanging branches; to pick up a few pieces of litter on every walk; to fill in some wildlife surveys; to report problems with paths that are too big for you to tackle.
Sign up for the Walking and Wellbeing Award
To sign up for the award simply fill in this form. Individual’s and groups can sign up using the same method – if you’re doing the award as a group just let us know the names of everyone taking part. If you need any help signing up, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Community Paths Development Officer, Tom Whalley (email@example.com).
How to collect evidence that you’ve taken part
We want taking part in the award to be as simple as possible and we would ask that you supply the following minimum evidence to us:
- A log of your walks
- A photograph, and caption, showing what you did on at least one of your walks
- Tell us the story of what you did over your 4 weeks. This can take any form you like – it could be written, recorded, filmed, or even performed. Be as creative as you like.
The form for submitting completion evidence will be emailed to applicants.
What do I get for completing the award?
Apart from a massive sense of personal achievement, everyone that successfully completes the Walking and Wellbeing Award will be sent a personalised certificate and an enamel pin badge.
We’ll also pick the best stories and pictures you send in, and share them on social media, our newsletters and on our website.