We’ve all enjoyed taking walks in the countryside over the past couple of years, but it is rather good to get out with others of a like mind.
Avon Heath Country Park is holding guided Health Walks for people looking to establish a weekly routine of exercise, who enjoy being out amongst nature.
The walks are free, open to all and are led by friendly, trained volunteers, leaving from the Visitor Centre at Avon Heath Country Park every Tuesday at 2pm. They last about 30 minutes and are suitable for people of all abilities. A second option of a longer 60-minute walk is being launched in May.
They are part of the Dorset Health Walks scheme and are run in partnership with The Ramblers Wellbeing Walks.
Regular walker Natalie said: “I like listening to the bird song and learning from the knowledgeable leaders about the various habitats and the wildlife on the heath.
“I enjoy the peace and quiet, the fresh air, knowing I am benefiting from the exercise and the feeling you get of well being.
“And all with friendly people, perhaps followed by a cup of tea in the café afterwards.”
Avon Heath Country Park is owned and managed by Dorset Council and is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Area of Conservation and a Special Protected Area.
Significant populations of nationally and internationally important bird species are present, including Nightjars, Wood Larks, Stonechats and rare Dartford Warblers. The heath contains rare and scarce plants and is home to all six British reptiles and many species of butterfly and dragonflies.
There is no need to book for the walks – just arrive 10 to 15 minutes before the off.
Avon Heath Country Park is located off the A31 between Ferndown and Ringwood and the address is Brocks Pine, St Leonards, BH24 2DH. People who are new to the group do need to complete a PARQ registration form or ask at the Visitor Centre just before you join the walk. Call the Visitor Centre on 01425 478082 for more information, open seven days a week from 9am to 5pm.
To find out about other Health Walk locations in East Dorset follow the link: www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/dorset-health-walks. You can also use this link to find and fill in the PARQ registration form.
If you enjoy walking and would like to be part of the volunteer walk leader team, please contact Dorset Council’s Health and Activity team on 01425 480811 or email email@example.com.
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