Nature Reserves - Mental Health after Lockdown

Published on: 27/07/21

The kids have broken up, lockdown’s lifted, and the sun is daring to show its face: summer 2021 is the time to get out and explore the great outdoors, after months of confinement and worry. I’m sure that adapting to one ‘new normal’ after another has taken a toll on most of us. Luckily, nature has the perfect cure; the huge benefits for our physical and mental health and wellbeing are now well understood and becoming widely prescribed by health professionals.

In a year when many are ‘staycationing’ or looking for days out close to home, the UK’s amazing parks, nature reserves and stunning countryside provide a wide range of leisure and recreational activities for all the family. With a sense-restoring selection below, get ready to enjoy time in the great outdoos away from the daily hustle and bustle, and if the sun’s feeling kind, you’ll get your vitamin D levels topped up too!

Richmond Park (London)

Find the great outdoors just a stone’s throw from central London, with Richmond Park’s wide open spaces, grasslands and deer herds. The park is a top UK site for ancient trees and supports a range of rare species including fungi, birds, beetles, bats, grasses and wildflowers. Discover the Isabella Plantation woodland gardens, refuel at Pembroke Lodge tea rooms and enjoy distant views of St Paul’s Cathedral from King Henry’s Mound. Take it up a gear and try your hand at power kiting, horse riding or golf, or hire a bike for some off-road cycling along the Tamsin Trail. Covering 2,500 acres, you’ll need more than a day to explore it all; luckily, it’s right on London’s doorstep.

Rutland Water (Rutland)

Set around a beautiful natural reservoir, Rutland Water covers a staggering 4,200 acres of open countryside, the perfect place to find some personal space! The park offers everything from walking and cycling to fishing and watersports, and also contains a wonderful nature reserve famous for breeding pairs of magnificent ospreys. Expert or novice, everything you need to make the most of your visit is right here, including cycle hire, expert tuition on boat handling, and a wide choice of places to enjoy a cuppa or a bite to eat. Whichever way you turn, Rutland Water guarantees you a beautiful view.

Bradgate Park (Leicestershire)

Bradgate Park provides 830 acres of publicly accessible countryside close to Leicester City Centre. Discover a wild and rugged landscape with dramatic rocky outcrops and characterful ancient oak trees. The lower Park is easily accessible, with a tarmac carriage-way suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. Find out about the area’s history, industry and characters in the free entry Visitor Centre, relax in the Tearoom, or climb the hilltop for stunning vistas. Parking also gives you access to neighbouring Swithland Wood, with numerous waymarked family, dog, horse and cycle-friendly routes; a magical landscape through the changing seasons.

Williamson Park (Lancaster)

Heading north on the M6, many drivers ask “what’s that domed building, decorated like a wedding cake?”! It’s Lancaster’s iconic Ashton Memorial, towering over the city centre. The surrounding 54 acres of beautiful parkland which make up Williamson Park contain accessible paths, woodland walks, play areas, and breath-taking views across Morecambe Bay to the Lake District Mountains. Park attractions include exotic butterflies, housed in the former tropical palm house, meerkats, marmosets and more in the small animal zoo, and fully licensed café. While parking and some attractions carry a small charge, entry to the park is free and open 24/7.

Lochore Meadows Country Park (Fife)

With over 1,200 acres to explore, it's easy to see why Lochore Meadows Country Park is Fife’s most popular free outdoor attraction. With a beautiful loch at the heart of the park, an incredible variety of habitats includes wildflower meadows, park land, and ancient woodlands- even a beach! Enjoy spending time walking, bird-watching, cycling, fishing, paddling, playing in the playpark or enjoying a picnic or barbecue with friends and family. Much of the park is suitable for wheelchairs and buggies, and all-terrain mobility scooters are available for hire. The park also hosts lots of events throughout the year too.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We have also put together a list of frequently asked questions at the link below, which include some Top Tips and Did you know information, which you can use to show off with your friends and family

  • Read our frequently asked questions (FAQs) - Click Here

We hope that you have enjoyed reading our article called Nature Reserves- Mental Health after Lockdown and that you have found the information above include our FAQ page helpful in deciding on which venue you to choose for your Activities and Days Out

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