The Public Health team in Hounslow came to Nature Nurture with a mission to boost physical activity and lower obesity levels, particularly in children.
Meanwhile the Parks and Open Spaces team wanted to see more local people engaging with nature and getting involved in conservation volunteering in the 80 hectare underused urban green space.
In a collaborative effort with Intelligent Health, Public Health and Section 106 government budget, we were commissioned to help address both causes and design a permanent way-marked trail, fitted with interpretation boards and child-friendly activity guides.
Kicking it all off with a gamified launch, we enabled a range of grassroots community groups and local branches of national organisations to get involved; contributing ideas and expertise and co-delivering the launch event. These included The Conservation Volunteers’ Green Gym, Walking for Health and local conservation groups, history groups and Forest School providers.
We created the Wild Walk and the History Hike, consisting of way-marked trail of wooden posts, mapping and interpretation boards and family-friendly trail quest sheets, available in print and download format.
The trails were strategically placed, to help tackle health inequalities experienced by communities in the more disadvantaged areas in the Feltham area, bordering the heath. As a result of the trail, a new Walking for Health group was established on the heath, with the leader able to enrich the participants’ experience with nature and history insights and resources.
Blooming marvellous....The history walk sparks children’s imaginations - give them ideas for playing outside.Local Historian Katy Cox
I was delighted to see all the families at Hounslow Heath enjoying what is a great activity venture. We are so pleased to have this.Councillor Samia Chaudhary, Cabinet Member for Leisure, London Borough of Hounslow
Nature is always taken for granted. A project like this places the focus back on the natural habitat in a fun and educational way which brings new audiences to Parks and Open spaces. It also highlights the important contribution volunteers make to the conservation management of Hounslow heath and of local residents role as guardians of local heritage.Chris Norfield, Public Health Strategist: Behaviour Change, London Borough of Hounslow