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Nature 4 Health charity offering free guided walks in Forres, Nairn, Elgin and Aberlour


By Garry McCartney

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Enjoying refreshments during a nature walk through The Wards in Elgin.
Enjoying refreshments during a nature walk through The Wards in Elgin.

A LOCAL charity is offering free, guided nature walks in the area.

Nairn-based charity Nature 4 Health (N4H) is currently alternating between weeks in Aberlour and Nairn on Fridays, and Forres or Elgin every Wednesday.

N4H project officer, Ruaraidh Milne, confirmed the walks last from 1.30pm to 3pm and are led by experienced, qualified naturalists with full disclosures, first aid and insurance.

He said: “We work primarily to support mental health in nature through our walks, school programmes, ‘Branching Out’ programmes and ‘Green Health’ days. Nature walks improve mental health, as shown by a range of research, discussion with clients, occupational therapists, carers and more.”

Branching Out is an outdoor therapeutic programme for adults who use mental health services. Three hours of woodland activities are delivered per week for a group of 12 participants over a three month period.

Visiting Dunain Woods at Inverness.
Visiting Dunain Woods at Inverness.

N4H delivered nature walks for wellbeing in Inverness years before expanding to Moray.

“We started in Forres and Elgin in Autumn 2020,” said Ruaraidh, “and in Aberlour last June. We expanded here because of demand from folk on Branching Out, communication with colleagues at Moray Wellbeing Hub, and from work we’ve carried out with Moray social and youth workers. The Nairn ones start in a month’s time.”

Checking out Smokey the dragon on a walk through Cluny Hill.
Checking out Smokey the dragon on a walk through Cluny Hill.

The Forres walks are around Cluny Hill, Sanquhar pond and the Muiry Wood. All walks are short and gentle to accommodate all abilities.

Ruaraidh said: “Our walks offer connection with easygoing company, guides in unfamiliar areas who talk about what they see/hear/smell/taste on the walk, and of course a kettle being lit with twigs gathered on the walk to heat water for a fresh brew!”

See https://www.n4h.co.uk/nature-walks-for-wellbeing/ for more information.



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