Great Outdoors uses wildflowers and creative nature to improve health and wellbeing in Knowsley. Richer natural greenspaces impact positively on health, most significantly in deprived greenspaces.
GO aims to encourage better quality and awareness of healthy greenspace; increase physical activity; improve mental wellbeing; better social relationships; decrease social isolation, volunteering and skills; growing and awareness of healthy foods.
Great Outdoors is also supporting creative nature and gardening events at the National Wildflower Centre, to encourage more people to see their local environment as a resource for health and wellbeing. From paper making to nature walks and outdoor picnics, hanging basket workshops and storytelling, nature provides that Natural Chill!
Great Outdoors is part of the Northwest Target: Well-being programme. Target: Well-being aims to help people achieve healthier and happier lives. It's a programme of projects that increase exercise, encourage healthier eating and promote mental well-being. Funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund, it's managed by Groundwork Northwest for the benefit of targeted disadvantaged communities across the Northwest.
Woolfall Heath Celebration 10th August 2013
Woolfall Heath Meadow was awarded UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere recognition for its creative conservation technique in 2004. These new works have included opening up new pathways for walking and cycling, creating new signs & fencing, a viewing platform for the River Alt and management of wildflowers, reedbeds and its small woodlands.
Photographs from our last event at Woolfall Heath Meadows
Download our 'A History of Woolfall Heath Wildflower Meadow' PDF
Get Growing with the Great Outdoors.
Healthy growing and eating will increase opportunities for local food growing and healthy cooking, widen participation in active gardening, and increase awareness of nature and the environment as a positive resource for health in Knowsley.
Get Growing targets local community groups, local schools, health and wellbeing groups, disadvantaged groups and individuals, families and young people. We want to explore creative uses for open spaces and community areas, community centres, gardens and social residential housing as part of food growing and to improve their natural richness and diversity. This is part of our strategy to develop better health promoting environments as a way of reducing health inequalities in Knowsley.
Local people and community groups are leading on demands for their own places to grow local, healthy food and to learn gardening skills. Interest in good food and better cooking skills is also increasing, as is the commitment to reduce food miles and our carbon footprint.
The Get Growing volunteering programme meet every Friday from mid February to late November. We work with small groups of volunteers at the National Wildflower Centre, maintaining food growing displays, wildlife gardening, digging, planting, watering and nurturing - both the plants and the people.
Gardening has been proved to improve mental health, lower stress levels, increase stamina, create stronger bonds - with nature and people, increase self esteem, build a diverse skills base, aid coping mechanisms and much much more.
The volunteer day starts every Friday at 9.45am until 12.30pm, for new starters. We supply refreshments, a hot lunch and a supportive environment. We welcome new participants as long as we have the capacity on our programme, no initial commitment is expected and we welcome referrals from other organisations.
If you’re feeling socially isolated, stressed, seeking ways back into the work force, want to improve your food growing skills or just want to meet like minded people, give us a call.
For further information please contact email@example.com
Tel: 0151 7381913
Working together with Knowsley’s Community Health Development Team and with support from Merseyside Sports Partnership, the National Wildflower Centre has blocks of Nordic Walking sessions arranged for residents in Knowsley.
With the help of a trained instructor, you will be taught to use the specially designed poles. We are getting wonderful results from this new walking technique. Walkers find they can walk further and faster than previously possible. Benefits include reduced pressure on knees and joints, less chance of muscle fatigue and support for those with back, neck or shoulder problems and it targets 90% of all body muscle, enabling a fuller body workout. Age 10 for all walks.
Please call Annick on 0151 738 1913 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Court Hey Park Thursday morning walks 10.am - for Knowsley residents only please book in advance.
New programmes for 2015.
Regular Nordic Walks at Court Hey Park led by qualified instructors. Thursdays 10am, weekly. Knowsley residents only. All abilities welcome. Poles and instruction provided. Meet at The National Wildflower Centre Cornflower Café.
Saturdays 10am. Walks led by Community walk leaders. Walking entirely at own risk. Knowsley residents only. All abilities welcome. Poles and instruction provided. Meet at The National Wildflower Centre Courtyard Gates.
Using nature as an aid to wellbeing and recovery has been a subject of research for the past 20 years. We employ a number of creative activities such as clay tile making, willow weaving, felt making, nature walks, seed sowing, bushcraft and charm making. All of these workshops link with our five ways to natural health and wellbeing.
We aim to encourage people to connect with nature by sowing seeds, watching plants grow and to spend time outdoors.
2. Be Active
Take a walk or cycle more, get children to play outside more, join a park community group like the Friends of court hey park and seek out and enjoy local nature events. We would like to enable people to start gardening and grow their own food.
3. Take Notice
Be curious about nature, look at the seasons – what’s changing? stop and listen, be aware of the world around you, and slow down.
4. Keep Learning
Where are your local nature places, what can you find there? Learn to sow seeds, look after plants, cook healthily with fresh garden produce, find out more about nature.
Grow a wildflower meadow and give nature a helping hand, share your enthusiasm with friends and family, start volunteering, share your food harvest.
Even a small step for change in natures’ greenspaces helps increase physical activity and improves our mental health.
Better health - better lives.