Wild About Worcester
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced people to interact with their local surroundings in new ways. Many people took up exercise, having the opportunity to explore new parts of the city that they hadn’t before. In May last year, a survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of the RSPB found that 79 per cent agreed the Coronavirus outbreak has highlighted the need for more accessible nature-rich green space near to peoples’ households . Though, research from the Ramblers showed that only 57 per cent of 1 adults said they lived within five-minutes’ walk of green space and this figure fell to 46.2 per cent for those with a household income under £15,000. People have an increased desire to get out into green spaces and explore nature, but having the confidence to do this and knowing where to go can be barriers. Our beautiful city has so much to offer but for many remains unexplored.
Green spaces are not just beneficial to wildlife but to our mental and physical health too. One in four people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year and exercise can play a key role in alleviating symptoms and helping people to 3 cope with the stresses of everyday life. In 2017/18, according to the Sport England Active Lives Survey, the percentage of adults in Worcestershire estimated to be overweight or obese rose to 65%. This is higher than the England value of 62% . 4 Without accessible and easy ways for people to get out of their homes in the city, mental and physical health suffers.
Worcester Environmental Group, in collaboration with Onside Advocacy, are proposing to establish a way-marked route around Worcester, helping residents to explore green spaces in the city, learn about nature and to improve their physical and mental health. This route would also act as a ‘wildlife corridor’, promoting the increase of biodiversity and protection of the environment.